How is the required number of working days for unemployment benefit calculated?
36 months prior to application
Days you have worked as a self-employed person or via the small expense compensation system are not eligible.
Calculation method for full-time work
Continuous full-time employment for a complete quarter counts as 78 working days.
Were you employed on a full-time but discontinuous basis during a quarter? Then the number of working days is obtained by multiplying the number of days worked in that quarter by 6 and dividing by the average weekly number of working days.
Example:an employee works in a system of 5 days a week for one month. The number of working days = (20 x 6): 5 = 24 working days.
Calculation method for part-time work
Were you employed part-time? Then the number of working days is obtained by multiplying the number of hours worked in a quarter by 6 and dividing by the average weekly working time for full-time employment in a similar job. The number of working days may not on average exceed 78 each quarter.
Example:an employee works 19 hours a week for one month. He has worked a total of 76 hours (19 x 4). Full-time employment is 38 hours a week. The number of working days = (76 x 6). 38 = 12.
Special scheme for artists: cachet rule
A special rule, also known as the ‘cachet rule’, applies to performing artists (music and show business sector). The cachet rule is applied to performing artists who are paid per service with a job wage. The NEO derives this from the NSSO return. You must be entered in the return under employee code 46 and
the payment method must indicate ‘paid per service or per assignment’. If you are paid monthly, the NEO does not apply the cachet rule. When applying this rule, the NEO bases itself on the gross pay to calculated the required number of working days. The number of working days is equal to the result of dividing the gross pay received by the reference pay for artists (EUR 38.44 a day). The number of days is not limited to 78 a quarter.
Example:the artist receives a job wage of EUR 250 gross for a performance. 250 / 38.44 gives 6.5 working days. Therefore: even though the artist is only taken on as an employee for the day of the performance, nevertheless the service will count for 6.5 working days.
Practical application: according to the above rules, a 30-year-old performing artist who is paid with a job wage must be able to demonstrate 312 working days in an 18-month reference period in order to be entitled to unemployment benefit. The performing artist who has earned a job wage of EUR 11.993,28 gross in the 18 months preceding his application for unemployment benefit is therefore entitled to unemployment benefit in application of the cachet rule. EUR 11.993,28 gross in the previous 18 months / 38,44 = 312 working days.
Some NEO centres also apply the cachet rule to creative artists (writers, visual artists, composers, etc.). Specifically, they also often work under the same conditions as performing artists (short and irregular contracts, in return for payment of a job wage). The artist is therefore best off enquiring at his NEO centre.
Last edit on 23 March 2012Source: www.kunstenloket.be