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1. Preparations

Do you work in the sports and/or sociocultural sector? What if you don’t have any employees yet?

Then you still have quite a bit of admin to deal with.

· To begin with, you need to identify yourself as an employer to the National Social Security Office (RSZ) to obtain a social security number for your organisation. A representative of your organisation (that is, someone who can sign on behalf of your organisation, e.g. a director) registers your organisation with the online service WIDE (the Belgian employer identification service). After processing your application, you will receive a confirmation letter from the social security office with your definitive social security number.

· Draw up employment regulations. These regulations form a voluminous document that sets down everything related to personnel: work timetables, leave requests, well-being at work, etc. You can email us to receive a template document.

· If you want to outsource the processing of your payroll administration to a payroll company, you need to join one (such as SD Worx, Acerta, Liantis, etc.). However, it is not mandatory to do so; if you only employ staff under the Article 17 status, you can also handle the payroll administration yourself.

· Take out the obligatory occupational accident insurance. You can choose any insurance company. NOTE: This is a different insurance from the liability and legal insurance offered by Danspunt!

· Join an External Service for Prevention and Protection at Work (EDBPW).

We realize that this might seem overwhelming, and it would be a shame if it discouraged you from using this compensation method. After all, Article 17 is the most suitable compensation form for the amateur dance arts sector.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any questions or potential obstacles; we are more than happy to guide you through the process!


Do you work in the sports and/or sociocultural sector? What if you do already have employees?

Then your organisation already has a social security number, you are likely to be affiliated with joint committee 329.01 and a payroll company, and you should have employment regulations and occupational accident insurance.

It is quite possible that you still need to adapt your employment regulations to this new type of employee (e.g. the right to meal vouchers and the working hours/supplements to flexible working time). And you should certainly also inform your occupational accident insurance company and your External Service for Prevention and Protection at Work of the additional employees!

Check if all that is correct, and you will already have done a lot of the work!


For all organisations: determine pay and other benefits


Determine the category in which you will employ Article 17 employees.

You follow the salary scales that you also apply to your other employees. Usually, these are the sector scales, sometimes internal salary scales, but in any case, at least the general minimum wage if it is an employment of at least 1 month. In 2023, the minimum wage amounts to approximately €11.90 gross per hour.


· Reimbursement of travel costs and expenses: the same rules as for your other employees. Be careful, though! These amounts count towards the calculation of the annual maximum amount that your employee earns.

· Benefits such as meal vouchers: if you have not made a distinction in who receives them, your Article 17 employees will receive these benefits as well. Be careful! Here, too, these amounts count towards the calculation of the annual maximum amount that your employee earns.

The same wage conditions apply to your Article 17 employees as for the other employees in the organization who belong to the same category. Therefore, all Article 17 employees must receive the same hourly wage!

You may choose to specify in your work regulations that this category of employees is not entitled to meal vouchers or other benefits. For example: your permanent employees receive meal vouchers, but your Article 17 employees do not.


2. Contract

Before the work starts, draw up a contract between the association and the person who will be doing the work.

An employment contract under Article 17 may be either a temporary or a permanent contract.

This is a written contract, signed by both parties, at the very latest at the time the Article 17 employee starts work.

Before you sign the contract, check the remaining hours that can be worked in artikel17@work. Model contracts can be found at Sociare.

Please note that a student working under Article 17 needs to have a different contract that also includes all the obligatory clauses for students. You can also find this model at Sociare.

Ensure that the association complies with all the employer obligations such as work schedules, breaks, insurance, payment of social security contributions, etc.

Working hours

Article 17 employees can work flexible hours in sociocultural and sports organisations. So they can also work in the evenings, on Sundays and/or on public holidays for certain activities that take place then (such as meetings, activities and education for children, young people and adults, festivals, exhibitions and public events).

The employee may work:

· maximum 11 hours a day

· maximum 50 hours a week

· at night (between 8 pm and 6 am)

· on Sundays and public holidays.

You pay a supplement of 20% for the hours known as flextime:

· hours exceeding 40 hours per week (but you must stick to the legally permitted maximum of 50 hours per week!)

· hours exceeding 9 hours per day (but you must stick to the legally permitted maximum of 11 hours per day!)

· hours on a public holiday

· you do not pay a surcharge on night work (between 8 pm and 6 am) or work on Sundays (in contrast to ordinary employees, who do get paid extra for this).

There are also some exceptions to the ordinary rules for part-time workers:

· There is no minimum working time per week. You may employ Article 17 workers to work less than a third of the weekly working hours of a full-time employee in your organisation.

· Neither is there a minimum number of working hours per day. You may employ Article 17 workers to work less than three consecutive hours.



For employees under the age of 18, there are stricter rules regarding breaks, rest periods, work on Sundays/public holidays and night work.

They may not work more than 4.5 consecutive hours. They are entitled to at least a 30-minute break after (maximum) 4.5 hours of work. If the young employee works for more than 6 hours, they are entitled to an hour-long break, of which at least half an hour can be taken in one go.

The full-time daily and weekly limits are stricter for students under the age of 18 and may never be exceeded (even if the flexitime supplement is paid)

· maximum 8 hours a day

· maximum 40 hours a week

If you employ young people under the age of 18, be sure to read the rules that apply to them on the website of the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue.


Paid holidays

The same rules as for other employees apply. If there is a public holiday during the contract period, the worker must be paid for that day.

In the Dimona declaration, however, you should only state the days worked, not the days on which you pay guaranteed wages (such as public holidays).

So you do pay your worker, but you don’t make a Dimona declaration.



· If they have worked for the organisation for less than 15 calendar days: no additional payment is made

· If they have worked for the organisation for between 15 days and one month: additional payment of one public holiday if it falls within 14 days after the end of the contract

· If they have worked for the organisation for more than one month: payment of the holidays that fall within 30 days after the end of the contract.



The notice periods for Article 17 employees are different.

The notice period is:

· 14 (calendar) days:

    •  for a permanent employment contract if the employee has worked for the organisation for less than six months
    • for a temporary employment contract of less than six months


· One month:

    • for a permanent employment contract if the employee has worked for the organisation for at least six months
    • for a temporary employment contract of at least 6 months


Other rights & obligations

· no right to guaranteed pay in the event of illness or accident

· no right to training

· no obligation to pay supplements for evening, night and Sunday work

· no obligatory social documents (staff register and individual account). Please note, however, that employment regulations are required!


3. File a Dimona declaration for the work done

You declare every employment (task or working hours) under Article 17 in advance, by means of a Dimona declaration. The declaration is made by the hour, and every hour started counts as an hour.

There are several subtypes. Here you will find the subtypes that are relevant to our sector:

· Dimona ‘S17’ – sport: This type is a Dimona declaration in hours, for activities related to sports.

· Dimona ‘O17’ – other sectors: This type is also a Dimona declaration in hours, for activities other than those in sports or television. This declaration is used for all socio-cultural activities.


You should not file a DmfA, because this type of work is exempt from social security contributions. To put it simply: You have to make the declaration on the Dimona website and not through your payroll company.

The number of hours worked / not yet worked can be viewed on artikel17@work, by both the employer and the employee.


4. Issuing a tax form

All employers must inform the worker in question and the FPS Finance of the payments made to their Article 17 workers on a tax form.
A model of that tax form 281.27 can be found here. The guide to filling it in can be found here.

This form must be issued and sent to the employee before 1.03.2023. It must also be uploaded to Belcotax-on-web. If you use a payroll company, they will take care of this. More information about using Belcotax-on-web can be found here.

What’s hot in the world of dance? Read all about it in DANST, our quarterly magazine (only available in Dutch).


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