Temporary agency work

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    Temporary agency work refers to the situation where a temporary agency worker is employed by a temporary work agency (employer) in order to be lent out to a user undertaking with a view to performing a temporary work (in such a user undertaking).

    In Belgium, temporary work agencies are subject to prior authorisation without which a temp agency cannot lawfully engage intemporary agency work activities.

    The rules relating to authorisation conditions and procedures exclusively fall within the competence of the different Regions and Communities concerned in that regard (Flemish Region, Walloon Region, Brussels Capital Region and German-speaking Community).

    Temping is regulated by federal law in the Act of 24 July 1987 on temporary work, temporary agency work and hiring out of workers for the benefit of users.

    Temporary agency work is only possible for the execution of types of temporary work permitted by law.

    The main cases of temporary agency work permitted by law are the following:

    • for the replacement of a permanent employee

    • to meet the demands of a temporary increase in work

    •  to ensure the execution of exceptional work

    For temporary agency work, two agreements have to be concluded.  

    The intention to conclude an employment contract for temporary agency work must be laid down in writing no later than on the date when the worker enters the service of the temp agency for the first time.  

    The employment contract for the temporary agency work itself must be laid down in writing no later than within two working days from the date on which the worker enters into the user's service.

    An agreement for temporary agency work is always presumed to be an employment contract.

    During the period of temporary agency work, the temporary agency worker is entitled to the same wage/salary as that which he would have had if he had been taken on by the user as a permanent employee.

    In particular cases, it is prohibited to make use of temporary agency work services.

    This applies when there is a strike or lock-out in the user's undertaking.