Article 171

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Corporate criminal liability Criminal liability Economic sanctions Minimum wage Wage manipulation, non-payment or withholding of wages

Article 171 provides that any person who is jointly liable to pay (under Section 1 of Chapter VI/1  of the Act of 12 April 1965 on the protection of workers’ pay) and has been ordered to pay wages due to workers, will be punished with a level-2 penalty in case of failure to pay the wages within 5 days of receiving the required notification. The same penalty shall apply to whoever fails to comply with an order to pay due wages under Section 2 of Chapter VI / 1 of the Act of 12 April 1965 on the protection of workers’ remuneration,  in case of employment of  third-country nationals residing illegally in the Belgian territory.

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Law / 6 June 2010 / Belgium / Social Criminal Code

The Belgian Social Criminal Code seeks to harmonise the social criminal sanctions and to simplify the range of criminal sanctions and administrative fines that may be imposed for offences related to employment and social security.

Often, in cases of human trafficking for labour exploitation, the employer is charged with a number of other labour offences in addition to human trafficking. This means that in cases where the criminal court cannot find enough evidence to convict for human trafficking, the employer may still be found guilty for several offences under the Social Criminal Code.

All violations and infringements are brought together in Book II of the Social Criminal Code in a thematic classification: violations against the person of the employee, violations relating to working time, violations in connection with other working conditions, illegal labour, unreported labour, violations in connection with social documents, violations against the industrial relations legislation, violations relating to inspection, violations against the social security legislation, violations involving forgery, the use of falsified documents, incorrect or incomplete declaration, and fraud in social criminal law.