Last updated more than 5 years ago
As part of the fight against the spread of Covid-19, certain time limits concerning the procedure for external or internal redeployment have been suspended or increased.
Professional redeployment applies to businesses who employ a worker who has become unable to continue his/her usual work for reasons of health, disability or wear and tear of the body, without benefiting from the disability scheme.
The objective of redeployment is to facilitate the professional reintegration of workers in the company or on the job market after a period of incapacity for work.
The salaried worker can:
- either be redeployed to another position within the company (or public administration) or benefit from adjustments to his/her workstation or to the work hours;
- or benefit from another work scheme which is adapted to his/her residual work capacities.
The redeployment decision is authorised by the joint committee (Commission mixte), composed of:
- the insured person's representatives at work;
- the employer representatives;
- the staff of the department for workers with reduced working capacity (service des salariés à capacité de travail réduite) at the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi - ADEM);
- and the delegates from the National Health Directorate.
Who is concernedThis applies to all businesses who employ a worker who:
- is either unable to continue work in his/her last position following a prolonged illness, a disability or wear and tear of the body but has not been granted the disability status by the Social Security Medical Board (Contrôle médical de la sécurité sociale - CMSS).
The worker who has been employed in a position for less than 3 years must, in order to benefit from professional redeployment, hold a certificate of capacity which must have been established by the occupational health practitioner when the worker was hired for said position. Businesses are therefore required to strictly comply with the medical examinations prior to an employment;
- or he/she fills a hazardous job and, without having the disabled status, is declared unfit for the position by the competent occupational health practitioner.
Salaried workers must have at least 10 years of length of service in the company.
Cross-border workers are treated in the same way as resident workers within the framework of a professional redeployment measure.
How to proceed
Salaried workers with an inability to continue work in their last position
After a prolonged period of incapacity for work, the Social Security Medical Board (CMSS) evaluates the concerned worker's health status in order to guide him/her towards the most appropriate care system.
If the worker's incapacity to continue work in his/her last position is established, the CMSS, in accordance with the insured worker, refers the case to the joint committee and the occupational health practitioner and informs the employer hereof.
Salaried workers with hazardous jobs
If a salaried worker with a hazardous job is declared unfit for the position, the occupational health practitioner refers the case to the joint committee if the worker has at least 10 years of length of service and the company employs at least 25 workers.
If the business employs less than 25 workers, the occupational health practitioner must first obtain the worker's and the employer's approval.
The occupational health practitioner's opinion
Following the referral to the joint committee, the occupational health practitioner summons the worker to a medical examination.
The occupational health practitioner gives an opinion on:
- the worker's residual work capacities;
- a possible reduction of work hours or a decrease in the requested work output;
- a possible adjustment or change of the workplace;
- the transitional or final character of the incapacity for work;
- the periodicity of reassessments of the worker's medical condition.
Decision following the medical examination
There are several possible scenarios:
- either the occupational health practitioner decides that the worker is unable to continue work in his/her last position. The case is referered to the joint committee who decides on the internal or external redeployment;
- or the occupational health practitioner decides that the worker is unfit for the current work position and returns the case to the joint committee who refuses the professional redeployment.
This decision puts an end to the sickness benefits or to the financial accident insurance allowance beginning on the date where the worker was summoned to the medical examination by the occupational health practitioner;
- or the occupational health practitioner decides that the worker is fit to continue work as usual. The practitioner refers the case to the joint committee who then decides to refuse professional redeployment.
This decision puts an end to the sickness benefits or to the financial accident insurance allowance beginning on the date where the worker was summoned to the medical examination at the occupational health practitioner;
- or the worker does not show for the medical examination by the occupational health practitioner within the deadline and without valid motive. The occupational health practitioner informs the joint committee and the CMSS hereof. The joint committee subsequently decides to refuse professional redeployment.
This decision puts an end to the sickness benefits or to the financial accident insurance allowance beginning on the date where the worker was summoned to the medical examination by the occupational health practitioner.
Internal redeployment consists in the reintegration of the worker in the company (or public administration):
- either in another work position;
- or under another work scheme which is adjusted to the worker's residual work capacities.
Characteristics of internal redeployment
Internal redeployment is compulsory for businesses who employ at least 25 workers on the day of the referral of the case to the joint committee. For businesses with multiple establishments, the redeployment requirement applies to each establishment individually.
If the worker has a hazardous job, in addition to the 25 staff requirement, he/she must have a length of service of 10 years at least.
Within the framework of internal redeployment, the worker's capacity to fill the new work position must be duly established by the competent occupational health practitioner. In order to do so, the employer must send the following documents to the occupational health practitioner:
- the employer's application stating the worker's tasks and/or adjustments to the working conditions;
- a copy of the decision by the joint committee.
The occupational health practitioner will then decide if a medical check is required to draw up the medical fitness certificate. The certificate attests that the employer has satisfied his obligations with respect to the redeployment.
Reduction of work hours
Professional internal redeployment can include a reduction in work hours upon decision by the occupational health practitioner. This reduction cannot be more than half of the work hours stated in the employment contract in force before the first decision for professional redeployment.
The joint committee may, upon reasoned request from the worker or his/her employer, decide to grant a reduction of the work hours of up to 75 % of the initial work hours.
Decision by the joint committee
The joint committee can prescribe rehabilitation or retraining measures. The worker concerned must follow these measures on pain of losing the status "person in professional redeployment" (personne en reclassement professionnel) upon decision by the joint committee.
The decision taken by the joint committee can be appealed against before the Council of Arbitration of Social Security (Conseil arbitral de la sécurité sociale) within a 40-day deadline from the notification of the decision.
In the event of the worker's appeal against the decision of internal professional redeployment, the employment contract is suspended until the day where the appeal has given rise to a final decision.
Refusal by the employer to implement internal professional redeployment
The joint committee can grant an exemption to employers who submit a motivated file providing proof that the redeployment will cause a severe prejudice to the company.
Businesses who refuse to implement the internal professional redeployment decided by the joint committee are required to pay the Employment fund (Fonds pour l'emploi) a compensation tax. The amount of tax is equal to the monthly average income subject to pension insurance payments which the business carried out within the 12 calendar months prior to the internal redeployment decision. The business must pay the compensation tax for a maximum duration of 24 months.
In the event of a disagreement on the payment order for the compensation tax, the business has 15 days to submit a written and motivated objection by registered mail to the joint committee.
The joint committee will in this case take a new decision which will be notified by registered letter to the business.
This new decision may be subject to an appeal before the Council of Arbitration of Social Security within 40 days from its notification.
Payment of the tax does not put an end to the employment contract.
The worker can, in case of the business's refusal to proceed with an internal redeployment, apply to the joint committee for an external redeployment.
Protection against dismissal
The worker benefits from special protection against dismissal except in the case of serious misconduct. The protection starts from the referral of the case to the joint committee until the expiration of the 12th month following the notification to the employer of the decision for a compulsory internal professional redeployment.
This is why, in the event of dismissal during this period, the salaried worker has 15 days to request the labour tribunal to declare the invalidity of the dismissal and to order the worker's reintegration or retention.
After the 12-month deadline, dismissal with notice becomes possible again.
Also, the protection does not apply in the case of automatic termination of the employment contract.
Workers under an internal professional redeployment measure, who lose their job because of the cessation of activity of their employer or following a collective redundancy measure, are entitled to refer their case to the joint committee within 20 days after the end of their employment contract in order to benefit from an external professional redeployment measure.
Participation in the payment of the salary of workers in an internal redeployment measure
Businesses who redeploy a worker internally can apply for participation in the payment of the worker's salary to ADEM's department for workers with reduced working capacity.
The amount of the participation is fixed in accordance with the decrease in production output of the worker due to the decrease in his/her capacity to work and the business's effort to continue employing the worker. The loss of output is assessed upon request from ADEM by the occupational health practitioner who will evaluate the work position.
- can be periodically reviewed by ADEM's director;
- can be limited in time and may not exceed 75 % of the salary paid to the worker, including the employer's share of social security contributions;
- can go up to 100 % during rehabilitation or retraining measures decided by the joint committee;
- cannot exceed an amount equivalent to 5 times the monthly social minimum wage for unskilled workers: this limit is reduced in proportion to the effective number of work hours decided on after the redeployment measure has become effective.
Overtime pay, allowances for incidental expenses as well as premiums or bonuses are excluded from participation.
Participation in costs for the adaptation of the workplace
The full or partial coverage of the costs for the adaptation of the workplace and access to work measures may be granted to the business upon decision by ADEM's director. The application has to be submitted to ADEM's department for workers with reduced working capacity together with a price offer for the planned expenses.
The tax relief on income for the employment of unemployed persons can also be applied for if the business has undertaken an internal redeployment of a worker.
External professional redeployment consists in the reintegration of the worker on the job market if internal redeployment is not possible or if the business employs less than 25 workers.
This means that when the joint committee proceeds with an external professional redeployment on the job market, the employment contract between the business and the worker is terminated.
Characteristics of external redeployment
The worker concerned is automatically registered as a job seeker with the department for workers with reduced working capacity at the National Employment Agency (ADEM) on the day of the notification of the decision by the joint committee.