The Occupational Accidents Act has been amended: what exactly is changing?


An amended version of the Occupational Accidents Act has been in effect since 1 January 2020. The new points create more clarity in the complex regulatory environment. In particular, the conditions for workplace learning and occasional teleworking were adapted.

1. Better protected during workplace learning

Students and interns who follow training courses through workplace learning are henceforth covered by the legal protection against occupational accidents. In concrete terms: as an employer, you will have to take out occupational accident insurance and submit a DIMONA declaration for certain vocational training courses as from 2020.

Fedris, the Federal Agency for Occupational Risks, has made a list of the training courses and training centres covered by this obligation available. That list shall be permanently updated in line with the changing training landscape.

On the Fedris website, you can also find whom the government has designated as the employer for each training agreement. The employer could be:

  • the company in which the internship will take place;
  • the school that included the unremunerated internship in its education;
  • the government agency that coordinates the internship: VDAB or Syntra.

The employer must take out occupational accident insurance for people with a training contract. In addition, it must declare the commencement of employment (DIMONA) and the commencement of benefits (DMFA). More information can be found on the National Social Security Office website.

Attention! The declaration form for occupational accidents has also been changed, including heading 9 (employee social security code), 50 (student/intern), and 42 (temporary employment with adapted work). The new form must be used as of 1 January 2020.

2. Equalisation of occasional and structural teleworking

The Occupational Accidents Act will be extended to occasional teleworkers. These are employees who occasionally work outside the workplace, without a specific teleworking agreement.

Previously, an accident that occurred while teleworking was only regarded as an occupational accident if the employee teleworked on a structural basis, with a teleworking contract. From now on, incidents involving occasional teleworking will also be qualified as occupational accidents. There must be a document that approves the telework. This indicates both the location and time period of the telework.

In addition, the law also corrects inequality in terms of accidents along the working commute. Accidents involving structural and occasional teleworking, e.g. on the way to the teleworking location from the children’s school or to the lunch place, will from now on also be regarded as commuting accidents.

3. Adjustment of the ‘aggravated risk of occupational accidents’

From now on, companies with an increased risk of occupational accidents pay a fixed contribution, aka the prevention contribution. This should encourage them to take sufficient preventive measures to prevent accidents. A company exhibits a higher risk if the severity and frequency of accidents are twice the sector average. It used to be three times higher.

Want to know more?

Would you like more information about the new Occupational Accidents Act? Contact your occupational accident insurer or a legal expert in your area via +32 2 549 71 00.

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