Abroad, Covid-19 News|14/12/21

BELGIUM: extension of the recognition of Covid-19 as occupational disease

Home > The news of EUROGIP and occupational risks in Europe > BELGIUM: extension of the recognition of Covid-19 as occupational disease

If at least 5 people are victims of Covid-19 as a result of contamination in the same work area, they may be compensated for occupational disease. This follows a decision by the Council of Ministers on Friday 3 December.

Only workers in the private sector or in a municipal or provincial administration are eligible for compensation. Indeed, Fedris is only competent for these categories of insured persons. The benefit for occupational disease aims at compensating the damage suffered and is particularly interesting for workers who have suffered a loss of salary or who wish to be reimbursed for certain medical care (hospitalisation costs, examination by a specialist doctor, etc.).

To obtain compensation, several conditions must be met:

  • at least 5 people must have been infected by the virus in the same workplace over a period of 14 days and these people must have shared the same workspace;
  • not all of these 5 people need to be workers, but they can be customers or suppliers;
  • the working conditions must have facilitated the transmission of the virus (e.g. difficulty in respecting social distancing);
  • there must be an epidemiological link between these 5 contaminations, i.e. the contaminated persons must have crossed paths.

Compensation can be claimed retroactively to the ministerial decision on condition that a positive test was carried out after 17 May 2020. The measure is valid until 31 December 2021, but the government can extend it. To apply for reimbursement, the worker must contact his or her occupational physician. The worker must then provide Fedris with a laboratory test proving the SARS-CoV-2 contamination and two forms: one administrative form filled in by the worker, the other medical form filled in by his occupational physician or any other physician.

This new measure does not apply to healthcare workers, for whom Covid-19 has long been recognized as an occupational disease, given the significantly higher risk of infection.

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