Do’s and Don’ts of working with self-employed contractors

NOVEMBER 2017. This Association Leadership Academy session was hosted by Sophie Maes in the spacious Claeys & Engels theatre meeting room. Sophie presented on the potential for and means of legally complying with a self-employed status for both a Finance Director and a Secretary General as examples.

  • The threat and opportunity posed by contracting with a Director who enjoys self-employed status was addressed with an emphasis on the need to ensure that there is no indication of subordination of the Director to the association, to ensure legal compliance. The presence of a lien of subordination would lead the Social Security and tax authorities to reclassify the contract as that of employment, with related fines and penalties.
  • A Secretary General of a not-for-profit association is by law presumed to be a salaried employee if the daily management of the association is his main activity and he is remunerated for that. As a result, he can only operate as self-employed if the mandate of daily management is non-remunerated (combined with a consultancy agreement for other services), or if he operates via a Management Company. However, in both scenarios a strict self-discipline is required.

Finally, as summer approaches, the question of interns was dealt with. There is a clear difference whether the stagiaire is European (EEA and CH included) or not, whether the traineeship is a required part of their university course and under what status they are contracted for the internship period.

The presentation includes legal detail that will point the leader towards the choices to be made. This is however a notoriously complex area of law for associations and we would advise formal legal checks.

For more information please contact Dr. Rachel Barlow on or 00 32 478 88 22 27.

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