Abolition of the 48-hour rule for temporary work

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Date:
15 Sep 2016

As of 1 October 2016 an employment contract for temporary work has to be signed at the latest at the time of the entry into service. This new rule means the end of the 48-hour rule. The possibilities to conclude electronic employment contracts for temporary agency work will also be increased.

Currently, the employment contract for temporary agency work has to be signed at the latest within the first two working days of the temporary agency worker’s service with the temporary employment agency. In 2012 the social partners considered that this rule should be abolished, and today the act putting the abolition into effect was published.

Not only is the 48-hour rule abolished, but also the possibilities to conclude employment contracts for temporary agency work have increased. Henceforth, such contracts can be drawn up in three ways: (i) a classic written contract, (ii) an electronic contract with a so-called “qualified” signature, (iii) an electronic contract with any other type of signature, on condition that the identity of the parties, their consent and the conservation of the integrity of the contract are ensured (e.g., a pin code via tablet, smartphone, pc). The temporary employment agency sector has set up an online platform to enable this.
 
If the new rules regarding signature are not complied with, the contract will be considered as an employment contract for an indefinite duration. In that case, the normal rules regarding termination apply for the temporary employment agency. The temporary agency worker has the possibility to end the contract without notice or indemnity within the first seven days of service. This sanction does not apply if the non‑signature is due to the temporary agency worker.
 

> Action point
As of 1 October 2016, the employment contract for temporary agency work has to be signed at the latest at the point at which the temporary agency worker enters into service. The possibilities to conclude an electronic employment contract for temporary agency work have been increased.