Coronavirus: rules for the resumption of work on 4 May

Author: Catherine Mairy (legal expert)
Date:

A Ministerial Decree of 30 April 2020 specifies the rules for the resumption of work on 4 May 2020.

These rules differ depending on whether or not the company is part of the crucial sectors and essential services.

Company of the crucial sectors and essential services

No changes are made to the measures that currently apply to companies of the crucial sectors and essential services and to producers, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors of goods, works and services that are essential to the performance of the activity of these companies and services.

As a reminder, teleworking is not mandatory there, but it must, as far as possible, be put in place together with the rules of social distancing.

The employer who is part of the crucial sectors and essential services can use the generic guide for combatting the spread of COVID-19 at work as a source of inspiration if the company's activities have not been interrupted and if he has already taken the necessary safety measures. 

Please note! The premises/workplaces of companies of the crucial sectors and essential services are accessible to the general public, provided that the conditions set out above are met where interactions with the public cannot take place at a distance.

Non-essential company

Teleworking recommended

From 4 May 2020, teleworking is recommended in non-essential companies (regardless of size) for all employees whose position is suited to teleworking.

Precautionary measures

If teleworking is not applied, the employer shall take the necessary measures to ensure maximum compliance with the rules of social distancing and, in particular, maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres between each person. This rule also applies to transport organised by the employer.

More specifically, the employer shall take appropriate precautionary measures in good time to ensure the application of these rules or, if this is not possible, to provide at least an equivalent level of protection.

These measures, which are worked out at company level, shall be adopted in consultation with:

  • on the one hand, the employee representatives or, failing that, the employees concerned;
  • and, on the other hand, the services for prevention and protection at work.

This refers among others to the measures provided for in the generic guide for combatting the spread of COVID-19 at work and, where appropriate, supplemented by sectoral directives. Collective measures always take precedence over individual measures.

The employer shall inform the employees in good time on this subject and shall also provide them with training.

Moreover, the Ministerial Decree of 30 April 2020 specifies that the Directorate of the Inspectorate of Well-being at Work (Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue) is in charge of:

  • informing and guiding the employer and the employees;
  • monitoring compliance with the obligations described above.

Please note! The precautionary measures applicable in the company must be complied with by the employer, the employees, but also by third parties, who are informed in good time on this subject by the employer.

The premises/workplaces of non-essential companies are accessible to the public, subject to compliance with the conditions set out above and only in the context of relations between professionals and between professionals and public authorities.

Source: Ministerial Decree of 30 April 2020 amending the Ministerial Decree of 23 March 2020 on urgent measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID - 19, Belgian Official Gazette of 30 April 2020.

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