Sixth state reform: obligation to state an establishment unit for each worker in your declaration to the National Social Security Office

Auteur: Anne Ghysels
Date:

The establishment unit(s) must now be stated in the declaration to the ONSS, the National Social Security Office (NSSO), at the level of the worker's line of employment. This is key to achieving reductions in employers' social security contributions.

All enterprises must be registered in the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE). The Act of 16 January 2003 with regard to the creation of a Crossroads Bank for Enterprises, modernization of the trade register, creation of accredited business one-stop shops and various provisions imposes this obligation.

The CBE is a database incorporating certain employer features such as the establishment units (see definition below). 

From 1 July 2014, the target group reductions of employers' social security contributions will be transferred to the competency of the regions, as it was decided in the context of the sixth state reform.

The criterion for linking a worker to a particular region and therefore to apply the reduction in force in the region concerned, is his being part of an establishment unit.

The establishment unit(s) must now be stated in the declaration to the ONSS, the National Social Security Office (NSSO), at the level of the worker's line of employment. This is key to achieving reductions in employers' social security contributions.

NB! The obligation to state for each worker, the establishment unit in the declaration to the NSSO also applies if the employer is not entitled to any reduction in social security contributions.

An establishment unit is defined as "any place of business, geographically identifiable by an address, where at least one activity of the enterprise is carried out or from which such activity is carried out". In other words, this is any separately located place of business, division or subdivision located in a specific geographical area and identifiable by an address.

On this location (or from this location) one (or more) principal activities (or secondary or ancillary activities) are run for the account of the employer.

Examples of establishment units: workshops, warehouses, points of sale, offices, registered offices, agencies and branches.

Each employer must have at least one establishment unit known to the CBE. In order to protect the right to privacy, the only exception to the above is the employer who exclusively employs servants and/or domestic staff.

NB! An enterprise number is not an establishment unit number.

Certain situations are rather specific. For example:

  • When a worker is working at home or at a client's location, the establishment unit is the place from which he receives instructions and from which work is organized;
  • A building site, a booth at an event are not considered as an establishment unit.

There are other cases. Therefore, we strongly recommend that employers contact their business one-stop shop. Partena Business one-stop shop can be contacted by email (UE-VE@partena.be) or by phone (02/549.74.70).

When a worker switches to another region during the quarter, this will appear in the declaration to the NSSO (creation of a new line of employment). The employer may claim a reduction of employers' contributions for each employment.

Example: a worker works in the Walloon Region. His workplace is changed on 1 March 2014 and from that date, he performs his tasks in the Flemish Region.

An establishment unit in the Walloon Region will be stated on a first line of employment for the period of  1 January 2014 to 28 February 2014.

An establishment unit in the Flemish Region will be stated on a 2nd line of employment for the period of 1 March 2014 to 31 March 2014.

The employer will benefit from reductions in employers' social security contributions for each region based on the worker's working hours in each of these regions.

A temporary change of workplace (e.g. to replace a sick colleague) does not entail a change of establishment unit in the declaration to the NSSO.

On its website, the NSSO takes into account various specific employment situations (temporary workers, sales representatives, posted workers, ...) (https://www.socialsecurity.be/instructions/fr heading: Etablissement de la DMFa – directive pour compléter les déclarations – ligne travailleur/ligne d’occupation).

  • At the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE)

The establishment unit(s) must be known to the CBE in accordance with the Act of 16 January 2003. To fulfil this formality, the employer should contact his business one-stop shop. Partena Business one-stop shop can be contacted by email (UE-VE@partena.be) or by phone (02/549.74.70).

The fact is, the NSSO uses the data known by the CBE as a base.

Certain non-commercial enterprises such as npa's, co-owners' associations, unincorporated associations, professional associations, representative workers' organisations, ... must not fulfil the formality above. They can directly contact the direction of Statistics (Direction des Statistiques) of the NSSO, that will register their establishment units (02/509.33.22, 02/549.91.81 or 02/509.31.07 or by email at stat.cod@onss.fgov.be). Of course, the business one-stop shop can also be of assistance in this matter.

  • At the Payroll Office

Our services will declare to the NSSO the establishment unit(s) of your enterprise and the workers that are part of it. They will contact you shortly.

The NSSO has published a FAQ on the social security's portal website. This can also help you in taking the required steps (https://www.socialsecurity.be/instructions/fr heading Obligations - Obligations ONSS – Numéro BCE et UE).

If you are an employer of the private sector[1] with no establishment unit registered with the CBE, you have probably recently received a letter from the NSSO and the CBE inviting you to get this in place.

Please ensure you undertake the required steps without delay!

Sources: Act of 16 January 2003 with regard to the creation of a Crossroads Bank for Enterprises, modernization of the trade register, creation of accredited business one-stop shops, Moniteur belge 05.02.2003; Administrative Instructions NSSO, 1st quarter of 2014.

 

[1] The NSSO and the CBE have not sent a letter to: 

  • church wardens (there is no need for them to contact a business one-stop shop or the CBE);
  • employers employing exclusively servants and/or domestic staff; 
  • employers whose headquarters are located abroad. 

These employers are subject to a special procedure.

Auteur : Anne Ghysels

24-03-2014