Ministers David Clarinval (MR) and Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS) have agreed a support package with the affected sectors to compensate somewhat for the imposed one-month shutdown. The concrete implementation has yet to be defined, it has been established that the planned 500 million euros is an investment for 2020, according to Horeca Vlaanderen.
The Federal Minister of Economy and Employment Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS) and his liberal colleague from Self-Employed, Self-Employed, SMEs David Clarinval have this morning discussed possible aid measures with the affected sectors. Before that, a ‘crisisenveloppe‘of 500 million euros. The catering sector, caterers and night clubs are represented, and the trade unions were also present.
Minister Clarinval immediately made it clear that various measures are on the table to compensate for the closing month. For example, there will be an extension of the bridging loan, the sectors will receive a three-month exemption from the payment to the NSSO (National Social Security Office) and the federal state will assume part of the end-of-year bonus when employees who technical unemployment. For self-employed persons who do not close their business, but where there is a significant loss, the bridging right is extended.
After the meeting Horeca Vlaanderen reacted cautiously positively. Ceo Matthias De Caluwe spoke of a ‘constructive consultation’. Horeca Vlaanderen hopes to have clarity about the detailed implementation of the support measures by the end of this week.
‘The remission of the NSSO and the participation of the state in the end-of-year bonus is important, because in this way we ensure that there is no “cash out”. The doubling of the bridging right as a replacement income also provides some more oxygen. We look at what this will yield in total and what else is needed, ‘says De Caluwe.
Need more for 2021
During the consultation it became clear that the 500 million euros that the federal government wants to release is an investment for 2020. 2021 will be looked at later, but “there is no doubt that more resources will be needed,” added De Caluwe. “We are already opening the debate about 2021. Even if we open again, there is still less capacity.”
The Brussels Hotel Association (BHA), which raised the alarm on Friday about the situation for the hotels, is somewhat reassured after the consultation. There is hope that the support measures for the catering industry will now also be switched to hotels that can close their doors. ‘It is not a general problem, because in the Ardennes, for example, hotel operators are satisfied with the turnover. They realize that it is local and especially linked to the cities. A closure can now be considered and then the support measures will be adjusted to the loss in turnover, ‘said Yves Fonck, head of BHA.
Moratorium on layoffs
The unions asked to spend part of the 500 million euros on the end-of-year bonus. ‘We want an equalization for the days when there is no work, but we are also asking for a moratorium on the layoffs, so that no jobs are lost. You don’t have to fire someone who costs nothing more ‘, it said in a joint letter. It is not yet clear whether this requirement will be met.