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(How) can you employ someone from Ukraine?

16 December 2022 Employers

Since the start of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. there has been an influx of Ukrainians into the Belgian labour market. According to a study done by Acerta, this represents a percentage increase of 38% compared to 2021.  Admittedly, their share of our labour market remains limited, with only 0.14% of workers in Belgium currently having Ukrainian nationality. Can you employ a Ukrainian worker? And what legalities should you consider?

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Protection status for refugees

Would you like to employ a Ukrainian refugee? You can, but there are some legalities.

Ukrainians fleeing the conflict between Russia and Ukraine who now stay in Belgium can obtain refugee recognition or subsidiary protection. This protection status, activated by the European Union, offers Ukrainians a temporary right of residence and access to jobs and social systems. The application can be made at the registration centre.

If the conditions for protection status are met, they will receive an attestation of temporary protection, allowing them to obtain a residence card A.  During the validity period of residence card A, Ukrainian refugees do not need a labour card to be employed by a Belgian company.

In principle, the statute is valid for one year but Europe can extend it to a maximum of three years.

Ukrainians not classified as refugees

What if you want to employ a Ukrainian who is not classified as a refugee in Belgium and therefore does not benefit from the temporary protection status? Then the classic rule applies: access to the Belgian labour market is subject to authorisation (combined permit). This can involve quite a few legal and administrative obligations. Acerta’s experts will guide you with tailor-made advice.

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