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Addressing labour market challenges in Belgium

Job creation has lowered unemployment, but the Belgian labour market still faces many challenges. Employment rates remain low, reflecting barriers to finding a job such as low levels of skills and weak work incentives. In addition, the changing nature of work will require faster adaptation of workers. In order to address these challenges, this chapter presents a detailed analysis of policy priorities, drawing notably on insights from the OECD Jobs Strategy. One priority should be that each worker has access to lifelong training, with additional allowances targeted to disadvantaged workers. To improve transitions into work, the use of tools for the profiling of individualised risks should be extended. A better combination of income support and incentives could be achieved through reforming both unemployment and in-work benefits. Reforming some aspects of employment protection legislation, such as those related to collective dismissals, and the wage formation system, would boost flexibility. This Working Paper relates to the 2020 OECD Economic Survey of Belgium http://www.oecd.org/economy/belgium-economic-snapshot/.

Published on March 20, 2020Also available in: French