First contribute, then get social rights

14 February 2019

For the N-VA, it remains crucial that you first have to contribute before you can benefit from Social security Social security is currently managed at the Federal level in Belgium. The most important pillars of Belgian social security are: sickness and invalidity insurance (NIDHI), pensions, unemployment insurance and child allowances. In addition, occupational illness, occupational accidents and annual holidays are dealt with at this level. Some Flemish parties have been campaigning for years for (large parts of) social security to be transferred to the Regions and Communities. social security entitlements. The N-VA is urging the federal Employment Minister to defend at European level the Belgian point of view that a person must first have worked in a country for three months before being able to claim unemployment benefits. “This is fundamental for the stability of our social security system, and social security tourism does not belong in the social Europe that we envisage,” says the N-VA.

Threat to social security

The European Union is proposing making unemployment benefits possible after working in Belgium for a single month. Some even want to reduce that to a single day. Furthermore, it is being considered whether to allow those benefits to be transferred to the country of origin for six months or even for an unlimited period. And that’s a problem, says the N-VA. “Belgium is the only member state in the EU where unemployment benefits are unlimited in time, and where the easy access to and unlimited export of unemployment benefits from and to a foreign country form a serious threat to the financial and social support of our Social Security,” the N-VA says.

Difficult to verify

The fear about social security tourism is a real one. “Then you get the situation where a person comes here to work for a single month, makes a claim to a Belgian benefit, leaves, and then retains that Belgian benefit for ever. The VDAB The Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding (VDAB, Flemish Public Employment and Professional Training Service) is a Flemish public service that coordinates supply and demand in the employment market, with its main task consisting of serving as an intermediary for job seekers and providing them with support in getting back to work. Since the State reform in 1989, job placement has been a competence of the Regions and job training a competence of the Communities. The VDAB’s counterpart in Wallonia is Forem, and Actiris in Brussels. VDAB , the Flemish employment office, will only be able to check them with great difficulty or even not at all. After all, it is the task of the member state of origin to follow up the unemployed person, as a result of which we cannot guarantee the duties that go hand in hand with the rights,” the N-VA concludes.

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