In our newsflash of 12 March 2021 and our newsflash of 2 April 2021 we referred to the extension of the mutual agreements between Belgium and Luxembourg / France, which includes a “force majeure tolerance” for cross-border workers in relation to government imposed COVID-19 (travel) restrictions. With large parts of the population vaccinated, the end of the global pandemic definitely seems to be in sight.
However, during this time of transition many people will still 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 careful approach with regard to opening up country borders and regions and phasing out of quarantine and safety measures, a further extension was announced with respect to the agreements concluded between Belgium and Luxembourg / France 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.
The agreements with Luxembourg and France are the first two of the COVID-19 mutual agreements between Belgium and its neighbouring countries which are 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 / Germany.
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.