Disparities in maintenance obligations for divorced parents

Disparities in maintenance obligations for divorced parents

There remains a “grey area” in Belgium as to the amounts allocated for maintenance payments, for parents who have been through divorce proceedings. The regions say that payments for two children vary between 33 and 500 euros in Wallonia, and between 38 and 600 euros in Flanders. Researchers from the University of Antwerp (UAntwerpen), Elke Claessens and Dimitri Mortelmans, have reviewed the tax returns of nearly 2,500 divorced couples. Elke Claessens confirms that, “There are various systems in Belgium to determine the amount of maintenance payable.” She goes on, “The…

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Five dangerous worksites closed down daily in Belgium

Five dangerous worksites closed down daily in Belgium

Five construction sites were closed down per day in Belgium last year because of precarious working conditions, Het Nieuwsblad reported on Wednesday. The number, while stable, was worrying because the number of checks had decreased by a quarter, the daily said, adding that the construction industry itself was in favour of more checks. Quoting figures from the General Directorate for the Monitoring of Well-Being at Work, Het Nieuwsblad reported that 1,417 worksites were closed last year – between five and six per day. A few years ago, the figure had…

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Sugar-dating campaign CEO slams detractors

Sugar-dating campaign CEO slams detractors

As the Jury for Ethical Advertisement examined the publicity campaign of RichMeetBeautiful (RMB) on Tuesday, the company’s chief executive officer, Sigurd Vedal, again dismissed the criticism levelled against it. “The fact that we clearly specify in our conditions of use that all forms of prostitution and the sale/purchase of sexual services are formally prohibited was not at all taken into consideration when accusations were made against us,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday. The Norwegian has come under fire in Belgium for his promotional operation for a sugar-dating…

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Unemployment down to 9.1% in the euro zone in August

Unemployment down to 9.1% in the euro zone in August

Unemployment in the euro zone, adjusted for seasonal variations, was 9.1% in August 2017, down from 9.9% for the corresponding month of last year and its lowest rate since February 2009, the European Statistical Office, Eurostat, reported on Monday. The jobless rate in the 28 European Union (EU 28) countries went down from 7.7% in July 2017 to 7.6% in August 2017. This was the lowest rate in the EU since November 2008. In August 2017, 18.747 million men and women were without jobs in the EU28, 14.751 million of…

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Some 75% of Belgian employers have training budgets

Some 75% of Belgian employers have training budgets

Three out of every four Belgian employers say they have training budgets, the RH Acerta consultancy firm reports, based on a survey of 469 chief executive officers (CEOs) and managers of small, medium and large-scale companies. The March 2017 Law on Feasible and Manageable Work obliges Belgian companies to organize at least two days’ training per employee annually, Acerta recalls. The ultimate goal is to budget, on average, at least five days’ training per employee each year. “Last summer, when we asked CEOs which training sessions were planned for their…

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Corporation tax reform too little for American Chamber of Commerce

Corporation tax reform too little for American Chamber of Commerce

The corporation tax reform announced this summer by the Michel government does not go far enough. This is the view of the American Chamber of Commerce (“AmCham”) in Belgium. The nominal tax will go down to 25% by 2020, but according to the organisation, this is still above the European average. It states, “The ultimate objective should be to reach a uniform rate of 20% for all companies.” The federal government decided over the summer to reduce corporation tax. It is thus intended to go from 33.99% now to 29%…

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Belgium drops to 20th place in WEF competitiveness rankings

Belgium drops to 20th place in WEF competitiveness rankings

Belgium dropped to 20th place this year in the World Economic Forum (WEF) competitiveness rankings, according to the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report, published on the Tuesday night in Geneva. This is three slots down from 2016 and the country’s lowest ranking in at least five years. According to the report, Belgium’s competitiveness is hampered, in particular, by its fiscal policy, labour legislation – considered restrictive – and a public administration that lacks effectiveness. On the other hand, the country obtained its best marks in health care, education, training and technological…

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Unemployed going self-employed will benefit from €4,000 subsidy

Unemployed going self-employed will benefit from €4,000 subsidy

From this coming January, Brussels jobseekers going self-employed will be able to benefit from a subsidy of €4,000. This is reported in L’Echo on Wednesday. The proposal comes from the Minister for Economy and Employment, Didier Gosuin (DéFI). He asserts that “with this subsidy, jobseekers will be able to start up new businesses, without fearing financial difficulty.” He explains, “Under the system, we will give them an extra six months to break even.” The minister further states that this form of assistance will “target a particular section of the public…

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Brussels, Watermael-Boitsfort ban sugar dating campaign

Brussels, Watermael-Boitsfort ban sugar dating campaign

Adverts for the Rich meet Beautiful (RmB) dating site encouraging female students to link up with wealthy men looking for company in exchange for favours will be banned in the city of Brussels and the commune of Watermael-Boitsfort. “The city of Brussels will prohibit these adverts because the mayor evidently cannot tolerate them, “explained Maïté Van Rampelbergh, spokesperson of mayor Philippe Close. “No authorization has been requested for circulating such a message on campus. That’s why we are going to order the police to prevent this campaign.” In Watermael-Boitsfort, a…

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European Commission reflects on predictability of flexible jobs

European Commission reflects on predictability of flexible jobs

The European Commission is working to revise its Written Statement Directive, which gives workers starting out on new jobs the right to be informed in writing on key aspects of their employment. It is also thinking of injecting “a dose of predictability” for those doing flexible jobs. The European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Marianne Thyssen of Belgium, said on Monday that she aimed to have the new directive on the table by the end of this year. She said she would first consult the social partners, but…

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