16 April 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgian companies are being offered a government cash handout for keeping employees over the age of 55, in a move designed to head off the economic burden of the country’s rapidly ageing population.
Belgian Employment Minister Frank Vandenbroucke and Secretary of State for the Organisation and Well-Being of Labour, Katleen Van Brempt, said the Professional Experience Fund will particularly target small and medium-sized companies.
With a budget for 2004 of EUR 5 million, the scheme hopes to convince employers and employees alike of the benefits of continuing to work beyond the minimum retirement age, the Belgian daily Metro reported.
Under the scheme, companies will be offered between EUR 4,000 and EUR 20,000, depending on the size of the company and the particular professional circumstances, such as the teaching of new skills.
Vandenbroucke said people in regulat employment in Belgium are currently on average younger than in most other European countries, adding that by 2010 some 40 percent of the European population will be aged between 45 and 65 years.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news