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Belgium to crack down on unemployment fraud

10:51 15/06/2015

The Belgian Privacy Commission has no objection to the government’s plans to give the National Employment Office (ONEM) authority to visit the homes of the unemployed should there be any suspicion of domicile fraud - or giving a false family situation to get a higher benefit, according to the commission at the request of employment minister Kris Peeters.

Privacy secretary Bart Tommelein agrees with the ruling as long as home inspections only occur under strict conditions. He also believes that the policy could have a preventative effect.

In cases of suspected fraud, ONEM is to first hold a hearing with the unemployed person who must be given 10 days’ notice. If any doubt remains after the hearing, ONEM can then send a social inspector to the unemployed person’s home to inspect the actual family situation. 

Written by Robyn Boyle