COVID-19: Workforce

Your workforce challenges

With over one million people in Belgium on temporary unemployment and the mobile workforce grounded, the workforce challenges facing organisations are unprecedented.

The current medical, social, humanitarian and economic crisis is sending shock waves across the globe. Organisations are struggling to adapt to sudden and profound changes and every corner of their business is affected. The workforce is deeply disrupted, forcing companies to work differently almost overnight. Major consequences include mass temporary unemployment and global mobility grinding to a halt.  

The COVID-19 crisis: your workforce challenges

COVID-19 and temporary unemployment

As companies in Belgium and beyond struggle to cope in a radically uncertain business climate, many are forced to place some or all of their workforce on temporary unemployment.

From legal, practical and compliance perspectives, the procedure is complex: What’s the duration? What are the steps to follow? If I pay a voluntary supplement, what are the social security and tax implications? How are benefits in kind impacted, like company cars, representation allowances and mobile phone plans? What’s the impact on holidays, sick leave, insurance plans and this year's social elections? Are there alternatives to putting my people on temporary unemployment?

Global mobility

With a general lockdown on business travel, your cross-border workers are grounded and operating remotely out of one territory. The Belgian tax and social security authorities require that these individuals pay in the countries in which they work. As this can significantly impact the tax and social security burden on both the individual and your organisation, how do you structure this new way of working from a tax and social security standpoint?

Essential considerations for global mobilty

  • Changes in regulations, legislation and travel restrictions
  • New measures around Single Permit applications and salary thresholds
  • International taxation: the impact of salary split on taxes, social security and temporary unemployment 
  • Permanent establishment (PE) risks and regulations
  • Identification of individuals working abroad and where they’re located

myTaxLocator

PwC has developed a user-friendly app that creates a digital tax report for cross-border workers that's considered valid by the Belgian tax authorities.

Download the app

PwC has developed a user-friendly app that creates a digital tax report for cross-border workers that's considered valid by the Belgian tax authorities.

Rethinking internal controls for recovery

While companies are forced to prioritise their resources, an unintended reflex might be to miss out on critical tasks in the background, such as internal controls. In these turbulent times, internal control practitioners can create synergies with environment health and safety specialists or with facility management to prepare the workforce and workfloor for the new normal.

Preparing your workforce for the new normal

Preparing your workforce for the new normal

Organisations have a responsibility to plan a staged recovery from the pandemic to help reduce the health and financial risks of future scenarios, including a second infection wave, a steep economic downturn and permanent changes to employee and consumer behaviours. While many information sources and recommendations have been made available by public institutions, rather than offering clarity, they’re leading to uncertainty and doubt for businesses.

The nexus of reopening your business, while securing the safety of your workforce and clients, can be solved by bringing together risk and internal control specialists with EHS specialists and facility managers.

With our own internal specialists in these domains and leveraging the experience of our colleagues in Asia, we can help you: 

  • write management protocols and policies with regards to local travel, personal protective equipment (masks, sanitisers, etc.), etc.

  • provide internal control frameworks specific to reopening of workplaces 

  • redesign your physical access controls 

Your workforce: through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond

While the considerations mentioned here are for immediate, short-term actions to help you weather the current crisis, it’s time to start looking ahead with a holistic, long-term approach. These unprecedented times are quickly clearing the path for new ways of working, with a focus on telecommuting, flexibility, upskilling, culture and change, a mindset that’s expected to carry over into the post-COVID-19 workplace.

The current challenges we’re facing are a catalyst for organisations and society to make significant changes and ultimately emerge stronger.

Imperatives to prepare for the Workforce of the Future 

Boost your resilience with PwC’s free Digital Fitness app

Boost your resilience with PwC’s free Digital Fitness app 

Through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, it’s more important than ever to stay informed and equip your people and your organisation with the skills and knowledge they need to face the future. That’s why our Digital Fitness learning app is now available at no charge, to help you deepen your understanding of digital trends, learn new skills and new ways of working - anytime, from anywhere. 

Download the app now

 Have questions about seeing your workforce through the crisis and into the new reality? Our People and Organisation specialists are here to help.

Contact PwC Belgian's Crisis Centre for COVID-19

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Contact us

Philip Maertens

Philip Maertens

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 477 25 14 50

Sandrine Schaumont

Sandrine Schaumont

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 479 79 45 06

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