"Extend system of certified cash registers to all shops and other sectors"

The State Secretary for the Battle against Social Fraud, Bart Tommelein (Flemish liberal), wants all shops to work with certified (so-called "white") cash registers that do not allow any kind of fiddling. The system has been imposed on the hospitality industry, but Tommelein would also like other sectors to adopt the system.

The certified cash register will contain a kind of black box that keeps detailed records of any incoming cash or financial transactions, and of which employees are working at which hours exactly, De Tijd reports.

Hotels, restaurants and pubs had until 28 February to register for this new system and file an application with the federal government. They will have to use the black box cash register as from 1 January 2015, fresh legislation says. Inspectors will check whether the rules are not being violated.

The hospitality industry was targeted first, as social fraud is believed to be a major problem there, with the government missing out on millions of tax revenues. The sector complained that if they had to adopt the new rules, many businesses would go bankrupt and eventually convinced the government to make concessions - the government lowered labour tax rates and allowed more flexible jobs, comparable to the zero-hour contracts in the U.K.

The aim is counter social fraud, tackle illegal work and increase VAT revenues. Tommelein also wants the building and transport sector to adopt the system, and all shops in general, like clothing stores. He sees the certified cash register in the hospitality industry as a testcase, and hopes to extend it further in the future. The State Secretary says that not all sectors are against, with some even asking for the black box register, like the meat industry.