New rules re-integration track 2.0
On 20 September 2022, the Royal Decree on the so-called “re-integration track 2.0” was published in the Belgian Official Gazette. Most of the rules take effect from 1 October 2022 and apply to ongoing re-integration tracks.
This is the first set of new rules you should consider in your policy regarding disabled employees.
The Act containing various provisions on incapacity for work, with medical force majeure and the abolition of the sick note as key aspects, has not yet been adopted. We are following this up for you.
Below, you will find a brief summary of the main changes of the re-integration track 2.0 (RIT).
1 KEY ASPECTS
The renewed re-integration track aims at an effective re-integration with the own employer.
The new aspects of the RIT 2.0 are the following:
- The RIT can be initiated
- at the request of the employee (or the employee’s treating doctor) from the 1st day of incapacity for work; or
- at the request of the employer after 3 months of uninterrupted incapacity for work (or with proof of permanent incapacity).
- If the employee fails to respond to the invitation 3 times (with at least 14 calendar days in between) of the prevention advisor - company doctor (PA-CD) for the purpose of the re-integration assessment, the RIT will be ended and the advising doctor and the employer will be informed accordingly.
- The re-integration assessment must be submitted by the PA-CD no later than 49 calendar days after receiving the request.
- The PA-CD can take three possible decisions:
- Decision A: the employee is temporarily unable to perform the agreed work and adapted or other work is possible;
- Decision B: the employee is permanently unable to perform the agreed work and adapted or other work is possible;
- Decision C: it is not possible to make a re-integration assessment for medical reasons (for the time being). In this case, the RIT is terminated and can in principle be restarted at the earliest 3 months after this decision.
- The employer provides the re-integration plan to the employee within a maximum of 63 calendar days or 6 months after the re-integration assessment, depending on whether it concerns a decision A or B.
- The report in which the employer motivates the decision not to draw up a re-integration plan shall, the case at hand, take into account the right to reasonable adjustments for persons with disabilities.
- The employee has 14 calendar days (starting from the day following the receipt of the re-integration plan) to agree or not with the proposed re-integration plan.
- The appeal period is 21 days, with no possibility of extension.
- The appeal must be addressed within 42 calendar days.
- Every year, the employer provides the health and safety committee with the aggregated and anonymized elements of the re-integration plans and of the motivated reports. He shall ensure that individual workers cannot be identified. This information then serves to adapt and improve the collective re-integration policy and the general well-being policy.
The scheme below provides a comparative overview of the main provisions from the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ RIT.