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Coronavirus and international employment: work-at-home days do not count for determining in which country social security is due


Until December 31, 2021, the Belgian authorities do not take into account the days worked from home due to Coronavirus for the determination of the applicable social security legislation. As a general rule, an employee must pay social security in the country of employment on the basis of European rules. However, when an employee works at least 25% in his or her country of residence, s/he has to pay social security there, and no longer in the country where s/he works. If an employee has to work more at home, this may lead to a change in the applicable social security regime. In order to avoid this, the Belgian authorities decided at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis not to take into account temporary working from home. As the coronavirus crisis persists, they have now decided to extend this tolerance until 31 December 2021. Source SDWORX 

Coronavirus and international employment: work-at-home days do not count for determining in which country social security is due2021-06-30T08:52:34+00:00

Coronavirus: Belgium extends tax agreements with neighbouring countries until September 30, 2021


The tax agreement that Belgium concluded last year was valid until June 30, 2021. An employee’s professional income is usually taxed in the country where he or she is employed (with certain exceptions). However, due to the coronavirus crisis, many employees can no longer cross the border to work abroad for their employer. As a result, these employees are no longer taxable in the country of regular employment, but in their country of residence. However Belgian has concluded specific agreements with neighbouring countries so that the employee is taxed in Belgium as if he or she was in Belgium until September 30. This applies to French, Luxembourg, Dutch and German employees who are currently forced to work from home due to the coronavirus. Source SDWORX 

Coronavirus: Belgium extends tax agreements with neighbouring countries until September 30, 20212021-06-29T10:48:58+00:00

Minimum wage of 1,700 euros allowing corona flexibility


Employers and unions have at last reached a national agreement on a series of crucial issues. The minimum wage will be raised to €1700 from April 2022. The age at which employees can take early retirement will not drop below 60. The end-of-career time credit system will be possible from the age of 55. Corona overtime hours, renamed stimulus overtime, will be extended to all companies until the end of 2022. The harmonisation of supplementary pensions for factory workers and employees is set for 2030. Source HRAlert 

Minimum wage of 1,700 euros allowing corona flexibility2021-06-17T08:08:08+00:00

Federal coronavirus aid measures extended until 30 September


The Belgian Government has agreed to extend a series of coronavirus aid measures to 30 September. The measures include: Since 9 June working from home is no longer compulsory but the return to work should be gradual, limiting interaction and respecting the 1m50 social distancing rules. The COVID allowance of up to 144.31 euros can still be paid to employees who work from home in July, August and September. If you still have employees on temporary unemployment due to ‘force majeure’ you can continue to use this scheme until 30 September.  The professional withholding tax on temporary unemployment benefits will remain at 15% until 30 September. The government intends to change course as of 1 October and focus on more exceptional measures and recovery initiatives. Sources Acerta 

Federal coronavirus aid measures extended until 30 September2021-06-17T07:49:29+00:00

Even when employees are sick, most of them are still willing to help out if they can


When employees are off sick, most employers tend not to contact their absent staff believing that they need a proper rest to get better. However this could be a missed opportunity as a survey commissioned by Mensura and Certimed found that 8 out of 10 employees are open to staying in touch with work and are even willing to help limit the additional workload that may have fallen on their immediate colleagues. Sources HR alert

Even when employees are sick, most of them are still willing to help out if they can2021-06-09T12:24:06+00:00

Living, working and COVID19


During these times of long crisis, a study by Eurofound has shown a decline in mental health and trust in government across the EU between 2020 and 2021.  Here are the highlights:  All age groups register a low mental well-being, especially young people.  The number of people who have difficulties in making ends meet has increased during the pandemic.  Trust in national governments is declining as well as in public institutions.  A hesitancy wave in getting vaccinated is sweeping the EU and affects men more than women.  Social media and declining trust are big factors in vaccine hesitancy. You can find the full report in English here.  Sources EuroFound

Living, working and COVID192021-05-19T13:43:57+00:00

New Corona bonus of 500 euros


The federal government is proposing that companies that did well during the 2020 pay their employees a non-compulsory "corona bonus" of up to 500 euros net in the form of checks along the line of the eco checks and lunch voucher model. They will have a short validity so that the money is spent quickly in local shops. The amount of 500 euros is a maximum. The bonus will be granted in the year 2021. The actual list of stores and organizations where you can spend your corona reward is yet to be determined. "The idea is that people will be able to use it for everyday expenses, like shopping at the supermarket."  The issuers of these checks last year were the classic meal ticket providers: Sodexo, Edenred and Monizze.  Sources HR Alert 

New Corona bonus of 500 euros2021-05-19T13:42:43+00:00

Return to the office in June; Working from home no longer compulsory


Beginning June 9, you will be able to progressively schedule comeback sessions for up to 20% of your staff at the same time. Each employee will be able to come to work once a week. For SMEs with fewer than 10 employees, a maximum of 5 employees can be present at the same time. Corona tests are recommended but not compulsory.  As of July 1, working from home will no longer be required, but "recommended" for anyone whose job allows it.  There are several conditions to respect for this return to work:  First, the purpose of the return is to promote the psycho-social well-being of the employees and the team spirit ; Employees cannot be obliged to participate in these progressive returns;  The employer has to ensure that the rules on social distancing, hygiene measures, ventilation, etc.. are respected;  It is best to avoid car-sharing or using public transport during peak hours for the home to work journeys. Sources SD Worx

Return to the office in June; Working from home no longer compulsory2021-05-19T10:36:01+00:00

Corona tips: Appropriate ventilation at low cost


The pandemic has reminded everyone of the importance of good ventilation and airing rooms. But what policies do you need to put in place as an employer to minimise the risk of infection in the workplace? The Corona Commission has produced a handy guide to indoor air quality including tips, a step-by-step plan and a checklist.  To limit the risk of contamination through poor air quality, the main objective is to ensure sufficient ventilation in all rooms (opening windows and doors) and to take corrective measures in rooms where ventilation is clearly insufficient. The detailed recommendations, info about the relevance of CO2 concentration and how to measure it are available in French here:  https://www.hralert.be/fr/news/hr-news/bien-ventiler-faible-cout-les-conseils-du-commissariat-corona Sources HR Alert

Corona tips: Appropriate ventilation at low cost2021-05-11T09:48:21+00:00

Five reasons you should invest in training your team


Employee retention: training employees to fit organisation roles creates opportunities to retain motivated employees who already know your organisation’s culture, have knowledge and experience of your organisation, and also know its history; Reduced recruitment costs: investing in employees increases loyalty and interest in the job so they stay longer; Good PR and attraction of top talent: Top employees want to stay the best and continue to develop throughout their career. These people are looking for organisations that want to invest in them; Business resilience and sustainability: continuous and permanent training keeps your teams in tune with a constantly changing world, making your organisation dynamic and competitive;  Gaining a competitive edge: by scheduling the right training based on your company's results, you put your organisation ahead.  Sources Developed by SD Worx 

Five reasons you should invest in training your team2021-05-10T13:47:10+00:00