The recruitment of workers by authorised agencies
In Wallonia, certain businesses can help employers to find the right candidate for a position and help job-seekers to access the labour market.
They must obtain official authorisation in order to do so. These applications are managed by the Directorate of Employment and Work Permits.
What is an employment agency?
Employment agencies are either legal or natural persons who provide employment services on their own behalf or on behalf of a third party or have a third party provide them on their behalf.
Employment agencies may offer the following services:
- temporary employment service: the agency offers temporary work positions;
- job-search service: the agency looks for a job for workers who request this;
- recruitment and selection service: the agency looks for workers to meet employers' needs;
- integration service: the agency helps workers to find a job themselves;
- outplacement service: the agency provides redundant workers with the tools they need to find another job;
- finding positions for professional athletes;
- finding positions for performance artists.
What is the difference between an employment agency and a temporary employment agency?
Temporary employment agencies are employment agencies that offer temporary employment positions. They must obtain a licence in order to do so. Temporary work is authorised only for performing a temporary job. Temporary work is possible only under certain circumstances authorised by the law.
Temporary employment agencies may also offer job-seeking, recruitment and selection and outplacement services and also find positions for professional athletes and performance artists.
Employment agencies that offer job-seeking, recruitment and selection and outplacement services and also find positions for professional athletes and performance artists must register in order to do so.
Employment agencies must respect certain obligations
In Wallonia, employment agencies must register in order to perform their activities.
Employment agencies must be registered in order to perform the following services:
- recruitment and selection,
- finding positions for professional athletes;
- finding positions for performance artists.
If the employment agency provides several services, it must be specifically registered for each one.
The obligations of a registered agency:
1° to not provide an employment service for which it is not registered;
2° to not accept or request any payment from workers, or require workers to pay fees of any kind as a condition for the provision of employment services.
There are two possible derogations: for the job-seeking service and for finding positions for artists or paid athletes subject to certain conditions.
3° to not collaborate with an unregistered employment agency;
4° to cancel their registration within 30 days of ceasing operations; and
5° to submit an annual activity report;
Temporary employment agencies must respect certain obligations
In Wallonia, employment agencies must obtain authorisation in order to be able to carry out activities as a temporary employment agency. This means giving workers and employers using these organisms guarantees of competence, solvency and fiscal and social legality. Prior to the granting of this authorisation, temporary employment agencies must meet the requirements of the Social Fund for temporary workers.
The obligations of licensed temporary employment agencies:
• to include the contact details of the Administration responsible for checking and monitoring the provisions of this decree in all contractual documents sent to workers or employers;
• to include the licence number in advertisements and all communication;
• to not accept or request any payment from workers, or require workers to pay fees of any kind as a condition for the provision of temporary employment services;
• at the request of the job-seekers using the services of the licensed temporary employment agency, to provide a declaration indicating the date and time of their visit to the temporary employment agency;
• to provide sufficient training for their employees and check that these employees comply with the current regulations;
• to not collaborate with unlicensed temporary employment agencies;
• to notify the Administration of the cessation of its operations;
• to submit an annual report that includes information on the licence conditions as well as data contributing to the transparency of the regional labour market (the form is available only in French).
Certificates to be provided:
For foreign companies:
A certificate from the social fund for temporary workers stipulating that the agency has fulfilled its obligations regarding the payment of a guarantee based on a similar guarantee system and regulated in the native country.
For Belgian companies:
A certificate from the social fund for temporary workers stating that the agency has fulfilled its obligations regarding the payment of the first installment of the financial guarantee.
The agency that does not respect its obligations is subject to sanctions.
Exemptions to registration or licensing requirements
En Wallonie, les agences de placement doivent obtenir un agrément pour pouvoir exercer des activités en tant qu'agence de travail intérimaire. Il s’agit par là de donner aux travailleurs et aux employeurs ayant recours à ces organismes, des garanties de compétence, de solvabilité et de légalité fiscale et sociale. Préalablement à l'octroi de l'agrément, les agences de travail intérimaire doivent répondre aux exigences du Fonds social pour les intérimaires.
Les obligations à charge de l'agence de travail intérimaire agréée:
- faire mention, dans tout document ayant un caractère contractuel adressé au travailleur et à l’employeur, des coordonnées de l’administration chargée du contrôle et de la surveillance des dispositions du présent décret
- faire mention, dans les annonces et dans toute communication, du numéro de l'agrément
- ne pas accepter ou demander une quelconque indemnité de la part du travailleur, ni poser au travailleur comme condition à la fourniture de services de travail intérimaire l’obligation d’effectuer des dépenses de toute nature
- fournir, à la demande du demandeur d'emploi qui utilise les services de l'agence de travail intérimaire agréée, une attestation mentionnant la date et l'heure de la visite de celui-ci à l'agence de travail intérimaire
- assurer une formation adéquate à son personnel et contrôler que celui-ci respecte les réglementations en vigueur
- ne pas collaborer avec une agence de travail intérimaire qui ne dispose pas d'un agrément
- avertir l'Administration de la cessation de ses activités
- transmettre un rapport annuel comprenant des informations relatives aux conditions d'agrément ainsi que des données contribuant à la transparence du marché régional du travail
Attestations à fournir :
Pour les entreprises étrangères :
Une attestation du fonds social pour les intérimaires stipulant que l’agence a satisfait aux obligations qui lui incombent en ce qui concerne le paiement d’une garantie basée sur un système de garantie similaire et réglementé dans le pays d’origine.
Pour les entreprises belges :
Une attestation du fonds social pour les intérimaires stipulant que l’agence a satisfait aux obligations qui lui incombent en ce qui concerne le paiement de la première tranche de la garantie financière.
En Wallonie, les agences de placement doivent se faire enregistrer pour pouvoir exercer leurs activités.
Pour les services suivants, l’agence de placement doit obtenir un enregistrement :
- recherche d’emploi,
- recrutement et sélection,
- placement de sportifs professionnels,
- placement d’artistes de spectacle.
Si l’agence de placement propose plusieurs services, elle devra demander un enregistrement spécifique pour chacun d’eux.
Les obligations à charge de l'agence enregistrée :
1° ne pas prester un service de placement pour lequel elle n’est pas enregistrée ;
2° ne pas accepter ou demander une quelconque indemnité de la part du travailleur, ni poser au travailleur comme condition à la fourniture de services de placement l’obligation d’effectuer des dépenses de toute nature.
On admet deux dérogations : pour le service de recherche d'emploi et le placement d'artistes ou de sportifs rémunérés sous certaines conditions.
3° ne pas collaborer avec une agence de placement qui ne dispose pas d'un enregistrement ;
4° annuler son enregistrement dans les 30 jours de la cessation de ses activités ;
5° transmettre un rapport annuel d'activités ;
The registration procedure for employment agencies
The agency must complete the application form (only available in French) for registration as a recruitment and selection agency, job search, insertion, outplacement, artists or athletes placement.
Belgian agencies have to submit their online registration request using a new electronic form available in the “Mon Espace” platform. People wishing to access their company's Professional Space on “Mon Espace” must have a Belgian identity card and have previously received an invitation from the Principal Access Manager (GAP) appointed within the company. All the documentation relative to this procedure can be found in the "Help Center" on “Mon Espace”. Click here to learn how to use “Mon Espace”.
Foreign agencies that do not have a Belgian company number have to submit their registration request using a Word form (only available in French).
Registration application files are processed directly by the Directorate of Employment and Work Permits of the Public Service of Wallonia. The employment agency receives a permanent registration number.
Wallonia has created an advisory and concertation committee on placement which, through its missions, oversees this legal system.
The licensing procedure for a temporary employment agency
The agency will have to complete the application form (available only in French) as a temporary work agency.
Belgian agencies have to submit their application for authorisation as a temporary work agency online via a new electronic form available in the “Mon Espace” platform.
People wishing to access their company's Professional Space on “Mon Espace” must have a Belgian identity card and have previously received an invitation from the Principal Access Manager (GAP) appointed within the company. All the documentation relative to this procedure can be found in the "Help Center" on “Mon Espace”. Click here to learn how to use “Mon Espace”.
Foreign agencies that do not have a Belgian company number have to submit their application for authorisaton as a temporary work agency using a Word form (available only in French).
The temporary work agency which already has an authorization in one of the other regions of Belgium can benefit from a simplified procedure and obtain an exemption. This request for exemption is also made using the authorisation request form.
Applications for authorisation as a temporary work agency are subject to a prior analysis by the Administration. They are then transmitted to the Economic and Social Committee of the Walloon Region for opinion. It is the competent minister who will ultimately make the decision to grant or refuse approval as a temporary employment agency.
The temporary employment agency receives an agreement number initially for a period of two years. After this period, the agreement can be renewed for an indefinite period.
Exemptions to registration:
The following structures are exempt from submitting a registration application as an employment agency:
1° public employment services
2° the selection offices of the federal or regional public services
3° job-seeking services for seafarers
4° public social welfare centres (CPAS) if they provide integration services
5° universities and colleges, Arts colleges and Architecture colleges if they provide job-seeking services
6° Regional employment missions if they provide job-seeking or integration services
7° integration companies if they provide integration services.
The bodies mentioned in points 4, 5, 6 and 7 must still provide a simplified annual activity report.
Exemptions to licensing:
Agencies that are already licensed in Flanders, Brussels or in the German-speaking Community for the provision of temporary employment activities may submit a simplified application (exemption) in order to provide their services in compliance with the law in Wallonia.
These agencies must, however, meet the obligations set out by the Decree of 3 April 2009 on the registration or licensing of employment agencies, including the submission of an annual activity report.
These agencies are, however, free to submit a licence application in accordance with the traditional procedure. If they do so, they avoid a situation in which the withdrawal of their licence in another region automatically leads to the loss of their exemption in Wallonia.
To follow the full licensing procedure, agencies must tick the box on the form stating that they wish to submit a licensing application.
The role of the Consultation and Dialogue Committee for employment issues
Employment agencies are obliged to submit an annual activity report containing:
- quantitative and qualitative data
- data outlined by the Consultation and Dialogue Committee for employment issues of the Economic and Social Council (CESRW)
The objective is to guarantee the visibility and transparency of the regional labour market.
From 1 September, Belgian agencies have to submit the activity report 2020 and the next ones online on the “Mon Espace” platform. Click here to learn how to use “Mon Espace” (available only in French)
From 1 September, foreign agencies that do not have a Belgian company number have to submit the activity report 2020 and the next ones on a Word form (available only in French).
The activity report 2019 must still be completed on “Espace Personnel” (old version of “Mon Espace”).
Please attention, the activity report must be completed no later than 12/31 of year N. So for 2020 activities, the activity report must be completed by 12/31 of 2021 at the latest.
Please take note of the new dispositions concerning the activity report 2020 through the following document:
This Commission is part of the Walloon Region Economic and Social Council.
The missions of this Committee are to issue reasoned opinions on:
- the licensing of temporary employment agencies
- the different types of services involved
- the suspension or withdrawal of licences from temporary employment agencies and the registration of employment agencies
- all issues relating to job-finding in general and to temporary employment
- and to submit an annual activity report to the Government and to the Walloon Parliament
The composition of this Committee:
- a President and a Vice President
- representatives of employer organisations
- representatives of employee organisations
- representatives of Government
This Committee includes a Consultation Chamber whose role is to:
1° organise the collection of data between:
- the Walloon vocational training and employment office, the Forem
- the employment agencies
- the temporary employment agencies
2° to organise the sharing of the data exploitation results by the Forem
3° to organise cooperation in areas of common interest between:
- the Forem
- the employment agencies
- the temporary employment agencies
4° to submit proposals to the Government on ways of increasing the transparency of the regional labour market, and in particular to establish a framework for the collection of information.
As well as representatives of the Consultation Committee, this Chamber includes:
- representatives of the Forem,
- representatives of the Walloon Institute for Evaluation, Prospective and Statistics ( IWEPS)
- on invitation, experts whose presence is considered necessary