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Conditions for the recognition of temporary employment agencies

All temporary employment agencies, other companies and natural persons who operate in job placement in Flanders, must comply with a number of compulsory  conditions even if they do not need a license. These obligations

  • protect employees, jobseekers and clients of temping agencies
  • prevent and combat unfair competition in the sector

General conditions

Both private employment mediators and temporary employment agencies must comply with a number of general conditions. They are stipulated in this complete overview of obligations(Word file). It deals with compliance with the code of conduct, the rights and obligations of employees and the agency, the right to inspect and copy information, etc.

Special conditions for temporary employment agencies

Agencies that perform temporary employment activities must fulfil a number of specific additional obligations in addition to the general conditions:

  • The agency has a license as a temporary employment agency
  • The agency has no social and tax debts
  • The legal conditions regarding temporary agency work are met
  • The agency does not collaborate with unrecognised temporary employment agencies
  • No temporary work shall be carried out on the agency's premises by temporary employment agencies or by agents or appointees of temporary employment agencies who are not recognised / have no license
  • The license number must always be used in external communications (i.e. in contracts, tenders, invoices, correspondence, e-mail, job advertisements published in print or visual media and websites)
  • The temporary employment agency does not post workers exclusively at a single user company
  • Temporary workers are not misled through publicity
  • Correct, complete and objective information is given in job advertisements. The temporary employment agency shall always state its name and license number and specify that the work is temporary work
  • The agency shall not offer temporary employment activities in the event of a strike, lock-out or suspension of the employment contract due to bad weather or lack of work due to economic circumstances.

Foreign temporary employment agencies that post employees to Flanders must

  • report their presence and that of their employees via Limosa.
  • apply for an A1 certificate, which
    • explains the legislation in force in their country;
    • proves that the temporary employment agency pays social security contributions in another EEA country (European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway).

Temporary employment agencies in the Flemish construction sector

  • must ensure that their temporary workers first follow at least 16 hours of safety training (to be substantiated with an SCC certificate) or more specific training. For more information, visit the website of Constructiv.
  • must comply with the legal and regulatory provisions of the sector.

Temporary employment agencies in the Flemish artistic sector

  • must comply with the legal and regulatory provisions of the sector.

Not applicable for (sub)contracting

The conditions do not apply to (sub)contracting. A (sub)contractor does not have employer authority over the workers who temporarily work at or for his company, unlike the clients of temping agencies.
The (sub)contractor enters into an agreement with a client for the execution of (parts of) an assignment, whereby the employer's authority over the employees is not transferred.

Infringements and non-compliance

If a temporary employment agency does not respect the legal obligations, its existing license may be revoked or replaced by a license with a fixed term. A hearing will be organised for this purpose. If the license is revoked, the agency may no longer carry out temporary employment activities.

Infringements of the three-party relationship

Temporary agency work is an agreement between 3 parties: the temporary employment agency, a client/user and a temporary worker. The temporary employment agency is therefore unable to employ temporary workers within its own organisation.

Franchising

It is not permitted to circumvent the obligation to obtain recognition in any way whatsoever. Involving third parties to carry out the temporary employment activities of an agency – a so-called franchise system – without this third party having its own license as a temporary employment agency is therefore not permitted. The franchisee cannot make use of the franchisor's license. Consequently, a third party can never take the place of a recognised temporary employment agency and carry out tasks which are an integral and indivisible part of the temporary employment agency's core activities, unless they hold the required license.

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