• Increased Immigration Compliance Obligations Take Effect March 4
  • March 4, 2013
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Beginning March 4, 2103, employers in Belgium will be subject to new employment eligibility verification obligations under legislation that implements a European Union directive. Sanctions for noncompliance will increase. Principals and contractors will be joint and severally liable for instances of noncompliance by a subcontractor, unless they obtain a written declaration from the subcontractor that no unlawful third-country national is employed or will be hired.

    Employers will be required to verify that every non-EU national employee possesses a valid residence authorization before the employment start date. The employer must maintain a copy of the employee’s work authorization documentation for the duration of employment, and notify the relevant ministry of the employee’s start date and if the employee is terminated.

    Unauthorized employment of third-country nationals will be subject to a range of new and increased sanctions, including administrative fines per unlawful worker and payment of repatriation costs, back pay, taxes and social security. Repeat or egregious violations may lead to criminal penalties, including significant fines, imprisonment, or a curtailment of the employer’s ability to conduct business.

    Trade unions, employee and employer organizations, and the Centre for Equal Opportunities will be empowered to lodge complaints against employers that fail to comply with the legislation.