FAQ | Employees

Obligations of the employee

What are the 3 obligations for employees ?

When you fall ill, you have 3 obligations: (1) Warn the employer of your incapacity immediately by any means (phone, email, colleague, etc.). If the worker doesn’t warn the employer of the incapacity or doesn’t do it immediately, the employer can refuse to pay the guaranteed salary during the days before being warned. (2) Provide the medical certificate if it is required (in the labour regulations, Collective Labour Agreement or it is asked by the employer) within two working days of its reception. If the certificate is not provided within the legal time, the employer can refuse to pay the guaranteed salary during the days before having received the certificate. (3) Submit yourself to a control by a control doctor. This implies that the worker has to take all the necessary measures to make the control possible (i.e. going to the appointment after having receive the convocation)

What are the necessary measures that I have to take to make the control possible ?

The employee has to communicate his or her address (or the address where he or she will be staying during the incapacity) in case the employer would like to request a Check at the employee’s house. Another obligation for the employee is to check their cell phones regularly to see if they did not receive a text inviting them to a Check.

When the control occurs

When can the control occur?

A control can occur at any time, starting from when the employee mentions the working incapacity, even before the medical certificates makes its way to the company and throughout the entire working incapacity, even during periods that are not covered by a guaranteed pay. A control can occur any day (even sundays and during official holidays) at a reasonable hour (e.g. between 7h and 21h).

Can there be multiple controls during the incapacity period?

Yes, multiple controls can occur within the same working incapacity period.

During a Check

What is the process of the Check ?

Check out the entire process here.

What am I signing at the end of the Check?

Your signature only indicates that you acknowledge the decision of the control doctor, not that you agree with his or her decision. (“La signature marque la prise de connaissance de la décision du médecin de contrôle, vous ne signez donc pas pour accord.”)

Do I need to pay the consultation?

All charges related to the control are supported by the employer. This includes the consultation by the doctor but also the travel expenses if the Check occurs at the doctor's office.

What can the control doctor legally Check?

The control doctor performs a reevaluation of the working incapacity and checks whether or not the initial end date of the incapacity still applies or if the worker will be able to go back to work early. Any other information is covered by the medical confidentiality.

When the control doesn't occur

What if I’m not at home when the control doctor comes?

The control doctor will leave a convocation letter, inviting you to present yourself at his office at a specific date and time (often in the evening on the same day). Don’t hesitate to Check your mailbox regularly if you were notified you would have a Check during your incapacity.

What happens if I don’t go to my Check?

Employees that do not go to their appointment after having received a convocation risk losing their guaranteed salary during their entire period of incapacity.

The control doctor affirms that I can go back to work early, but what if I don’t go back?

You are not obligated to go back to work if the control doctor affirms that you are able to go back to work early but you lose your guaranteed salary starting from the day of the Check onwards. Don’t hesitate to discuss it further with your company directly.

Disagreement with the control doctor's opinion

I disagree with the result of my Check, what can I do?

When a conflict arises between the control doctor and the employee, this conflict can be resolved via an arbitral procedure. In that case, the decision from the arbitrary doctor will be the final one.

When should I ask for an arbitration?

The starting point of an arbitration is when the control doctor gives the Check result to the employee. Starting from that point, the party that wants the arbitration has two days to contact and schedule an appointment with an arbitrary doctor.

Which doctors are qualified to be arbitrary doctors?

The doctor must figure in a list maintained by the Federal Ministry of employment and work. He or she must be completely independent from the employer, the employee, the control doctor and the treating doctor. You can find the list of arbitrary doctor here: http://www.emploi.belgique.be/erkenningenDefault.aspx?id=5034

What happens during an arbitrage?

The arbitrary doctor does a medical examination within 3 days of his or her designation. The results are communicated to the control doctor and the treating doctor as well as the employer and employee by registered letter.

How much does an arbitrage cost?

The cost of the appointment and the travel costs have to be covered by the unsuccessful party (the employee if the arbitrary doctor confirms the result of the control doctor or the company if the initial opinion of the treating doctor is confirmed). These costs are determined by the Royal Order. The Royal Order of the 20th September 2002 fixed these costs to €75 of consultation fees and €38 of administrative fees. Parties can also choose a more favorable regime for the employee.