Short Leave for Vaccination

Back to All Thought Leadership

The Belgian Federal Parliament has approved the Act providing for a right to a short leave for workers in order to receive a vaccine against the coronavirus COVID-19. The act is expected to be published in the Official Gazette soon and enters into force on the day of its publication. It will cease to apply on 31 December 2021 (unless if the Government decides to prolong it until 30 June 2022).

The Act grants employees the right to be absent from work, with retention of their normal pay, in order to receive a vaccine for protection against the coronavirus COVID-19. The employee has this right for the time necessary for the vaccination.

In order to be entitled to the retention of the wage, the employee must inform the employer in advance and as soon as possible from the time or time slot of the vaccination is known to him. The employee can only use this leave for the purpose for which it is permitted (i.e. going to the vaccination centre, getting the vaccine and returning).

At the request of the employer, the employee must provide proof of this. The submission of the confirmation of the timeslot to be present at a vaccination centre is to be is considered sufficient proof. If this confirmation does not state the exact time or location of the vaccination, the employee can use the invitation to vaccinate as a proof.

The employer may only use the information that he obtains in this way with a view to organisation of work and to ensure correct payroll administration. Because of the importance of the protection of the personal data of the employees, the employer is not allowed to make a copy of the take a copy of the confirmation of appointment or the information it contains in any form whatsoever, with the exception of the time of the vaccination. The employer an only register the absence as “short leave” (kort verlet/chomage temporaire) without stating the reasons for it.

This short leave is seen as the same type of leave as is regulated by Article 30 of the Employment Contracts Act. The same principles and rules apply.

In case the employee becomes ill because of/after the vaccination,  this is not covered by this short leave for the vaccination, but the normal rules for absence due to illness should be applied.

The Act applies to all employees and employers connected by an employment contract. For (federal) civil cervants, Circular No 693. – Guidelines for staff of the Federal Administrative Office on the granting of service exemptions for coronavirus vaccination (COVID-19) and service exemptions for volunteers at the vaccination centres is applicable (Published on 9 March in the Official Gazette), see the pdf below.

Sign In

[login_form] Lost Password