In spite of the increasing popularity of teleworking, the Belgian work‑related accident legislation was not yet adjusted in this regard. The Act of 21 December 2018, containing several provisions on social affairs and which entered into force on 27 January 2019, has filled this gap.
The scope of application of the Workplace Accident Act is thus complemented with a definition of the concepts of ‘telework’ and ‘teleworker’, so that both structural and occasional teleworkers enjoy the same protection from now on.
Also, the legal presumption (before, only) in favour of the structural teleworker – on the basis of which the accident which happened to the teleworker is deemed to have happened to him because of and during the execution of the employment contract – is now extended to the occasional teleworker. Henceforth, this presumption will thus not only be applicable when there is a written agreement (with the place and hours during which the telework is performed), but also when these are mentioned in another document which allows telework. This can for example be a CBA, the work rules, but also an e-mail or a letter.
Finally, the route which the teleworker takes from his home to his children’s school or out-of-school care, and vice versa, is considered as part of his way to work, implying that the teleworker who suffers an accident on this route is from now on covered by the employer’s workplace accident insurance. The route from the teleworker’s home to the place where he takes or buys his meal, or vice versa, is also considered as part of his way to work.
> Key message
A teleworker’s workplace accident or accident on his way to work will from now on be more easily recognised and indemnified in the framework of the legal workplace accident regulations.