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Belgium – Outplacement too complex, says staffing association

20 September 2012

Outplacement in Belgium should be used more effectively in the labour market, according to the association of Belgian staffing firms, Federgon. Following a large-scale survey, the organisation said that the current system is too complex and inflexible.

For a few years the country has had an outplacement and employment scheme in place. This offers training and helps workers find new jobs after they have been made redundant or are likely to lose their jobs. The process, which is paid for by the employer, ties in several parties, including staffing firms, the employer, a representative of the employee, and a so-called outplacement office.

However, the scheme has been restricted to certain groups of employers and employees, and is little known to the general public.

“Outplacement has long been regarded as a privileged instrument for executives. With the introduction of the new legislation and new regulations on outplacement in case of a dismissal, this instrument has gradually evolved in recent years,” said Herwig Muyldermans, CEO of Federgon.

“In 2010, some 17,749 Belgians have used the outplacement scheme. Given the growing importance of outplacement, Federgon advocates to use this [scheme] as efficiently as possible. During the crisis, outplacement was a valuable solution to accompany laid-off workers to new opportunities.”

The survey found that outplacement has become an important tool in helping people find new work. After having received training, two out of three candidates found a job. The majority of those surveyed were also satisfied with the scheme, helping to give it a positive perception overall.

But the general public is not aware of outplacement as only four out of ten knew about the scheme before they participated in. 

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