The Belgian Government has placed new reporting obligations on foreign companies sending employees to work in that country.

With effect from 1 April 2007 all employees temporarily or partially employed in Belgium must as a general rule have been notified to the Belgian National Office for Social Security. Similar provisions have been put in place for the self-employed. The aim of this new legislation is to enable the Federal Government to gain a clearer understanding of the number of overseas individuals working in Belgium and to cut down on Social Security fraud.

The so-called “LIMOSA declarations” can be made electronically and must be made prior to the employee commencing work in Belgium, although there are transitional provisions in place for overseas workers already working there. The declarations should normally be made by the employee’s overseas employer but in certain circumstances the Belgian end-user can make the declaration on behalf of the overseas employer. All end-users will be required to confirm that any staff working on their premises have been duly notified to the relevant authorities. Declarations must contain certain key information including the name of the employee, his start date and where he will be working.

It is important that employers intending to post workers to Belgium comply with these new provisions, as there are sanctions in place for those that fail to comply. Noncompliance could result in criminal proceedings and/or fines of up to 125,000 Euros. On the flip side, those employers that do provide the relevant notifications will be exempt for a short period of time from having to draw up certain employment-related documents.