Using ‘mystery calls’ to detect discrimination in recruitment in Belgium

A recent change in the law in Belgium lowers the threshold for labour inspectors to use ‘mystery calls’ to test for discrimination in recruitment. Our annual survey of HR trends showed that one in five companies have been faced with an informal or formal discrimination complaint, mainly on the grounds of apparent race or ethnic origin. Discrimination in recruitment still seems to be difficult to…

Belgium: posted worker system declared compliant by European Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Belgian legislation cannot circumvent EU law by acting unilaterally against fraudulently acquired A1 declarations. Legislative action of that kind oversteps the limits of what Member States are allowed to do under EU law. On 11 July 2018, the Court of Justice ruled that Belgium has violated European rules by giving national judges, the National Social Security Office…

Belgium: The consequences of cancer can constitute a disability

In a judgment of 20 February 2018, the Brussels Labour Court decided that the consequences of cancer can constitute a disability for employment law purposes. This ruling has important implications for employers, as failing to adapt working conditions for employees with cancer can now be considered discrimination. Background The worker, employed as a full-time salesperson, had reported to her employer that she had been diagnosed…

Belgium: A ‘first aid’ guide to deal with data breaches

This article sets out the steps organisations should take in dealing with a breach of data privacy from an employment law perspective, based on recent regulatory guidance in Belgium. What should you do if your company is affected by a cyber-attack and hackers purchase your employees’ personal data, or one of your employees loses a USB stick or laptop containing personal data? Guidance issued by…

Belgium: Liaison officer mandatory for foreign employers

From 1 October 2017, the obligations on foreign employers posting workers to Belgium have been extended to include the appointment of a liaison officer to act as a single contact point for the local employment inspectorate. A Belgian Royal Decree that entered into force on 1 October 2017 stipulates that the appointment of this liaison officer must be made through the LIMOSA declaration that all foreign…

Belgium: Modifications of benefits in kind

Provisions on the tax and social security treatment of the benefit in kind (BIK) for the use of a smartphone, PC, tablet and/or internet are not always clear. Moreover, they are often treated differently for tax and social security purposes. To enhance legal certainty, a modification to the legal provisions is expected to come into force on 1 January 2018, particularly by determining a fixed…

Belgium: Cash for car instead of company car

On 29 September 2017, as proposed by the Minister of Finance, the Council of Ministers approved a preliminary draft bill allowing employees who wish to do so, to exchange their company car for a mobility allowance; provided, however, that the employer has set up such a system within the company. The mobility allowance consists in a cash amount that the employee would receive in lieu…

Belgium: Increase in the credit of additional hours for certain part-time employees

In line with earlier announcements in the framework of the Workable and Agile Work project of Secretary of Employment Kris Peeters, the legislator – in view of more flexibility for certain part-time employees – has increased the so-called “credit of additional hours”. An RD of 23 March 2017 (Belgian State Gazette of 5 April 2017) provides the necessary amendments to the RD of 25 June 1990…

Belgium: New pension matter

The Supreme Court ruled in a judgment of 6 March 2017 that the organiser of a pension promise must cover deficits of the vested reserves, as well as deficits regarding the minimum guaranteed return, no matter the causes of the deficits. Article 30 of the Act of 28 April 2003 on Occupational Pensions (“AOP”) states that an organiser must cover deficits of the vested reserves,…