Reintegration of “long-term” patients into the job market: companies and workers could be financially sanctioned

There is an impressive number of job offers in Belgium at the moment, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo explained at the start of the press conference held this Friday morning. This is why the government has agreed on a plan to help long-term patients find the job market.

According to the latest statistics from the Inami (National Institute for Disability Health Insurance), the number of people with disabilities, all causes combined, was indeed 471,040 on December 31, 2020. This is 23,000 more than in 2019, more an additional 80,000 compared to 2016.

And what literally explodes are “mental illnesses”, in particular burnouts and depression. Two qualifications that can overlap or intersect, it all depends on the qualification that the doctor gives to the disease…

Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke therefore unveiled the two measures, addressed to companies and workers, which will come into force:

– Companies will be alerted if the authorities find that the number of employees who end up on long-term sick leave is too high. Companies will then be asked to take preventive measures. In the event of non-compliance with this monitoring, financial penalties will be possible.

– On the other hand, the workers concerned will also be invited to follow a path aimed at reintegrating them. There will be several stages and, if the authorities find that no effort is being made, workers could receive a warning and then, eventually, a fine.

Reintegration will be individually tailored to create real opportunities, Frank Vandenbroucke said. It will also be possible to combine reintegration while retaining part of their aid.

A detailed note will be issued.

The legislative framework will be fixed after the summer. The impact is expected in early 2023.

More info in the next few minutes

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