What to do in case of absence?


For one reason or another, you may be unable to work, even though you have an employment contract. What different types of absence apply in respect of temporary work, what do you have to do, and when are you entitled to guaranteed pay?

There are various situations that can prevent you from working. Even as an agency worker (or a freelancer via payrolling), you have a right to be paid, provided that you meet the conditions. We set out a range of situations below. For each one, we explain what you yourself have to do and when you are entitled to guaranteed pay.


  1. If you are sick, you must immediately tell both Tentoo and the user (= the Tentoo employer you are working for).
  2. Provide your doctor’s certificate via info@tentoo.be within 48 hours. Repeat this procedure each time your sickness period is extended.
  3. To be on the safe side, you should also inform your health insurance fund within 48 hours. Your health insurance fund will pay you a benefit if you are not entitled to guaranteed pay.

Temporary leave for special circumstances

Just like any other employee, as an agency worker you have a right to take time off work for certain family events or to perform certain legal duties, without loss of pay. The most common circumstances are your own wedding, the wedding of a family member (child, grandchild, brother/sister, parents) or a death in the family.

A full list of the cases in which you have a right to temporary leave for special circumstances can be found (in Dutch or French) on the Employment Belgium website: https://werk.belgie.be/nl/themas/arbeidsovereenkomsten/schorsing-van-de-arbeidsovereenkomst/oorzaken-van-schorsing-hoofde-12

  1. Tell both Tentoo and the employer you are working for, as soon as you know that you will be absent.
  2. Provide Tentoo with the certificate justifying your temporary leave of absence (preferably in advance, or as soon as possible).

Leave for compelling reasons

A compelling reason is “any unforeseen event separate from work that requires urgent and necessary intervention by the employee, insofar as performance of the employment contract renders this intervention impossible”. 

Examples include:

Employees can take the time off work that they need to resolve the problems they are facing. This means the time needed for a rapid and necessary intervention, but no more. Absence of this type is limited to a maximum of 10 days a year. For part-time employees, this maximum period of absence is reduced in accordance with their working time. 

  1. Tell both Tentoo and your employer as soon as possible. 
  2. You may be asked to provide evidence of your compelling reason.

Permitted leave of absence

In exceptional cases, you as an employee can ask your employer for a permitted leave of absence (or unpaid leave, which is the same thing). This applies if you have an employment contract and there are no other statutory grounds for taking time off work (such as sickness, force majeure or special circumstances).

Your employer is always obliged to agree to this request! Conversely, an employer can never ask you to take unpaid leave – the request must always come from the agency worker/employee.

To avoid arguments, it is best to put down in writing that you both agree to the request for leave, stating the reasons, before you start working for the employer in question. If you would like to see an example of such a request, email us at info@tentoo.be.

  1. Once you obtain approval from your employer for your permitted leave of absence, always inform Tentoo in writing by emailing us at info@tentoo.be.
  2. Tentoo will indicate in your contract that you have a permitted leave of absence. 
  3. Both you as the agency worker and your employer must confirm your agreement to this in the contract in My Tentoo.

What if you fail to tell your employer on time?

If you do not inform your employer of your justified absence before the start of your working day, you are unlawfully absent.

In that case, of course, you have no right to be paid, and you also lose your social security rights for the day in question (e.g. your right to unemployment benefits).

Conclusion: If your absence is foreseeable, you have an obligation to tell your employer in advance. If you cannot go to work for reasons beyond your control – because you fall ill or you are in an accident, for example – you should tell Tentoo and your employer within the stated time that you are unfit for work. Tentoo will inform you about the specific terms of your absence and tell you whether or not you are entitled to be paid for the day in question.