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The corona crisis: end of the aftercare phase

Publications | Employment Law Team

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On 11 May 2022 the Covid 19 "aftercare phase" came to an end in Belgium. This is also the end of the obligation for companies to apply the specific measures of the vigilance phase of the "Generic Guide to Working Safely in the Event of an Epidemic or Pandemic" and additional sector guides.

The Generic Guide was developed in close cooperation between the social partners of the High Council for Prevention and Protection at Work, experts from the Federal Public Service of Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue and the Minister of Labour. The most recent version dates from 7 March 2022.

The Generic Guide is intended as an instrument to provide companies with tools to enable them to react adequately when the competent authority declares an epidemic emergency because there is a serious threat to society.

The guide distinguishes three phases in dealing with epidemics: (i) the vigilance phase (containing measures to control the spread of an infectious agent in the company, (ii) the intervention phase (containing measures to control an outbreak or threat of an outbreak and/or to limit the spread of an infectious agent, and (iii) the critical phase (containing measures to contain a (widespread) epidemic or a pandemic and/or to avoid a (total or partial) lockdown or closure of the company(ies)).

Even though no longer mandatory today, the Generic Guide will undoubtedly remain an important tool for companies in dealing with epidemics and pandemics.