Beware: fraud inspection!

The combat against social fraud has been an area of priority concern for our government lately, and it still is during the current term. Apart from increasing the number of unannounced inspections, the present government has also shifted its focus to a wider commitment towards prevention and information.

Along the lines of the work done in 2015 and 2016 during the so-called “Sociale Flitscontroles” (i.e. a series of pre-announced fraud prevention inspections set up by the authorities, which are well known by the public by now), organised in different fraud-sensitive sectors (such as the cleaning, transport and construction sectors) and prompted by the success of the previous years, the extent of the fraud prevention inspections will be further increased this in other sectors such as the private security sector, the green sector, the relocation industry, the taxi sector, the catering sector and the electrotechnical industry).

The aim is to increase the chance of being caught by means of systematic and pre-announced inspections, the ultimate goal being to create a discouraging effect, to raise awareness of social legislation, and to trigger an eventual shift in mentality.

The inspections depend on a close collaboration between various social inspection services, assisted by other inspection and enforcement services (such as the Federal Public Service for Mobility, regional inspection services, the FPS Finance, the police …), as appropriate. These organisations will check the different aspects of the available company data (social security rules, work permits, social legislation, unemployment).

The fact that these measures are taken purely for the purpose of information and prevention does not mean that in case of serious infringement, the inspection wouldn’t take the necessary actions. In fact, social inspection services maintain all powers given to them by the Social Criminal Code (i.e. the possibility to access the work place at any time during day or night, to interrogate people or to access information carriers with social or other relevant data).

Within the next months, the following fraud prevention inspections are to be expected:

  • On Tuesday, May 30, 2017: the Construction sector, and in urban regions, the catering sector is included;  
  • During the weekend of June 30, 2017 through July 2, 2017: the private security sector (festivals and festival organisations);   
  • On Thursday, September 14, 2017: the green sector;  
  • During the weekend of Friday, November 24, 2017 through November 26, 2017: the taxi and transportation sector;   On Saturday, January 20, 2018: the relocation industry.

Inspections will be announced at least 2 weeks in advance on the website of the Social Intelligence and Investigation Service (i.e. Sociale Inlichtingen- en Opsporingsdienst: SIOD): www.siod.belgie.be

Simultaneously, a checklist will be published on the website of the Social Intelligence and Investigation Service to allow employers to retrieve the necessary information.

Taking into account the upcoming inspection in the construction sector of May 30, 2017, this information can be expected on the website soon. For your information, please find hereafter a link to the checklist made on the occasion of a previous inspection: http://www.siod.belgie.be/siodsirs/defaultNews.aspx?id=45429.

Known issues in the construction sector are collaborations with (foreign) subcontractors and the subsequent (correct) application of the Belgian or foreign social security rules, the verification of correct wage rates and the possible involvement in the creation of dumped prices, overtime, undeclared work, fictive self-employment, temporary incapacity for work, etc. …

Issues in the catering sector are mainly undeclared labour, the correct declaration of part-time workers, student labour and flex-job employment, etc. …

With the slogan «forewarned is forearmed” in mind, it is strongly recommended to check your social administration, contracts, etc. …and to take action where needed.

The complete action plan can be found via the following link:http://www.philippedebacker.be/sites/default/files/Actieplan2017_nl.pdf