The new art work certificate: what do we know now?

Twenty years ago, the status of artist was introduced in Flanders: an adaptation of the rules of social security that was focused on artists. Currently, a thorough reform is on the table: the so-called art work certificate. The change comes in consultation with the participation platform Working in the Arts.

What will change?

A notable reform is that the attestation does not only apply to artists, but that it speaks more broadly of “art workers”: anyone who supports artists artistically or technically can also qualify.

Moreover, the focus for the calculation of a replacement income is less on justifying how much and when you have worked in the arts, but on how much you contribute in general over a period of several years.

The certificate will be valid for five years and can be applied for by submitting a dossier to a new arts commission.


The reform was ratified by the Council of Ministers at the beginning of May. The National Labour Council published its advice on 16 June 2021. The Council of State issued this advice on 10 June 2021. That was also the date when opinions of the technical working group Working in the Arts were expected.

On 20 July 2021, the federal government approved the second reading of the texts. They will be discussed in the relevant chamber committees after the summer. Once the proposal is finally adopted, it will be published in the Belgian Official Journal.

Currently, it is envisaged that the new unemployment benefit rules would take effect on 1 October 2022. There would also be transitional measures for those who comply with the existing rules. By 1 January 2024 at the latest, the art work commission would start and there would be a digital platform for the new applications.