Getting IDESS approval – Employment-development initiatives in the local social-services sector

Summary

An IDESS is an approved structure that offers local services (small DIY jobs, gardening) and services intended for at-risk individuals (social taxi, laundry and retail services) to individuals living in Wallonia, or non-profits that have their registered office in Wallonia.

Some IDESS may also offer cleaning services for the premises of small non-profits.

IDESS satisfy the needs of individuals as they pertain to minor tasks that are too small to be carried out by professionals from the private sector.

Key points

For more information about the target audience of recipients, visit the Social economy department’s website: http://economie.wallonie.be/Dvlp_Economique/Economie_sociale/IDESS.html

Note:

The IDESS provision has been amended by the Decree of 17 July 2018 (change from the legal framework of “de minimis SIEG” to the “SIEG decision”).

Henceforth, subsidies that are granted in the context of the IDESS provision are supported by the “SIEG decision” (2012/21/EU: Commission Decision of 20 December 2011 on the application of Article 106(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to State aid in the form of public service compensation granted to certain undertakings entrusted with the operation of services of general economic interest, J.O.U.E. of 11 January 2012, L 7/3).

A new calculation method was validated by Minister Jeholet on 23 August 2019.

This calculation method will apply starting with the 2018–2019 balance.

In detail

Target audience – details

Non-profits, companies with a public-service vocation or public social-welfare centres

Benefits

An approved IDESS can benefit from two types of subsidies:

  1. a subsidy that is intended to partially cover operating costs;
  2. a subsidy that is intended to partially cover the remuneration of SINE employees (reintegration of unemployed individuals who are very difficult to place in the social-integration economy), or those who have been hired under Article 61 of the Organic Law of 8 July 1976 regarding Public social-welfare centres.

Aid may also be granted in the form of APE (employment-promotion aid) points, with a maximum of 24 additional points per IDESS.

More specifically

1) The IDESS is granted an annual subsidy to cover its operating costs, provided that it employs at least two FTE employees. This amounts to €1,000.00 per employed worker with “SINE” status, in accordance with “Art. 60, Section 7” or “Art. 61”.

An €11,000.00 subsidy may be granted when three criteria are satisfied:

  • the IDESS employs three FTE employees with SINE status, in accordance with Article 60 or Article 61 of the Organic Law of 8 July 1976 regarding Public social-welfare centres;
  • this subsidy is dedicated to the purchase of vehicles that are adapted for use by the elderly (Article 3, Section 1, Paragraph 5 of the Decree from the Walloon Government) or individuals with reduced mobility, or the adaptation of existing vehicles;
  • this subsidy has not been received previously.

2) An annual subsidy of €13,000.00 per “SINE” or “Article 61” worker employed by the IDESS as a FTE.

3) An additional subsidy of €1,000.00 per worker who provides services to “at-risk” individuals (see above).

4) The IDESS can also benefit from assistance in the form of APE points, which are intended to improve the management or workers.

  • 4 points for employing a job-seeker on a part-time basis, if it commits to employing 2 additional FTE employees within three months of the application;
  • 7 points for employing a job-seeker on a full-time basis, if it commits to employing 3 additional FTE employees within three months of the application;
  • 11 points for employing two job-seekers (one on a full-time basis and one on a part-time basis), if it commits to employing 5 additional FTE employees within three months of the application;
  • 14 points for employing two job-seekers on a full-time basis, if it commits to employing 8 additional FTE employees within three months of the application;
  • 18 points for employing three job-seekers on a full-time basis, if it commits to employing 10 additional FTE employees within three months of the application;
  • 21 points for employing three job-seekers on a full-time basis, if it commits to employing 13 additional FTE employees within three months of the application;
  • 24 points for employing three job-seekers on a full-time basis, if it commits to employing 15 additional FTE employees within three months of the application.

The employed workers must be in addition to the benchmark workforce of the IDESS.

Procedure

The first approval is granted for a period of two years and covers one or more business sectors.

This approval is subsequently renewed for increments of four years.

The approval is never granted for an indefinite period.

There are no fees associated with this procedure.

The only language that can be used for this process is French.

Organisations requesting approval as an IDESS apply to the administration by means of an application form for approval and subsidisation, which they complete as an IDESS.

The administration confirms receipt of the application within 15 days and, where necessary, requests any missing or incomplete documents or information.

Once the file is complete, it is sent to the approval and monitoring committee for social economy companies within 30 days. This committee may request additional supporting documents. It issues its opinion within 30 days.

Failing this, the opinion is no longer required. The opinion notably concerns the number of employees that must be hired.

The administration sends a proposed decision to the Minister within 15 days of receiving the opinion from the Committee; in the absence on an opinion, it sends the proposed decision within 45 days of the application for an opinion.

The Minister or their representative makes a decision within 30 days. The decision specifies the number of employees that must be hired. A notification of this decision is issued within 15 days of its receipt by the administration.

The application to renew the approval is made between eight months (240 days) and four months (120 days) before the current approval expires. Only amendments to the initial file must be communicated to the administration.

The approval may be suspended or withdrawn if the IDESS no longer satisfies the approval criteria. An appeal may be filed for this decision.

Communication generally takes place via email. For sworn statements and claim declarations: send an original copy, which has been hand-signed by a manager of the organisation, by post.

Supporting documents for the subsidies must be sent electronically (summary tables), with the company keeping the original invoices and documents for potential auditing, if necessary, by the inspectorate or administration. An original sworn statement, which is sent by post and hand-signed by a manager of the organisation, completes these supporting documents. Communication generally takes place via email. For sworn statements and claim declarations: send an original copy, which has been hand-signed by a manager of the organisation, by post.

In case of refusal, suspension or withdrawal of approval, the approved IDESS may send a justified appeal to the Committee within thirty days of receipt of the refusal, suspension or withdrawal decision, via registered letter or by any means that provides a definite sending or receipt date. The IDESS, or the individual acting on its behalf, may be heard by the Committee at its request. The Committee confirms receipt within fifteen days, investigates the appeal and submits a proposal opinion to the Minister within thirty days of receiving the appeal. If this deadline is not met, the opinion is no longer required. The Minister confirms or overturns its original decision within thirty days of receiving the opinion from the Committee; in the absence of an opinion from the Committee, it confirms or overturns its original decision within forty-five days of confirming receipt. The administration sends the decision to the complaining party within fifteen days of its receipt, via registered letter or by any means that provides a definite sending or receipt date, and informs the Committee of this by standard letter. 

Furthermore, any individual or legal entity, who believes that a Walloon administrative authority or the French Community of Belgium has not acted in accordance with their public-service obligations in relation to a case involving them, may submit an individual claim, in writing or in person, to the Ombudsmen of Wallonia and the French Community of Belgium.

Conditions

Which services are approved?

More specifically:

  • minor maintenance, repair and home-improvement works are too small to be of interest to a “traditional” company and could be carried out by a handyman with no special qualifications. This pertains to both the recipient's building and furnishings.
  • minor tasks to improve and maintain green areas, such as:
    1. grass cutting;
    2. hedge trimming;
    3. removal of weeds from around homes and courtyards;
    4. digging of gardens and vegetable plots;
    5. chopping wood for heating purposes;
    6. collection and disposal of waste and/or leaves and branches;
    7. cleaning of graves;
    8. removal of snow and weeds from pavements.
  • social transport is transport intended for “at-risk” individuals with no car and who are not able to use public transport or taxis.
  • social laundry involves laundry services for "at-risk" individuals
  • social retail refers to shops for "at-risk” individuals (see below). These sell food products or necessities at prices that are at least 30% lower than those available in traditional retail establishments. Repair, recycling or reuse activities are also eligible, as they pertain to non-food and second-hand products.
  • cleaning of premises for the premises of small non-profits.

The tariffs applied to IDESS activities are regulated by the Decree from the Walloon Government.

To check the current tariffs, please consult the Social economy department’s website ("Indexing of IDESS tariffs” document).

Legal references

Contacts

Services

DGO6 – Social economy department
Place de la Wallonie, 1
5100 JAMBES
081/33.43.80 (Secrétariat)
Updated on
Process n° : 141668
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