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

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In our newsflash of 5 January 2021 we referred to the extension until 31 March 2021 of the mutual agreement between Belgium and Germany, which includes a “force majeure tolerance” for cross-border workers in relation to government imposed COVID-19 (travel) restrictions. Despite the roll-out of vaccination programs in many countries, it is still an uncertain time during which many employees (must) continue working from home. International business travel is still limited. Therefore, recently a further extension was announced with respect to the agreement concluded between Belgium and Germany 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.

After the recent extensions of the agreement with the Netherlands and Luxembourg (see our newsflash of 12 March 2021), the agreement with Germany is the third of the COVID-19 mutual agreements between Belgium and its neighbouring countries which is made applicable until 30 June 2021. We anticipate that a similar extension will become applicable with regard to the agreement concluded between Belgium and France.

We will follow-up on any further developments in this respect. 

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

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