Belgium: Bereavement Leave Extended

July 30, 2021
2 mins read
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Up until now, employees were entitled to 3 days of bereavement leave if they lost a child or partner. As of 25 July 2021, this is now extended to 10 days.

Who Is Entitled To Bereavement Leave?

An employee will now be entitled to 10 days of bereavement leave for

  • An employee’s spouse or cohabiting partner
  • The child of the employee
  • The child of the spouse or cohabiting partner of the employee
  • An employee’s foster child in the framework of long-term foster care (this is a new addition)
  • An employee’s foster father or foster mother in the framework of long-term foster care.

Of these 10 days, the employee can take:

  • 3 days during the period starting on the day of the death and ending on the day of the funeral.
  • 7 days of their choice within the year following the day of death.

Changes to the timing of these can be made at the employee’s request if the employer agrees.

Incapacity for work following new extended bereavement leave

The new law also stipulates what happens when an employee cannot work due to illness, or an accident (other than an occupational disease, occupational accident or an accident on the way to or from work) immediately following the bereavement leave.

In case of incapacity for work, the employer must, in principle, continue to pay the employee’s regular salary for a certain period of time. This is the “guaranteed salary.” White-collar workers typically can receive 30 days of guaranteed salary.

However, when the incapacity for work immediately follows bereavement leave for the above, it will be added from the 4th day onwards to the total period of the guaranteed salary (both for blue-collar and white-collar workers). This can only be done when the 4th day of the bereavement leave immediately follows the 3rd day of the bereavement leave.

If there is a collective labor agreement on a company or sector level and the working regulations or the individual employment contract already granted more than 3 days of bereavement leave , these additional days of bereavement leave cannot be deducted from the guaranteed salary.





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