When an employee is dismissed with notice, they have the right to request leave to find a new job during their notice period.
This is added to the legal annual leave of the employee. The job search leave is paid by the employer.
Who is concerned
The employer may only refuse job search leave if urgent and pressing business matters require the employee's presence at work.
In order to be entitled to job search leave, the employee must:
- finish their notice period in full or in part. As a matter of fact, if the employee has been granted an exemption from work during the notice period, it will be considered that they already have enough time for their job search;
- register with the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi - ADEM) as a jobseeker (or with the competent authority in the country of residence in the case of cross-border employees ).
Unless specifically authorised by the employer, the time granted for job search leave cannot be used for registering with the employment agency.
How to proceed
Amount of job search leave
The duration of job search leave may not exceed 6 working days.
Job search leave must be taken during the notice period. It cannot be taken at the end of the notice period in order to extend the duration of the notice period.
It cannot be taken all at once: job search leave must be taken by the hour, half day or full day, depending on how job interviews have been scheduled.
Job search leave particularities
In order to not disrupt the smooth operation of the business where they still work, employees must first request job search leave before they can attend a job interview.
Employers may in principle only turn down a job search leave if urgent and pressing business matters require the employee's presence at work.
Upon the employer's request, employees must provide proof that they have indeed attended a job interview by:
- completing the pre-filled form provided on request by the National Employment Agency (ADEM) and signed by the interviewer after the job interview; or
- by presenting any other document provided by the interviewer with whom the employee had a job interview.
Job search leave is valid for job offers presented by the National Employment Agency (ADEM) and also for job offers as a result of the employee's initiative.
During job search leave, the employer must continue to pay their employee as usual.