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    Police given permission to take (some) second jobs

    ©Tafe Sa Tonsley/Flickr
    ©Tafe Sa Tonsley/Flickr

    The federal home affairs ministry has changed the rules on police personnel having second jobs outside the force, police unions said. Police officers may now have jobs on the side, with certain exceptions. The new rule in fact reverses the old rule, which said that no active duty police officers could hold a second job; only logistical and administrative workers were excepted. The new rule goes the other way: all officers may now work outside the force, with a number of jobs remaining disallowed.

    Those include, for example, security work or ambulance work. Also excluded: maintaining licensed premises such as a cafe or bar, giving driving lessons or security advice. In most other cases, anything is allowed unless the police chief objects within 45 days of the request.

    The measure was immediately opposed by the national construction union Bouwunie, which said it foresees unfair competition from police officers working as handymen or painters and decorators, competing unfairly with those whose main profession it is. The government recently made it possible for other people like the retired or those working up to 80% to earn up to €500 a month doing other work – something the union also described as unfair competition. That measure is also the subject of a case brought by the union for the self-employed, before the Constitutional Court, on grounds of discrimination. While professionals have to pay tax and social security on their earning, the union argues, amateurs and hobbyists can earn €6,000 a year tax-free.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times