Sunday morning 1 November saw the publication of the Ministerial Decree containing the renewed urgent measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. What is important for our enterprises in the technology sector?
On Friday evening, 30 October, the federal government and the regional governments had already decided, in the Consultative Committee, to proceed with a stricter lockdown in order to fight the increasing pressure on our hospitals and the increasing number of infections.
You can read the official announcement of these measures via the links (in French) below:
In a visual (in French), the government also summarized the general measures. The new measures will apply from Monday 2 November and will apply at least until Sunday 13 December.
What impact on technology companies?
In this article we limit ourselves to a description of the measures that have an impact on our companies in the technology industry. Important is that these companies are allowed to remain fully operational.
Nevertheless, for them too, it is a matter of continuously adapting to reality and to the new measures. The extension of school holidays (childcare) and the increased number of absences due to COVID-19 (quarantine, illness) will make it more difficult to organise work.
In addition, from now on, teleworking will not be the rule but an obligation for all companies at all times, unless this is impossible due to the nature of the job or the continuity of operations, activities or services.
The new Ministerial Decree no longer provides for the possibility of organising moments of return.
Also new is that a company will have to provide staff members who are unable to telework with a certificate or any other proof confirming the need for their presence at the workplace.
If teleworking cannot be applied, the employer needs to take all necessary measures for social distancing and prevention as described in the "Generic Guide to counteract the spread of COVID-19 at work” and complemented by any additional measures on the sectoral or enterprise level. This Generic Guide was updated on 30 October (click here for the press release, in French). In terms of content, the updated guide focuses more on business continuity than on restarting after a lockdown, which was its original focus. Among other things, the importance of training, the correct use of mouth masks and the attention paid to vulnerable workers are discussed in more detail. In the next few days, Agoria will elaborate on all new elements of the guide.
Remarkable: Friday evening it was communicated that "wherever teleworking is not possible, mouth masks and ventilation are compulsory" and that "company canteens must also close". These additional measures are not included in the Ministerial Decree. It is the provisions of the Ministerial Decree that must be complied with as a minimum.
Click here (662,6 kB) the full text of the Ministerial Decree (in Dutch and French).
The links below will help you to optimally protect your company, your employees and yourself:
- HR Guidelines Telework (French)
- Covid Industry Risk Scan (French)
- Coronalert app
- Talent exchange platform (French)
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
For further information, you can always contact the "first points of contact" in your region: