How can I enforce my employment rights?

If a diplomat does not comply with the terms and conditions of employment for their domestic staff, employees can report this to the CGD (Commission for Embassy Personnel). An employee can also start legal proceedings against an employer through the courts.

The employer enjoys diplomatic immunity, however this is restricted solely to their official duties as diplomat. Since a housekeeper is personally employed by the employer, this employment relationship is regarded as an activity outside the performance of their official duties.

CGD (commission for embassy personnel)

The CGD is a mediation body consisting of members of the Federal Inspectorate (monitoring social laws), the Protocol Directorate, the Federal Department of Social Security and the unions, amongst others.

The Commission’s mandate is to analyse disputes between embassy personnel and their employers, to inform the diplomatic missions of their responsibilities and to make recommendations to reach amicable settlements.

Mediation at the Commission is not a traditional complaint to the labour inspectorate, neither is it a legal procedure. Disputes are settled by way of correspondence or via a face-to-face meeting with an employer. If a solution is not found, the Commission shall discontinue the mediation and advise that the case be brought before the court.


If mediation at the CGD fails to provide a solution, the employee can take the employer to court. As the employee you must ensure you have sufficient documentary evidence. You can always engage the services of a lawyer, FAIRWORK Belgium or a trade union to assist you. If you do take your employer to court and you lose the case, you will have to pay the costs of the court case.

If you experience problems with your employer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We can put you in contact with the appropriate departments and assist you during the procedure.