You are here: Home / Working & doing business / Working / Out of work - career breaks / Losing your job

Losing your job

You must complete a number of formalities and observe certain rules when you lose or give up your job.
The loss of your job has major consequences – including social and financial ones – for every part of your daily life. You will also have to complete a number of formalities. There are a number of rules that need to be followed when you give up your job too.

What to do when you lose your job

You should immediately register as a jobseeker at Actiris, the Brussels employment office. That will protect your social security status and give you access to the services Actiris can provide to help you find a new job.

Formalities when you lose your job

An employer can notify you that you have lost your job orally, by registered letter or by huissier, an official who serves important documents. The notice term is agreed in the employment contract or calculated on the basis of the number of years you have worked for your employer.

  • If your employer wishes you to work the whole of your notice term, it must follow a special procedure, notifying you in writing, stating the length of the notice term and the dates on which it starts and ends.
  • If you are not required to go to work after being notified of the end of your employment you will receive severance pay equal to the wage you would have received if you had continued to work until the end of the notice term.

In any case, the employer must provide you with the following documents:

  • A C4 unemployment form stating the reason for the termination
  • A work certificate stating the start and end dates of the employment contract and the type of work
  • The detailed statement of final payments, the individual financial statement of the current year and tax form 281.10
  • A certificate of holidays stating the holiday days already taken and still to be taken

Outplacement, a right for employees aged 45 and over

Departing employees aged 45 and over are eligible for outplacement services which help them getting back into work.
The ONEM website provides information about outplacement (FR/NL).

Wrongful dismissal

Workers have some form of protection against wrongful dismissal. If you do not accept the reasons for your dismissal or feel the proper procedures have not been followed you can appeal the decision. If you win you will be entitled to compensation or severance pay.

If you want to claim wrongful dismissal it is always advisable to seek the services of a specialist. Contact a lawyer or your union.

  • CSC-ACV (Christian union)
    Phone: +32 (0)2 246 31 11
    Online: www.csc-en-ligne.be (FR/NL)
  • FGTB-ABVV (Socialist union)
    Phone: +32 (0)2 552 03 41
    Online: www.fgtb.be (FR/NL)
  • CGSLB-ACLVB (Liberal union)
    Phone: +32 (0)2 206 67 11
    Online: www.cgslb.be (FR/NL)

If you give up your job

If you leave your job voluntarily you have to observe the notice term laid down by law. This depends on your status and how long you have worked for your employer. You are not entitled to unemployment benefit if you leave your job voluntarily. However, you can register as a jobseeker at Actiris and make use of its services in your search for a new job.

Your former employer must provide all documents stated above, except the C4 form.

Who to contact