11 February 2020

The social audit: become inspection-proof in three steps

Do you have a social inspection coming up? Or do you want to play it safe in case the inspectors show up unexpectedly? If so, a social audit is the ideal tool for you. This kind of assessment is carried out by an external, independent party and takes place in three defined steps. It means you can be sure that you won’t be penalised when a social inspection takes place.

A social audit is carried out in the same way as a social inspection. The idea is to identify any shortcomings or missing documents, so that you can get everything ship-shape for the real inspection. A social audit uses a fixed procedure:

 Step 1: checklist

You receive a visit from a social auditor who assumes the role of a social inspector. In the first instance, he or she will provide you with a list of all the documents he or she wants to see so that you can gather them together. These may include:

  • The employment regulations: an overview of the rights and obligations of your employees
  • All full-time and part-time employment contracts and schedules
  • The deviation register for employees with variable hours
  • The individual annual statements for your workforce.
  • Payslips
  • Copies of work permits
  • Proof of work accident insurance
  • Proof of expense reimbursements
  • Contracts and invoices for benefits in kind (company cars, Internet subscriptions, smartphones, laptops, etc.)

The social auditor will then visit the premises for an inspection.


Step 2: visit

The social auditor looks at which joint committee you belong to and the associated sectoral obligations with regard to pay, premiums, allowances, working hours and so on. He or she will also check the documents that an inspector would examine (see above).

Do you want to prepare for the interview?  Read our five tips here.


Step 3: report with recommendations

The inspection is not the end of the matter. You will receive a report summarising any shortcomings. The auditor will also provide specific recommendations and tips, for example on how to optimise your pay policy.

Last but not least: how much time does such a social audit take? That depends to a large degree on the size of your company. For larger organisations (> 50 employees) you should count on 4 to 5 days. In smaller SMEs (<50 employees), the audit is usually over in 2 to 3 days.


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Do you have any further questions about this? Then be sure to contact our advisors! Let's talk!

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