New obligations resulting from employing foreign workers


Further to a recent modification in the law targeting discouragement of illegal employment of foreign workers, we want to draw your attention to the obligations you must meet when you hire a foreign worker.

In principle, before hiring a foreign worker, you must obtain an employment authorization. From his side, the worker must hold a B work permit. Both documents should be applied for simultaneously. On obtaining these documents, you can employ the worker.

However, the future worker may belong to one of the categories exempt from the rules on work permits (for example a national of an EEA Member State, except for Romanians and Bulgarians, senior executives, .) or he may already hold an A or C work permit. In both these cases, you benefit from a waiver of the employment authorization. If your future worker is not in one of these exempted categories, you must comply with the procedure to obtain the authorization. This cumbersome procedure has been simplified for certain categories of workers, such as Romanians and Bulgarians for critical positions, certain highly qualified persons and management personnel with liabilities.

In addition, the worker can only be employed in Belgium if he resides legally in the territory. As from 4 March 2013, if you want to hire a foreign worker who is not an EEA national, you must first verify that the person has a valid residence permit for Belgium. In addition, throughout the duration of employment, you must keep a copy of this document at the disposal of the inspection services. You must declare when the worker enters and leaves your service (trough a statement to the social security : Dimona/Limosa).

An employer who fails to meet his obligations runs the risk of severe sanctions.

Independently of the obligations described above, which are valid when you hire the worker yourself, you must be attentive to the new scheme of joint and several liability when you enter a partnership with contractors. In fact, you can now be held liable for payment of the remuneration that your contractor partner, or even his sub-contractors, should have paid to a foreign worker residing illegally in Belgium. So take care before you commit yourself to a partnership.

See our previous article on Work permit in Belgium.

Questions ? Please contact Group S - International Division

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