The Limosa notification duty for self-employed foreign workers: at last restricted to the risk sectors
In Belgium, a notification duty exists for foreign employees and self-employed workers that are not subjected to the Belgian social security, also known as the Limosa notification duty.
In the aftermath of the judgment of the European Court of Justice in 2012, Belgium provided for some adjustments the past years, in particular with regards to the Limosa notification duty for self-employed workers. The final step of this reform has entered into force on 1 January 2019. A royal decree of 21 December 2018 has finally put an end to the general Limosa notification duty for foreign self-employed workers, except for the risk sectors defined in this royal decree. These are, more particularly, the construction sector, the meat sector and the cleaning sector. From now on, the Limosa notification duty for self-employed workers only applies to these sectors.
Given the announcement of the social inspection that on 21 March 2019 so-called social flash controls are scheduled within the construction sector, it is appropriate to focus now on the consequences of non-compliance with the prior Limosa notification duty for self-employed workers.
On the one hand the non-compliance by a foreign self-employed worker (or agent) can be sanctioned with penal or administrative fines. On the other hand these sanctions also exist for those with whom or for whom these self-employed workers carry out performances in Belgium, directly or by subcontracting. The latter risks to get penalized if he fails to report the identity data of the person who cannot submit a proof of the Limosa notification to the public authorities.
As principal contractor one should make sure to check whether a self-employed worker has complied with its Limosa notification duty and ask for a receipt (proof of Limosa notification L-1) before starting the activities. The Limosa notification of sub-contractors may be checked through the mobile online service “Check Limosa”. When it appears that the Limosa notification duty has not been complied with, one should make sure to report the identity data of its self-employed worker prior to the start of the assignment by electronic means, through the following website www.socialsecurity.be/site_nl/employer/applics/meldingsplicht/index.htm (available in Dutch, French and German). That way the principal contractor is freed from any liability when the self-employed worker does not comply with its Limosa notification duty.