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Increased monitoring in case of cross-border posting of personnel

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Posting of employees by an employer to a third party who uses the employees and exercises employer’s authority over them is in principle prohibited (Article 31, § 1 of the Temporary Employment Act). There are exceptions, but these are subject to strict conditions.

Certainly in the case of cross-border posting of personnel one notices that Belgian employment regulations and social security continue to be violated. This is still often the case, for example, in the construction and cleaning sector, but also, for example in other sectors, such as the meat sector or the private security sector.

To strengthen the fight against unfair competition and social dumping, it has been decided that not only the Supervision of Social Laws (which will still examine the correct employment and wage conditions of the employees concerned), but also the inspection services of the National Social Security Office will be authorized to monitor illegal posting in the context of cross-border employment. This allows the inspection services to identify and verbalize any non-compliance of the rules on joint and several liability for social debts in Belgium. The Royal Decree providing for this extension of powers was published in the Belgian Gazette of 11 September 2019. 

This could lead to an increase in monitoring, mainly in the case of cross-border posting of employees and in fraud-sensitive industries. This will probably also entail more coordinated cooperation and a smoother exchange of information between the competent services.

To do: If you work together with a company and its (foreign) employees, make sure in the first place that you employ the employees according to the correct Belgian employment legislation. Moreover, ensure that you put in place the necessary safeguards to avoid the risk of being held personally liable for the social debts of a company you get involved with.