Loan of labor between companies

Verified 24 May 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

To make up for recruitment difficulties in certain sectors in tension or to avoid short-time working in the event of a decline in activity, a company may resort to labor loans. The employer then places employees at the disposal of another user company for a fixed period.

The labor loan must be non-profit for the lending company. There are exceptions, however.

General case

The lending company must only charge the user company for the salaries paid to employees, the social security contributions associated with them and the professional expenses reimbursed to the employee.

A for-profit operation whose sole purpose is the lending of labor shall be prohibited. However, there are several exceptions:

  • Temporary work by temporary agencies 
  • Time-sharing work 
  • Manikin Agency by the holder of the Manikin Agency License
  • Loan of sportsmen made available to the delegated sports federation as a member of a French team
  • Provision of employees to a trade union
Large company loan to a young company or SME

A large company may make its employees available to a young or small company to improve the skills of its workforce, for example.

The labor lending transaction may be "under-invoiced" by the lending company and may be considered non-profit-making if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The lending company shall employ at least 5 000 employees or belong to a group of at least 5 000 employees
  • The user company is less than 8 years old or is aSMB: titleContent of less than 250 employees or structure of general interest or public utility
  • The term of the loan is limited to a maximum of 2 years

Please note

this type of provision cannot be made within the same group.

Skills sponsorship

This scheme concerns lending companies employing at least 5 000 employees or belonging to a group of at least 5 000 employees.

They may make available to employees free of charge from a body of general interest in order to mobilize their skills for a period of time.

In return, the lending company benefits from a tax reduction equivalent to gifts to a work of general interest.

Employee agreement

The labor loan requires the prior explicit agreement of the employee concerned.

This agreement is written in a agreeable to the employment contract.

If the employee refuses, he or she may not be disciplined, dismissed or discriminated against.

The amendment to the contract of employment must contain the following elements:

  • Tasks entrusted to the user company 
  • Schedules and location of work 
  • Specific characteristics of the workstation
  • Possibility of providing a probationary period by agreement between the lending company and the employee

The termination of the probationary period by one of the parties before its end shall not be grounds for punishment or dismissal.

Please note

the probationary period is compulsory if the labor loan involves a change to an essential element of the employment contract, such as remuneration or working time. Either party may terminate the probationary period.

Supply Agreement

The lending company and the user company must sign an agreement designating only one employee.

The agreement shall contain the following information:

  • Duration of supply 
  • Identity and qualification of the employee 
  • Method of determining the wages, social security charges and professional fees charged to the user company by the lending company 

Information and consultation of the Social and Economic Committee (ESC)

In the lending company, the employer must consult the ESC: titleContent prior to the implementation of a labor loan and to inform him of the various agreements signed.

The ESC must also be informed if the position held in the user company presents particular risks to health or safety.

In the user company, the ESC must be informed and consulted prior to the reception of employees made available in this context.

The user company shall be responsible for the conditions under which the work is performed during the making available.

The employee made available shall have access to the facilities and means of public transport enjoyed by the employees of the user company.

During the loan period, the employment contract between the employee and the lending company is neither broken nor suspended.

The employee continues to belong to the staff of the lending company and to benefit from treaty provisions, as if he were performing his work in his home company.

The making available does not call into question the protection enjoyed by a protected employee (example: a member of the ESC: titleContent).

At the end of the loan period, the employee returns to his original or equivalent job, without any change in career development or remuneration.

The labor loan unlawful is criminally punished with up to 2 years' imprisonment and €30,000 (amount raised to €150,000 for a legal person).

Additional penalties may be imposed (e.g. prohibition of certain professional activities, exclusion from public procurement, publication of the judgment in newspapers).

Administrative sanctions may also be imposed (e.g. withdrawal of public aid, reimbursement of public aid already received, temporary closure of the company).

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