The compliance guide

Does your company comply with the law? Are wage calculations carried out correctly? Does the cooperation with your payroll provider run smoothly? Learn how you can better deal with compliance by knowing social legislation and applying these useful tips.


  1. The concept of compliance
  2. The employment regulations
  3. The employment contract
  4. GDPR of General Data Protection Regulation

1. The concept of compliance

What does compliance mean?

The term compliance comes from the verb 'to comply', which means 'to comply with'. It is used to indicate that an organization works in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations. If you comply with the law, then your company does everything by the book. Often, compliance is regulated by means of contracts, procedures and policies. These cover financial supervision and payroll, but also extend to social documents. We recommend starting at the beginning of any business-related compliance: the employment regulations.

Tasks to ensure compliance

  1. Define which laws and regulations apply to your organization
  2. Assessing the risks in terms of compliance to be managed
  3. Keep an eye on attitude and behaviour within the organisation and adjust where necessary
  4. Reporting breaches of compliance
  5. Follow-up of changes in existing and new regulations
  6. Adjusting policies on the basis of legislative changes
  7. Monitoring of implemented procedures and policies
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2. The employment regulations

Why do you have to draw up amployment regulations?

As a rule, it is up to the employer to draw up employment regulations as soon as your company has one employee. This is the first step in complying with the law and essentially covers all the rights and obligations of your employee and company. Some statements are required by law under social laws. These can be found here. But you can also attach your own relevant agreements.

Every new employee must receive a copy of the employment regulations and receive the latest version with every change. This is important, because otherwise there is strictly speaking no compliance and the employee is not bound by it. In addition, it is wise to make a copy of the employment regulations and give it to the employee.

Increasingly, the regulations are also made available electronically, but that is not enough - you have to hand them over in paper as well to be compliant.

What should your employment regulations definitely contain?

  1. The way you measure and control work to determine pay
  2. The manner, time and possible place of the wage payment
  3. The rules for determining notice periods/allowances and the urgent reasons for dismissal without notice or compensation
  4. The duration of the annual holiday and collective holiday and the rules you apply to grant it
  5. The places where the person must be for first aid and where bandages can be found, as well as the medical service in the event of an accident at work
  6. All measures taken against harassment, violence and unwanted sexual behaviour at work
  7. Possibility of revoking or modifying time credit if your company does not have social bodies
  8. References to collective agreements applicable to working conditions and/or collective agreements within the undertaking
  9. The full text of collective agreement No 1/2004 of the European Council 25 on equal pay for men and women
  10. The supplementary pension scheme and the personal contribution for employees if your company does not have social bodies
  11. The names of the members of the Board, the Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work and the Trade Union Delegation
  12. The addresses of the inspection services which monitor the application of legal and regulatory provisions on the protection of workers
  13. Data from the Security of Livelihood Fund, payroll provider, child benefit fund, annual holiday coffers, the insurer for accidents at work, the internal prevention consultant and the external prevention and protection service at work
  14. The RSZ connection number and the number of the Joint Committee
  15. Where the law on the Crossroads Bank is attached
  16. The certificate of regular consultation of workers

The Achilles' heels of the work regulations

But not everything is so straight-forward. When drawing up employment regulations, pay particular attention to these matters, because they often cause problems for compliance:

You must include the various timesheets in the regulations. You must mention the start, the end and the rest breaks of a working day. You must also state when the company is accessible to employees working outside the company. Since 1 October 2017, you are no longer required to include all part-time schedules. However, in that case the regulations must contain a framework that determines how variable hourly schedules are drawn up.

Public holidays and replacement days
Besides annual and collective holidays, your employment regulations must also mention public holidays. What is not so well known is that you must also keep a copy of the message with which you inform the company which replacement days have been chosen for holidays that fall on a Sunday. In addition, describe the rules that determine how your employees can take catch-up rest when they work on a public holiday or Sunday.

Rights and obligations of supervisory staff
Describe in as much detail as possible how you can supervise your employees. Why? Because a control measure that does not appear in the labour regulations may be considered illegal.

Disciplinary sanctions
The heavy S-word has been dropped. Labor regulations must list possible sanctions, additional to the behavior they sanction. If you don't, you can't impose them should the need arise. Sanctions can be limited to a verbal warning or a written warning, but can also include dismissal (whether or not for serious cause). You must announce the sanction on the first working day after you have discovered the shortcoming, otherwise it may be null and void. As an employer, you must also be able to prove that you imposed the sanction in good time.

Preventive alcohol and drugs policy
As an employer in the private sector, you must include a preventive policy on alcohol and drugs in the labour regulations. In order to realise your principles and objectives, you can (but are not obliged to) introduce rules on the availability (or non-availability) of alcohol at work, the introduction of alcohol and drugs, work-related use and preventive testing. Furthermore, you can determine the procedure that should be followed when someone is not functioning properly because of alcohol or drug use or when they break the rules.

Psychosocial aspects
As an employer you must also pay attention to psychosocial risks in the workplace. Therefore, the labour regulations should include a statement of principle/policy on this issue, as well as the procedure to follow in the event of psychosocial problems. Include contact details for the enterprise's confidential advisor and for the psychosocial prevention adviser or external psychosocial services.

Access to social services
Finally, it is compulsory to state how and when your company's social services are accessible. This includes the toilets, showers, washbasins, changing rooms and refectories, but also, for example, rooms for breastfeeding. If you do not include this information, you risk a hefty criminal fine, or even harsher penalties if the lack of information leads to health damage or a work-related accident.
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Employement regulations and beyond

Additional matters that can be determined in the amployment regulations

In addition to what should be included in the employment regulations, you can also add certain things yourself. This can range from house rules on how one deals with each other, partners or customers in the company to writing out procedures such as e.g. how leave is requested, or how a dismissal should proceed. Be careful not to put too many procedural steps in the employment regulations. If there are too many, people might loose sight of them of and the dismissal does not apply as a result.

You can also include following obligations in the employment regulations. These are legal and therefore in accordance with compliance.
  1. You may require your employees to inform you immediately when their address or family situation has changed. This is important for payroll processing, but also in the event of a dismissal procedure, so you can send the letter to the right address.
  2. You may require an employee to immediately report a few things, such as the location, size and cause, in the case of a work-related accident. Not only in the context of your prevention policy, but also to help determine liability.

The Employee Handbook

The labour regulations provide clarity on essential matters. Moreover, it is a document that employees have to go through. Seize the opportunity to inspire your employees in a positive way as well and provide them with information about other aspects of the company: expand it into a comprehensive staff handbook. The information in such a personnel handbook can vary in importance. It can be indispensable information: policies and agreements that employees must read and sign. Or it may be nice-to-know information such as information on fringe benefits, training, procedures, FAQs or an organisation chart.

A staff handbook is not a set of employment regulations and therefore does not need to be purely informative. Make sure your personnel manual is positive, inspires and involves your employees. This way they will be more inclined to follow it. Also make sure it stays up-to-date. If a certain code of conduct changes, then update it in your handbook as well. And last but not least, set a good example and put your money where your mouth is.
Download this template for your employee handbook for free!

3. The employment contract

According to the rules of compliance, as an employer you must draw up an employment contract for each new employee. Your paytoll provider often offer the option of drawing up this contract for you or providing a template. If you decide to draw up the contracts yourself, be sure to provide a copy to your administrator. Do this as soon as possible after approval of the contract. In order to be able to carry out the wage calculation, the account manager needs certain information from this document.

With the contracts module in Officient we digitize the administration of contracts and make the associated tasks less time-consuming. We do this using four tools:
  1. Employee self-service
    By providing employees with a Self-service app HR managers in Officient can easily communicate contracts to employees. In addition, the self-service automatically sends out reminders when certain contracts still need to be signed, or when new ones have come in.
  2. Central contract management
    You can draw up an overview and consult all contracts that have already been signed or still need a signature. It is also very easy to quickly send a personalized reminder to follow up on a missing signature.
  1. Template builder
    With the contract template builder you can easily draw up contracts yourself, with bulk distribution you can easily send these digital documents to a whole group of people and follow up their individual approval in our tool.
  2. Electronic signature
    We make it possible for employees to digitally sign documents on any device. Such a digital signature is also fully legally valid.

4. GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation

The term GDPR may have come up a few times already. It is the abbreviation for'General Data Protection Regulation'. The GDPR aims to protect citizens by securing personal data in any channel and providing the ability to delete data if necessary.

The basic principle of the GDPR

  1. As a company, you may not store personal data without permission
  2. Data that you store with permission must be securely archived.
Doesn't sound all that invasive, does it? You probably already have a reliable CRM package where data is securely and carefully housed. Sorry to burst the balloon, but that's no longer enough.
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GDPR applies to any company

We're all for digitization. However, the increasing centralisation and management of data in software also means that more data will be put online. If that data is picked up and used for the wrong purposes, e.g. by hackers, citizens are put in a vulnerable position. In order to protect the data of European citizens, Europe has therefore decided to impose rules on companies via the GDPR to safeguard the data of citizens.

The right to be forgotten

For example, according to GDPR guidelines, everyone has the right to be 'forgotten' online. Therefore, delete data of individuals that are no longer linked to business purposes (e.g. invoices).

Since when do those rules apply?

The starting shot was fired on 25 May 2018. From then on you had to be able to prove as a company that you keep all personal data collected, with official approvals from the person in question.

Officient comes prepared

As a contact point for the optimisation of HR processes, Officient is of course fully involved. But we also want to offer solutions in the field of data protection. Officient ensures that employee data is centralized in one place. Demographic data, employment contracts, policies for the use of cars and other assets, and many other personal data are available in one overview per person. From there, changes can be made easily and quickly.

In addition, a rights system allows only authorised people access to employee data and, via the Self Service app, all employees are given an overview of all the data the company stores about them. They can also make changes themselves. Read more about how we protect data and discover how this fits in with GDPR here.