COVID-19 Impact Statement

on the right to Travel, Work and Reside in Belgium

As the corona virus pandemic continues to impact the operations and workforce of companies in Belgium, there are many questions about how to secure and protect the work and residence rights of foreign staff. The situation is fluid and government guidance does not exist for every scenario.

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The Saisonniers #5

I wake up the next morning and receive a text from a friend asking whether I fancy joining them for a New Year’s Eve party. With a glass of wine in one hand and my phone in another hand I bump into Dominic, who looks at me with curiosity and asks me what kind of questions I am looking to be answered. His girlfriend is visiting for a week, but that doesn’t stop him enthusiastically talking about his experiences in Val Thorens and abroad.

Dominic, 39, is a salesman in a Val Thorens ski shop. Picture by Arno Van den Veyver.

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The Saisonniers #4

That same evening I meet Tine, at the bar of a hotel. She’s working as a receptionist and offers me a conversation, a cocktail and a big smile. When she shares her life story I become so engrossed I lose all track of time.

Tine, 32, is a hotel receptionist and bar tender in Val Thorens. Picture by Arno Van den Veyver.

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The Saisonniers #3

When I drive up to my friend’s house that evening, I meet his roommate. Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing my accommodation with 28 year old Max. It’s his second season as a ski man and his eagerness to learn and climb the ladder strikes me above all.

Max, 28, is a ski man in Val Thorens. Image by Arno Van den Veyver

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The Saisonniers #2

Why leave everything behind to please tourists for 7 months?

The next day is my first day on the slopes and so I pick up my gear at a snowboard and ski shop Prosneige. Conveniently, they also offer classes to a newbie who is clueless as to what to do with two sticks and a bunch of snow. I get the chance to have a chat with Eric, who is a boot fitter for the shop.  Essentially, he examines and measures people’s feet. Boot fitters match the shape of the foot to a specific boot shell, volume, and flex pattern that will correspond to people’s skiing ability. They’ll then scan your foot to create a custom foot bed that will help align your stance.

Eric, 35, is a boot fitter in Val Thorens. Image by Arno Van den Veyver.

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The Saisonniers #1

Why leave everything behind and please tourists for 7 months a year?

That question came to my mind when I first visited Val Thorens. I could never imagine why anyone would agree to a shabby wage, working ‘flexible’ hours (which means practically 10 hours a day) and not being able to spend time with family and friends for months. I drove 11 hours to Val Thorens in France, the highest ski-resort in Europe to find seasoners or ‘saissoniers’, to ask what about life here is so special they would come back every year.

Nina, 18, works as a ski woman in Val Thorens and as a life guard in New Zealand. Image property of interviewee.

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AIRINC Mobility Outlook Survey

the 2019 highlights

AIRINC’s annual Mobility Outlook Survey shares insights, strategies, and challenges of 168 best practice global organisations. This year’s survey takes a closer look on how mobility is becoming increasingly focused on delivering value to customers. Many are leveraging technology and vendor partnerships to streamline operations and improve the mobility experience. When asked for this year’s priorities, 69% of participants selected simplifying administration, 63% chose enhancing the employee experience, and 48% indicated improving communications with the business. Proactively engaging customers for input, evergreen policy reviews, and searching the market for leading products, services, and technology are now part of Mobility’s regular activities. AIRINC has identified three key areas that support this general trend: making good decisions, ensuring effective governance and communicating creatively. We bring you the main highlights from this report.

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Single Permit Renewal Process

work rights assured

A little over a year ago Belgium implemented the EU Single Permit Directive for non-EU citizens seeking to work in Belgium for more than 90 days. The Single Permit, combining both work and residence authorization into one document issued through a single application procedure, represented an important step forward. However, substantial challenges continued to be faced by the business community due to lengthy procedures and lack of legal certainty.

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Industry Update

a brand new tool for expats, relocators and HR

Over 232 million people relocate annually to all corners of the globe, yet only a fraction receive professional support from relocation service providers. Millions of foreign assignees are left to find their own way around their new home country, with varying levels of success. The brand new platform Xpatris.com aims to help smooth their entry into Belgium by providing immediate access to the most essential information. We spoke with cofounder Salvatore Orlando to find out more.

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