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Unemployement benefits in Belgium or Netherlands possible?

Posted in Belgium forum

Hi everybody,

I have been employed by a Dutch company and lived in a rental house in Belgium till September 2015. At that date, I took a 6 months sabbatical leave from my company. To avoid having to pay the rent for an unoccupied house during the sabbatical, I left it and changed my residency address to my parent's place in France while I was traveling the world.

At the end of my sabbatical beginning of April 2016, I had a discussion with my Dutch company and they unfortunately did not have a job fitting my skills anymore. They will continue paying me till the end of May and I do not have obligation to go to work. I stayed living in France and concentrated in looking for a job in the neighborhood (this is what I would like) but did not find one yet.

Following the severance agreement with my company, I am entitled to get unemployment benefit. However, I understood that I won't get a single penny if I keep my residency address in France. I could normally get unemployment benefit if I change back my residency address to Belgium or the Netherlands. Really annoying knowing that I would like to find a job in France. But well, I need some finances and I may be ready to move back for a while and then export the benefit to France if I do not find a job in between.

My worry is about the possibility that the Belgian or Dutch unemployment agencies refuse to give me this allowance. Moving back to one of these countries just before my employment stops feels a bit like I am trying to milk abusively the system. Am I too paranoiac? What do you think?

  • Ina Wermelskirchen

    posted by  in Belgium forum 

    Hi Michael,

    the thing is what kind of working contract did you have? A Dutch one or Belgium one... and where have you worked: in Belgium or in the Netherlands.
    First you have figure out which legislation is the correct one and needs to be applied.
    If it was a Belgium contract, you should go to the Union, the Belgium working law is too complicated to answer your question. But if it was a Belgium contract you can't be fired .... or the company has to pay a fine which is much higher than you received. Have you signed anything? I hope not... otherwise it is getting much more difficult.... but it is not a hopeless situation.
    If you were employed at a Dutch company with a Dutch working contract and located in the Netherlands, then you need to check with the Dutch unions or a Dutch lawyer... to be honest the complete story sounds a bit weird and I would invest some time and money to get it sorted.
    Good luck!

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