Covid-19: the return of mandatory remote work

Now Belgium is in the midst of a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, the Government has decided to take stricter measures, including the reintroduction of mandatory remote or telework for 4 (and later 3) days a week.

Mandatory telework was already in force during previous Covid-19 waves in 2020 and 2021. Thanks to the vaccination programme and a decline of cases during late spring and early summer 2021, the obligation to telework for workers (whose job make it possible to work from home) was abolished at the end of June 2021 and it was replaced by a mere recommendation. In Flanders, the vaccination rate was deemed high enough to even lift the recommendation (in Brussels and Wallonia the recommendation has always been maintained). However, seen the increase of infections, Flanders was forced to reintroduce the obligation in October. 

As the 4th wave continues to cause more and more infections and hospitalisations, the advisory Committee of Experts, followed by the Government, are currently of the opinion that a “strong recommendation” to telework does not suffice to truly avoid contacts at the work place, as this recommendation is not followed by sufficient companies and workers. 

Therefore, the Government introduces a hybrid obligation of 4 mandatory telework days per week, starting from 20 November 2021. As from 13 December 2021, the obligation will be decreased to 3 days per week. In this way there is still a possibility to organise days during which the employees can see each other at work (while respecting the preventive measures). The mandatory telework will be controlled by the social inspection and employers need to register the teleworkers through the online social security platform. However the enforcement does not seem an easy task as everyone has the right to be one (and later two) day(s) at work and it will be very difficult to establish that they were present multiple days.

The telework obligation will remain in force until 28 January 2022 (unless it will be prolonged).

Furthermore, employers still have to take measures to prevent the spread of the virus in accordance with the Generic Guide (published here). There is still no obligation to get vaccinated (although the government is discussing it and a specific vaccination obligation for health care workers is already approved for March 2022) and it still not allowed to control or register whether your employees are vaccinated or not (a recent data leak in the Bruvax system of Brussels, which allowed employers to check the vaccination status of the Brussels-based employees, caused the necessary turmoil).


  • Introduce a system for mandatory telework for employees whose function allows it.

  • Organise their physical attendance days so they can be useful, without letting all employees come to work at the same day (to avoid too many contacts).

  • Register the teleworking employees through the online social security platform.

  • Continue to take preventive measures at the work place (face masks, hand hygiene, social distancing,…).

  • Do not request the vaccination data of your employees.

Zie ook : Van Olmen & Wynant

Click here to see the ad(s)
Alle artikels Arbeidsrecht

Laatste artikels Arbeidsrecht

Update gunstregime voor expats

Wij verwijzen naar onze e-zine van 13 januari 2022 waarin wij het nieuwe gunstregime voor expats in België toelichten...

Read more

« Mystery calls » : l’inspection sociale mieux armée pour lutter contre la discrimination

Le législateur vient d’adopter une loi modifiant les pouvoirs de l’inspection sociale en matière...

« Mystery calls » : l’inspection sociale mieux armée pour lutter contre la discrimination Read more

Transfer of undertakings and pre-pack – CJEU’s nuanced approach

On 28 April 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a judgement regarding the application of the wo...

Read more

Internal staff reorganization – What you need to know before modifying your organizational chart

While necessary to cope with the developments, trends or other events that irremediably impact the life of a business, mod...

Internal staff reorganization – What you need to know before modifying your organizational chart Read more

LexGO Network