1. Working Solutions
Belgian legislation makes a difference between teleworking on a structural basis or occasional remote working.
- Structural teleworking means that the employee works from home or any other location than the office on a constant, regular and permanent basis (working remotely as of at least 1 day per week).
- Occasional remote working is not on a structural, permanent basis, but only exceptionally due to for example personal reasons or force majeure.
- Hybrid situations: e.g. starting the day working from home and drive to the office once the morning rush hour is over, or meet up in the office only for brainstorm sessions or meetings with colleagues and clients, and then work the rest of the day from home.
- Working from abroad.
Is the employer obliged to provide a compensation for teleworking to the employee?
Based on the distinction between structural and occasional teleworking, the provisions differ.
In case of structural teleworking, the employer must pay a compensation to cover the employee for the costs incurred during the structural teleworking. Within this framework, the employer is obliged to bear the installation costs for IT programmes, operating costs, depreciation and maintenance costs, etc.
When the employee works remotely only occasionally, the employer can agree to bear any costs caused by the occasional telework, but it is, in this case, not mandatory.
Depending on the type of costs the employer wishes to cover, a net allowance could be foreseen under certain conditions.
2. Employment status
What status do branch office employees have towards Belgian authorities?
Assuming that Belgian tax residents, working 100% in Belgium, are concerned, the employees can be employed in Belgium through the Belgian branch of the foreign entity. Belgian labour law will be applicable together with Belgian social security and Belgian withholding tax.
In practice, this means that a Belgian payroll will be required, as well as all affiliations imposed by Belgian law and collective agreements on employers. Social documents will also need to be kept available through a social mandatary. The employees have the same rights in Belgium as normal Belgian employees.
The content provided in these answers is for general information only and it may not apply in a specific situation or to a specific transaction. Specific advice should always be sought before taking any action based on the information contained in this document. This information is not intended to create, nor does receipt of it constitute, an advisor (tax, legal or other advisor)-client relationship. Although visit.brussels and its Contributors have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this document, neither visit.brussels nor the Contributors accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions contained herein or from consequences that may derive from errors, omissions, opinions or advice given in these answers. Although the information is accurate as at the date it was written, be advised that the topics covered in this document are ever-evolving and the information contained herein may not reflect current legal, tax, political or other development, case law or regulations.
Produced by Dentons Global Advisors, on behalf of visit.brussels.
Last update : 08/09/2020