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


In our newsflash of 31 March 2021 we referred to the extension until 30 June 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. 

While large parts of the population are vaccinated and the end of the global pandemic definitely seems to be in sight, many people will still continue working from their home offices during this time of transition. Although we see that business trips are picking up again, many companies confirm that the overall international business travel within their organization will still be limited to a certain extent during 2021. In the light of this reality, recently a further extension was announced with respect to the mutual agreement between Belgium and Germany until 30 September 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 agreements with France and Luxembourg (see our newsflash of 17 June 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 September 2021. We anticipate that a similar extension will become applicable with regard to the agreement concluded between Belgium and the Netherlands.

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.