Belgium Introduces Mandatory COVID-19 Teleworking Declaration

Belgium Introduces Mandatory COVID-19 Teleworking Declaration

Since October 2020, teleworking (remote working) has been mandatory in Belgium, the only exception to this is if the nature of the job or the continuity of the business operations, activities or services make teleworking impossible. With COVID-19 cases once again rising in the country, the government is strengthening the enforcement of mandatory teleworking.

In response to the rise in new COVID-19 cases, the government has introduced a mandatory electronic registration system. From 1 April 2021 until 30 June 2021, companies across Belgium will be required to specify how many people are working at the company’s premises and the number of people for whom it is not possible to telework. Failure to comply with this new system could result in a criminal or administrative fine.

All employers must oblige by the new system, except for companies that are completely closed by law, for example, restaurants and bars. Employers should also be reminded that they should still provide employees who cannot telework with a certificate confirming the necessity of the employee’s presence in the company. Employers must report the following data to the social security authorities each month:

  • The number of people working in the company
  • The number of people in the company for whom teleworking is not possible

Should a company have various business units in Belgium, the above information must be provided for each business unit separately. A business unit is considered a place where or from which a main or secondary activity of the company is performed, for example, department, factory, office, shop etc.

Employees who can telework but sometimes need to be present in the workplace for certain tasks, for example, sending or picking up mail, printing documents, meetings etc. must be able to justify their physical presence. It is recommended that these employees are provided with a certificate confirming their necessity of presence in the workplace.

At the very latest, the declaration should be submitted by the sixth calendar day of the month, however it should concern the number of people on the first working day of the month.

First working day of April 2021 = 1 April 2021 – Declaration submitted by 6 April 2021 at the latest

First working day of May 2021 = 3 May 2021 - Declaration submitted by 6 May 2021 at the latest

First working day of June 2021 = 1 June 2021 - Declaration submitted by 6 June 2021 at the latest

All companies, except for those exempt by law, should submit a teleworking declaration in due time for the next three months. Declarations should be submitted via the web portal of the social security authorities.

For more information on coronavirus support measures for employers and employees, visit the activpayroll latest news page.

For more information on Belgium’s tax and payroll landscape, browse activpayroll’s Global Insight Guide to Belgium.