The GMB Brussels Branch has recently represented and advised a number of members who have had difficulties with their rights under Belgian employment law.
Many UK employers, as well as their workers based in Brussels, believe that their employment relationship is governed by UK law. However, employment actually carried out in Belgium is primarily subject to Belgian law, regardless of the location of the employer or where tax and social security is paid.
Whilst it is true that certain workers have ‘posted worker’ status, this is more restricted than many workers realise (for example, it cannot apply to any employment lasting longer than two years). In any case, even ‘posted’ workers enjoy the same basic rights as Belgians in a number of areas under Belgian law – including, for example, minimum pay and paid holidays.
Workers who are based in Brussels should contact their Union representatives if they are unsure of their rights.