COVID-19: Mandatory telework declaration for employers
On November 17, 2021, the Consultative Committee has decided to make teleworking mandatory again, unless the nature of the job or the continuity of the business operations, the activities or services make it impossible to telework. The Royal Decree has been published in the Belgian State Gazette on November 19, 2021. Telework is only mandatory during 4 days per week and as from December 13, this mandatory telework will be reduced to 3 days per week per employee.
As was the case during the months of April, May and June, companies will be obliged to indicate how many people are working at the company’s premises and the number of persons for whom it is not possible to telework. This declaration is made via the electronic registration system through the portal of the social security authorities. This obligation applies, for the time being, from November 22 (2021) to January 28, 2022. Failure to comply with this obligation may be sanctioned by a criminal or administrative fine.
If the total number of persons does not change after the November declaration and the number of non-teleworking positions also remains unchanged, you do not have to file a new declaration in December 2021 and January 2022.
Warning! Do not forget that you still have to provide your employees who cannot telework, with a certificate confirming the necessity of the employee's presence in the company. If you wish so, Pro-Pay can provide you with an example of such a certificate.
Frequency of the telework
Until December 12, 2021, there is a telework obligation for every employee with a teleworkable position during 4 days a week. New is that a maximum of 20% of the people with a teleworking position may be present in the company at the same time.
From December 13, 2021, there will be an obligation to telework for 3 days a week. From that date, a maximum of 40% of the people with a teleworking position may also be present in the company at the same time.
For SMEs with less than 10 employees, maximum 5 persons may be present in the company at the same time.
The obligation applies to all employers, except for SMEs that employ less than 5 people, regardless of the nature of their employment relationship.
The employer must report the following data to the social security authorities (RSZ/ONSS) every month.
- The number of persons working in the company.
- The number of persons in the company for whom telework is not possible.
If the company has several business units in Belgium, this information must be given for each business unit separately. A business unit is regarded as a place where or from which a main or secondary activity of the company is performed (e.g. seat of undertaking, department, studio, factory, warehouse, office, shop, etc.). You can check the business units of your company on the website of the Crossroad Bank of Enterprises.
The notion 'persons working in the company' refers not only to the employees of the company, but also to third parties who are structurally present in the company. Think for example of temporary agency workers, independent consultants, seconded staff, security personnel, etc.
Finally, functions for which teleworking is impossible are those functions that, by their nature, cannot be done at home. These are for example blue-collar workers in a production environment, reception staff, sales representatives, courier services etc.
Employees who do have a “teleworkable” job, but who exceptionally need to be present at the workplace for sending or picking up mail, printing documents, an evaluation meeting, etc. must be able to justify their presence. For these exceptional circumstances, we also recommend to provide the employee with a certificate confirming the necessity of the presence at the workplace.
The declaration must be submitted at the latest by the sixth calendar day of the month. However, the declaration itself concerns the number of persons on the first working day of the month. There is an exception for the first declaration: it concerns the situation on 11.24.2021: declaration no later than 11.30.2021.
- Make sure you submit a Corona telework declaration in due time for the next months
- You can submit the declaration via the web portal of the social security authorities (RSZ/ONSS): Corona Telework Declaration
- If you are unable to submit the declaration yourself, you can call upon your Payroll Business Partner. In this case, please provide us with the following information:
1: Number of persons working in the company (including seconded employees, subcontractors, temporary workers, etc.)
2: Number of persons for whom teleworking is not possible. Names of persons are not necessary, the number is sufficient.