Implementing decree ‘Act on the posting of workers’ published – Belgium

(09-01-2018) Royal Decree of 5 December 2017 implements Act of 11 December 2016 laying down various provisions concerning the posting of workers

The implementing decree of the Belgian Act of 11 December 2016 laying down various provisions concerning the posting of workers was published in the Belgian Official Journal of 18 December 2017.

This 'Act on the posting of workers' transposed a European Directive, i.e. Enforcement Directive 96/71/EC, which seeks to enforce Posting Directive 96/71/EC. The Posting Directive determines which imperative employment rules are applicable when a foreign service provider temporarily posts workers to another Member State. The problem with these rules appeared to be the actual enforcement of the applicable employment law. In practice, collaboration and information exchange between inspection services has not been easy. Moreover, the Court of Justice of the European Union considered several national control measures contrary to the rules on free movement of services. The Enforcement Directive codified the state of play, and provided a definition of the key concept 'posting'.

Like the Act on the posting of workers, the Royal Decree implementing the Act is not an isolated text. The Royal Decree amends already existing decrees and amends the title and cross references. Content-wise, the Decree lays down the term during which employers are exempted from drawing up and keeping certain social documents for posted wokers. These social documents are, for example, the company rules, the individual earnings record and the pay slip. This term has been set at twelve months. Furthermore, the Decree appoints the inspection service to which comparable pay documents have to be delivered, i.e. the Social Legislation Inspection Service ('Toezicht op de Sociale Wetten' / 'Contrôle des lois sociales').

The Royal Decree also stipulates which identification and address data certain employers must communicate as part of their obligation to appoint a liaison officer. The liaison officer acts as a bridge between the foreign service provider and the Social Legislation Inspection Service. For now, the obligation to communicate the appointment remains limited to certain employers, such as employers in the road transport sector. Not communicating the appointment of a liaison officer is punished with a level 2 sanction (Article 184/1 of the Social Criminal Code).

Source: Royal Decree of 5 December 2017 laying down various provisions concerning the posting of workers, Belgian Official Journal of 18 December 2017.