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Retention periods for social documents

Retention periods for social documents

Summary dated 1 September 2021 of the essential legal provisions regarding the retention periods of your archives.

Documents/Data Minimum retention period Format Start date of the retention period Act
The personnel register (1) 5 years any format As from the day of the last legal declaration Art. 2 and 25 Royal Decree of 8 August 1980 regarding the keeping of social documents
The special personnel register (1) 5 years any format As from the day of the last legal declaration Art. 2 and 25 Royal Decree of 8 August 1980 regarding the keeping of social documents
The employment contract for students 5 years any format As from the day of the last legal declaration Art. 2 and 25 Royal Decree of 8 August 1980 regarding the keeping of social documents
The individual account
on which all information with relation to the amounts paid or owed to the employee have to be mentioned. The employer has to inform the employee on a yearly basis about the total of the amounts, the due social security contributions and the taxable amount.
5 years any format As from the end of the period of maintaining this document Articles 2, 16 and 25 Royal Decree of 8 August 1980 regarding the keeping of social documents
The agreement on the mobility compensation 5 years Any format From the day following the end of the implementation of the agreement Articles 2 and 25 Royal Decree of 8 August 1980 regarding the keeping of social documents
The agreement on the mobility budget 5 years Any format From the day following the end of the implementation of the agreement Articles 2 and 25 Royal Decree of 8 August 1980 regarding the keeping of social documents
Working hours of part-time employees
Working hours of part-time employees and documents in which any deviation from the working hours must be recorded. (2)
5 years any format As from the date of the last legal declaration up to five years following the end of the month following the quarter in which the registration is carried out Art. 167 Programme Act of 22 December 1989
Attendance register 5 years any format For the entire period starting on the date of registration of the last legal declaration and ending five years after the end of the month following the quarter in which the registration is carried out Art. 9 Royal Decree of 17 June 1994 regarding the keeping of an attendance register and article 1 Royal Decree of 15 February 2005 on seasonal and occasional work in the agricultural sector.
Homeworker contract 5 years any format As from the day following the end of the contract (3) Art. 25 Royal Decree of 8 August 1980 regarding the keeping of social documents
Work experience contract 5 years any format As from the day following the end of the contract (4) Art. 25 Royal Decree of 8 August 1980 regarding the keeping of social documents
Employment contract of temporary employment 5 years any format As from the day following the end of the contract (5) Article 6bis Royal Decree number 5 of 23 October 1978 concerning the retention of social documents
Employment contract not subject to a specific regulation 5 years (6) Original As from the day following the end of the employment contract Articles 3bis and 15 of the Act of 3 July 1978 concerning the employment contracts
Documents with relation to retirement plans and group insurances, documents with relation to the rules of internal functioning During the validity, and a sufficient amount of time thereafter in light of a possible claim with relation to the employees Any format As from the day of the conclusion of the plan or the insurance
A copy of the accounts framework of each quarterly R.S.Z. declaration 5 years Copy As from the latest date of submission of the declaration Article 33 §2 section 3 Royal Decree of 28 November 1969 implementing the Act of 27 June 1969 amending the legislative decree of 28 December 1944 regarding social security of employees

Although we have composed this list with much care, Merak N.V. cannot be held responsible for any errors or any changes made to legislation.

(1) Employees covered by the application of the regulations regarding the "Onmiddellijke aangifte van tewerkstelling" (DIMONA) are no longer obliged to keep an employee register. However, they still need to keep a special personnel register when deploying employees at several sites. In certain cases, they are also exempt from the obligation to keep a special personnel register. This also applies to the LIMOSA declarations (Landenoverschrijdend Informatiesysteem ten behoeve van MigratieOnderzoek bij de Sociale Administratie).
The Immediate declaration of employment (De Onmiddellijke aangifte van tewerkstelling) takes place on the website of the Social Security (www.socialsecurity.be), where the provided information shall be retained (Royal Decree of 5 November 2002 implementing an immediate declaration of employment). The employer has to retain the notices sent by the National Social Security Office (RSZ) in the context of the immediate declaration, during a period of six months as from the receipt thereof, in accordance with the modalities set forth in articles 22 to 24 of the Royal Decree of 8 August 1980.

(2) When the pattern of work of a part-time employee is variable, this pattern of work has to be determined for each employee by means of a notice. From the moment and as long as the pattern of work is in force, this message or a copy of it should, together with the individual patterns of work, be available in paper form or electronically on the place where the work rules can be accessed. It has to be retained for a year, to be counted from the day the pattern of work is no longer in force. A message containing the place where the work rules can be accessed has to be posted at a visible and accessible place (article 159 Programme Actof 22 December 1989 and article 15 Act of 8 April 1965 regarding work rules).

(3) The Royal Decree of 8 August 1980 does not mention when the retention period for homeworker contracts starts. Pending an amendment of a legal provision it can be assumed that this period will start on the day following the end of the contract (D. BOGAERTS (ed.), “Bewaring van documenten”, APR, Kluwer, Mechelen, 2009, 23).

(4) Article 2 Royal Decree of 8 August 1980 does not mention when the retention period for work experience contracts starts. Pending an amendment of a legal provision it can be assumed that this period will start on the day following the end of the contract (D. BOGAERTS (eds.), “Bewaring van documenten”, APR, Kluwer, Mechelen, 2009, 24).

(5) Article 6bis Royal Decree number 5 of 23 October 1978 concerning the retention of social documents does not deal with the question as from when the retention period for employment contracts for temporary employment commences. In anticipation of an amendment of the law, it can be assumed that this period, in analogy with the retention period applicable to agreements for the employment of students, commences as from the day following the end of the execution of the contract.

(6) In the case of an employment contract signed electronically, the service provider of the electronic archiving service shall ask the employee by means of a registered letter, three months before the expiry of this period, what is to be done with the copy of the employment contract concluded by means of an electronic signature which is kept with him. If the employee so wishes, the provider of the electronic archiving service shall transfer this document, in a readable and ready-to-use form, to the non-profit organisation SIGeDIS, established in accordance with Article 12 of the Royal Decree of 12 June 2006 implementing Title III, Chapter II, of the Law of 23 December 2005 on the generation pact, with a view to taking over the electronic archiving service.

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