Employment: Are you ready for a Covid-19 inspection?
The Social Inspectorate is responsible for monitoring compliance with the rules on teleworking enacted to combat the spread of Covid-19. Criminal or administrative fines may be imposed for noncompliance with these rules. In the event of a Covid-19 inspection by the Social Inspectorate, the following information/documents should be made available.
1. Covid-19 risk analysis
Although teleworking is mandatory, measures should still be taken to protect employees who cannot telework due to the nature of their position or for business continuity reasons. As for any other risk, a risk analysis should be performed. Based on this analysis, the necessary preventive measures should be implemented in accordance with the so-called generic guide on safety at work during the coronavirus crisis, sector guidelines and general principles of the Employee Welfare Act and the Wellbeing at Work Code.
2. Teleworking analysis
In addition, a teleworking analysis should be carried out, establishing for each position whether the related tasks can be performed from home. Based on this analysis, it should be determined which jobs cannot be performed from home due to the nature of the tasks or for business continuity reasons.
3. Teleworking declaration
Since 1 April, the following information must be reported each month to the National Social Security Office, by the sixth calendar day of the month:
- the number of persons working at the company on the first day of the month (including sick employees, temporary workers, personnel of subcontractors and self-employed persons permanently working at the company);
- the number of persons working at the company for whom teleworking is impossible, meaning they cannot work from home due the nature of their tasks or for business continuity reasons; the indicated positions should be in line with the teleworking analysis.
The Social Inspectorate will use this information as a reference point when checking compliance with the rules on teleworking. Anyone found to be working at the company's premises who is supposed to be teleworking must be able to justify his or her presence.
4. Teleworking exemption certificate
Employees who cannot work from home must be provided with a certificate or other proof of the need for their presence at the workplace.
5. Teleworking policy
Pursuant to Collective Bargaining Agreement No. 149, in the absence of a company-wide policy on structural or occasional teleworking, an agreement must be reached between the employer and the employee on:
- the provision by the employer of the equipment and technical support necessary for teleworking (e.g. a laptop);
- if the teleworker uses his or her own equipment, the reimbursement or payment by the employer of the cost of installing relevant software as well as operating and maintenance costs and depreciation;
- additional connection costs.
6. Register of foreign employees
An employer that temporarily works with employees or self-employed persons domiciled abroad for the purpose of carrying out activities in Belgium is obliged, from the start of the activities until the fourteenth day after the completion thereof, to keep an up-to-date register with the following information: last name, first name, date of birth, place of residence in Belgium, telephone number, etc. This obligation does not apply to cross-border employees or when the stay on the Belgian territory is less than 48 hours.