Posting employees to Belgium
A foreign company may employ workers in Belgium on a temporary basis. This is what is known as secondment. In that case, the company must comply with certain Belgian working conditions and formalities.
A company based abroad may post its employees to Belgium, or in other words, employ employees in Belgium on a temporary basis. During the period of posting, the employer is obliged to comply with certain Belgian working conditions.
Posting refers to the situation where an employee who usually works in one or more countries other than Belgium, or who has been recruited in a country other than Belgium, carries out work in Belgium on a temporary basis.
The term employee refers to a salaried worker. This means persons who, on the basis of a contract, perform work in return for remuneration under the direction of the undertaking company which posts them. The employment relationship between the foreign company which posts the employee and the salaried posted employee must already exist prior to the posting to Belgium and must be maintained for the duration of the posting.
When employees are posted to Belgium, certain formalities apply.
Access to the labour market (work permit)
The granting and issuing of work permits fall within the competence of the regional Belgian authorities.
Access to the territory and residence
f the posted employee is a national of a country whose nationals are subject to visa requirements, the visa must have been obtained before the employee enters Belgium.
The posted employee needs to register with the local authority of the place where he or she resides.
More information can be found on the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue website.
The foreign employer (or the employer’s authorised representative) who posts employees to Belgium must complete a LIMOSA declaration which can be found on the Limosa page of the Working in Belgium website. The declaration needs to be done before these employees are employed in Belgium.
The LIMOSA declaration contains specific information regarding the employee and the employer (place of employment, duration of posting, work schedules, etc.) and the liaison person designated by the employer.
Anyone who is coming to Belgium for temporary or part-time employment, while not subject to the Belgian social security system, must be able to present proof of a LIMOSA declaration, in order to avoid criminal and administrative sanctions.
Some categories of persons are exempt from completing a LIMOSA declaration. For example, artists, diplomats, employees working in the international transport sector or attending a scientific convention,...
An employer posting employees to Belgium must provide the Belgian Labour Inspectorate with details of the liaison person.
More information on the procedure concerning information details of the liaison person can be found on the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue website.
Documents to be provided at the request of the Belgian Labour Inspectorate
The Belgian Labour Inspectorate may, under certain conditions, ask the company which is posting employees to Belgium to provide certain documents from the country of origin. These need to be equivalent to the Belgian employment documents concerning salary as well as other documents referred to in the Belgian Act of 5 March 2002. This act deals with the working, wage and employment conditions that apply to the posting of employees to Belgium and compliance therewith.
More information on these documents can be found on the FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue website.
For a period of 12 months, the employer posting employees to Belgium may be exempted from the obligation to provide certain Belgian employment documents. To know for what documents the excemption applies, consult the Exemption from the obligation to deliver particular social records page on the FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue website.
In case the posting period exceeds 12 months, the employer may be exempted, for an additional 6-month period, from the obligation to apply additional Belgian working conditions that would normally apply following the special scheme normally applicable in that case. In order to benefit from that exemption, the employer must send a motivated notification to the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue.
More information on the motivated notification needed when the posting exceeds 12 months can be found on the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue website.
The Belgian liaison office is the first point of contact for a foreign employer who wants to post employees to Belgium. It is responsible to provide information to employers and employees posted to Belgium regarding labour law and, where appropriate, to refer them to the competent services.
You can find contact details on the Belgian liaison office page of the FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue website.
More information on the general conditions relating to posting employees to Belgium can be found in the Liaison offices and Labour Inspectorate section of the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue website.