Last month, we discussed the new Act holding various provisions with respect to the posting of drivers in the road transport sector (hereafter: the Act), which entered into force on 11 July 2022.
Although, as its title suggests, the Act mainly focuses on posting in the road transport sector, it also brings about some changes regarding the posting of workers to Belgium in general. More specifically, it concerns stricter rules regarding the content of the employment agreement of the posted worker that can be requested by the inspectorate services and the increase in sanction level if no liaison officer (‘verbindingspersoon’/’personne de liaison’) was appointed. These more stringent rules are also applicable as of 11 July 2022.
Content of the employment agreement
When confronted with an inspection, an employer posting workers to Belgium must be able to provide the inspector with specific information regarding the posting. Among other items, this includes a copy of the employment agreement of the posted worker, or a similar document that contains detailed information about the employment relation. Up until recently, the minimum content requirements of such employment agreement or similar document were not specified. The Act now clarifies what information those documents should at least contain:
- the identity of the parties;
- the statutory seat of the employer;
- a description of the work that will be performed by the employee;
- the start date and – if applicable – the duration or end date of the employment;
- the starting salary and other components of the employee’s remuneration;
- the method and frequency of the payment of the salary;
- duration of the normal daily or weekly working time;
Note that this only applies to posting of workers to Belgium in general and is not applicable in case of posting of drivers in the road transport industry, for which a specific set of rules is in place. For more information on this topic, we refer to our above-mentioned newsletter.
Absence of a liaison officer
When posting a worker to Belgium, the foreign employer should appoint a liaison officer who acts as a first point of contact for the inspectorate services in case they need information or documents related to the posting.
In order to bring the sanction for non compliance with this obligation in line with the other posting-related sanctions, the Act increases the sanction level in this respect from 2 to 4. This means either imprisonment of 6 months up to 3 years and/or a criminal fine of EUR 600 to EUR 6,000 or an administrative fine of EUR 300 to EUR 3,000. These amounts (both criminal and administrative) have to be multiplied by 8 to account for the applicable surcharges; the so-called ‘opdeciemen’/’décimes additionnels’.
Besides new measures for foreign employers that post drivers to Belgium in the road transport industry, the Act also provides for more stringent rules on the posting of workers to Belgium in general, which foreign employers will have to take into account going forward.
If you have any questions on this topic or would like to get more guidance on the different aspects of posting workers to Belgium, don’t hesitate to contact us: we’d love to hear from you.
Pascale Moreau - Partner, PwC Legal BV/SRL