27 July 2016

New obligations for employers with Belgian employees in the Netherlands and France

Following a European directive, Belgian employers who temporarily employ employees in the Netherlands or France must comply with new obligations under the Belgian social security system. This applies in particular to the official notification before employment (on top of the mandatory A1 certificate).

In addition, foreign employers must be able to present certain documents, in the language of the country in question and available for consultation within the borders of that country, to the inspection services: payslips, proof of salary payments, copy of employment contract, secondment certificates, appointment of a local representative ...

Secondment of Belgian employees to the Netherlands & France - recent developments and additional obligations for employers

Recent amendments to the law in the context of the implementation of the European secondment directive in the Netherlands & France require Belgian employers who temporarily employ personnel in those countries under the Belgian social security system to meet additional requirements.

This took effect in France on 1 July 2016; in the Netherlands the rule entered into force on 18 June 2016.

Below you will find a short overview of the major obligations for employees seconded to work in the Netherlands or France for Belgian employers.

Please note that for some industries - for example, drivers - these general obligations are somewhat different. The information below does not apply when employed in these countries under the local social security system.

Prior notification of employment in the Netherlands or France

Analogous to the Limosa declaration in Belgium for foreign employers who temporarily employ foreign employees in Belgium, the French and Dutch social inspection implement the obligation to - besides the existing A1 certificate - prepare a prior declaration of employment in the Netherlands or France.

This is relevant for Belgian employers when Belgian employees temporarily work in these countries under the Belgian social security system.

A website has been launched in France for these situations; it also applies for employees who work only partially in France for foreign employers (simultaneous employment rather than secondment). In the Netherlands this obligation is suspended pending the launch of the Dutch website which will be used for this purpose.

Keeping documents available with a local representative

The new rules in France & the Netherlands aim to better allow the inspection services to check whether the imperative labour law provisions are respected. These basic labour conditions are also better defined, more specifically in terms of working hours and minimum wages (including surcharges in case of overtime, holiday pay and other mandatory allowances).
To prove this, foreign employers must be able to present a number of documents to the inspection services (ranging from payslips, proof of payment of wages, copies of employment contracts and secondment orders, appointment of local representative, etc.).

All documents must be written in an official language of the country in question and must be available within the national borders. Foreign employers must therefore appoint a representative in the Netherlands or France to this end. This is done by means of a written power of attorney.

If you do not respect all of the above obligations, you also risk significant fines (amounting to several thousands of euros) in both countries.

What does not change?

Besides these typical local obligations, we want to point out that this does not prejudice any other obligations in the context of secondment or simultaneous employments which already applied prior to this:

  • Prior application of an A1 certificate from the Belgian social security authorities, of which your seconded employee should always carry a copy when working in the Netherlands or France.
  • Application of imperative provisions of local labour law (salary and labour conditions, working hours, etc.) when working in the Netherlands or France.
  • Preparation of an appendix to the Belgian employment contract for a secondment of more than 1 month.

What does Acerta do for you?  

Acerta can take care of all Belgian obligations, from application/extension of A1 documents to preparing appendices to the employment contract and advice about applicable laws in case of international employment. Our consultants of Acerta International will be glad to assist. 

For the Dutch or French part of the obligations (representative, preparing foreign certificates and filing the documents) Acerta can put you in contact with one of its foreign partners.

Avoid fines and contact Acerta International. Our experts are ready to offer an answer to all these requirements.

Need more information?

Contact us.