Update COVID-19 and cross-border employment: agreement with France extended

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In our newsflash of 9 December 2020 we referred to the extension of the mutual agreement between Belgium and France, which includes a “force majeure tolerance” for cross-border workers in relation to government imposed COVID-19 (travel) restrictions. As countries are rolling out comprehensive vaccination schemes and various lockdown measures have been reintroduced, we are slowly but steadily manoeuvring out of this global pandemic. During this transition period many people will continue working from their home offices and international business travel will still be limited to a certain extent (although business trips are also picking up again). Given the still uncertain current public health situation, recently a further extension was announced with respect to the agreement concluded between Belgium and France until 30 June 2021.

Note: the COVID-19 mutual agreements (between Belgium and France / Germany / the Netherlands / Luxembourg) allow for a fiction in relation to the employment income linked to the “home working days” solely due to the measures taken by the governments of the respective countries to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. If certain conditions are met, and the employee chooses to apply the fiction, these “forced home working days” are deemed to be spent by the employee in the state where the cross-border worker would have exercised the employment in case no such measures had been taken.

Now that the mutual agreement between Belgium and France has been extended and taking into account that recently the COVID-19 cross-border employment agreements with Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were also extended, all mutual agreements have been extended until 30 June 2021.  

Whether any extension would be agreed beyond 30 June 2021 seems very unlikely, but it is of course not unthinkable.  We will further follow-up on this.  

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sandrine Schaumont or Philip Maertens.

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