Which insurance policies protect your employees?

An accident at work can happen fast. It’s no wonder then that you have to take out occupational accident insurance as soon as you hire someone, even if just for one day. This will also give you peace of mind as an employer. And you can offer your employees many other insurance policies as an extra incentive.

Occupational accident insurance

Compulsory insurance
You are legally obliged to protect your employees in case of an accident at work against loss of income, incapacity for work and death. If you don’t take out an insurance, you can be fined and even prosecuted.

Where accidents at work are uninsured, the Accidents at Work Fund (FEDRIS) will automatically assume the costs. But the employer will get the bill later.

Who is it for?
Everyone who is contractually employed in your business, which also includes students, temporary workers, interns and trainees.

What does the insurance entail?
In the first place, you protect employees against accidents that occur at work during working hours and have a causal link. For example, someone who has a heart attack while photocopying is not protected by the occupational accident insurance because there is no clear link between the activity and the consequence. In addition, the employee must be unfit for work because of physical or mental ‘trauma’.

The insurance also applies to accidents sustained while commuting between home and the workplace. An important condition: only if the employee takes the ‘normal’ route between both locations. In principle, small detours are not a problem. If your employee drops off his or her children at school on the way to work – or picks them up after work –, this is considered a normal route. However, if your employee goes bargain-hunting after working hours, he or she won’t be covered by the occupational accident insurance.

After the accident, you have 8 days to make a declaration and submit the so-called certificate of ‘first observation’.

Volunteers insurance

The Flemish Community Commission (VGC) offers free insurance to non-profit organisations working in the Dutch language in Brussels. The policy ensures 100 volunteer-days per year and covers volunteers for civil liability, physical accidents and legal assistance. Applications should be made by filling in the online form
The COCOF offers free insurance to non-profit organisations working in the French language in Brussels. The insurance covers 200 days of volunteer work per year. Coverage includes civil liability, physical accidents and legal assistance. To benefit from it, simply download this form.

Group insurance for supplementary pension

If you are employing several workers, you may consider an optional group insurance for a supplementary pension. This allows you to offer them a more attractive remuneration package. It is the best way to reward employees with fringe benefits without increasing payroll costs. You get to decide how much you contribute and the costs are tax deductible.

Good to know: this insurance is a long-term commitment. It has to include all your employees, even if your company is growing and you cannot suddenly stop their supplementary pension.

Collective hospitalisation insurance

With a hospitalisation insurance you cover the medical costs of your employees should they be hospitalised. One employee is already enough to meet the conditions. You take out a collective insurance policy for yourself and your staff. While you pay the insurance premium as an employer, you may ask your employee(s) for a contribution. Even though the premium is a non-deductible professional cost, it saves you from paying social security contributions.

Conclusion

The government requires self-employed and entrepreneurs to protect their employees against the consequences of accidents at work. You may also consider optional insurance for your employees’ supplementary pension or hospital expenses.

Updated 14/03/2019

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