The target group policy in Belgium is being regionalised in the framework of the Sixth State Reform.
Flanders is the first to launch three of its own target group reductions, starting on 1 July 2016. Employees recruited after this date fall under the new target group policy.
In the past, the federal government provided a whole series of target group reductions. Flanders decided to limit the reductions to three target groups:
• young employees;
• older employees;
• disabled employees.
This article covers the first two target groups.
The Flemish target group reduction for young employees allocates a reduction in social security contributions for eight quarters for employers who hire young employees (under 25 years old).
These consist of a discount for the social security contributions which the employer normally has to pay for these employees. The amount of this discount varies based on the young person’s level of schooling (unskilled or semi-skilled), or whether or not he/she is a student, or if he/she is following sandwich courses.
Employees recruited as of 1 July 2016 fall under the new Flemish target group reduction. For employees recruited before this date, the federal target group reduction remains in force until 31 December 2018 at the latest.
The Flemish target group reduction for older employees allocates a reduction in social security contributions as from 1 July 2016 for employers who recruit or hire older employees (at least 55 years old).
These consist of a discount for the social security contributions which the employer normally has to pay for these employees. For the scope of the support, a distinction is made between the recruitment of non-working, jobseeking older people after 1 July 2016 and the continued employment of older people.
All older employees employed or newly recruited as of 1 July 2016 fall under the new Flemish target group reduction. No transition rules have been provided.
The government of the Brussels-Capital Region also wishes to make use of its authority to implement its own target group policy.
Therefore, it will work on the policy for older employees in a first phase, starting on 1 October 2016. Given that this concerns a preliminary draft decree, the legislative work is still ongoing. More information will be available as soon as a publication in the Belgian Official Gazette announces a definite answer concerning the intended measures.
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