Belgium

Employment

There are few types of contracts – open ended, fixed term, specific assignment, replacement and temporary contracts.

Payroll

Payroll frequency is monthly, for work between the first and last day of the month.
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Pay date is typically the last day of the month, but can be as late as the 15th of each following month.

HR & Labor

Working hours: A full time employee works 38 hours. Overtime must be paid 150% of the regular salary and 200% more if the employee works overtime on a holiday or Sunday. There is 13th salary which is paid as bonus. After working 6 consecutive hours, employees are entitled to 15 minutes break.
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Minimum age: Employees who are 15+ can start working part time. After 18 they are allowed to work full time.

Immigration

If the employee is a non-EEA national, the must obtain work permit through a Belgian employer first. For EEA nationals, they do not require a work permit.

Benefits

There is vacation bonus, which is 85% of monthly salary and paid during the annual vacation. There is 15 weeks of maternity leave and all employees can suspend their employment agreement for one year during their professional career, without specific reason. Employees get paid special social security during this time.
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The écocheque: a wage premium (mandatory and up to €250 euros per year), with social security and tax exemptions, focusing on environmentally-friendly and sustainable – so-called ‘green’ – consumer goods which the worker can use. The purpose of this agreement was to contribute actively to raise the awareness of the accessibility of ecological products, as well as to grant an additional ‘net benefit’ to employees.

Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is 1,528.84 EUR.

Public Holidays

There are 10 official holidays during which 85% of the regular salary is paid.

July 21: National Day
August 15: Assumption Day
November 1: All Saints' Day
November 11: Armistice Day
December 25: Christmas Day

January 1: New Years Day
April 2: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
May 10: Ascension Day
May 21: Whit Monday
July 21: Belgium National Holiday
August 15: Assumption Day
November 1: All Saints' Day
November 11: Armistice Day 1918
December 25: Christmas

Pension Fund

Employees and employers contribute to pension fund and social security based on their annual gross salary. No ceilings apply.

The employer contributes 8.86%.

The employee contributes 7.5%.

Severance Payments

The amount is calculated based on the remuneration to which the employee is entitled at the time of termination.

Advance Notice

As if January 1st, 2014 the termination notice no longer depends on salary and employee’s position, it depends on length of service.

Termination Procedure

An open ended employment contract can be terminated at any time, while fixed term contracts cannot be terminated. A written notice be given indicating the start and duration of the period of notice. It is possible to replace a termination notice with one time payment, the amount which is equivalent to the salary which would be received during the notice period.

Sick Days

Employee is entitled to 30 days of regular wages paid.

Vacation Days

Employees are entitled to 20 days if they work 5 days a week and 24 days for employees working 6 days a week.

Expat Benefits

An employee can apply for an expatriate special income tax regime which is the deduction of tax-free allowances up to 11,250/29,750EUR after working in the company for six month in Belgium. This process requires a special application request that must be filled by both the employer and employee. There are four qualifications which are the employee must be a foreign national, either holding an executive or director's position, researcher or a specialist. Furthermore the expatriate must be a non-citizen of Belgium and have a proof of this status and be temporarily employed by his/her employer. There are two types of tax free allowances, one is non-repetitive expenses and repetitive expenses. The limit for repetitive expenses per year is 11,250EUR this includes the difference of cost of living, housing, tax equalization between Belgium and expatriate's country of origin. Non-repetitive expenses are moving costs on arriving and departing Belgium, or other initial costs upon arriving. The education of the children of the employee are excluded from the above mentioned maximum. The employer will cover the cost of tuition, fees, transportation for the children during the time they are residing in Belgium.

Additional Employee Withholdings

1. Child benefits -Employer contributes 7%.
2. Unemployment -Employer contributes 1.46%.
3. Medical care in the case of sickness - Employer contributes 3.80%.
4. Sickness and incapacity benefits - Employer contributes 2.35%.
5. Occupational illnesses - Employer contributes 1%
6. Industrial accidents - Employer contributes 0.30%

1. Child benefits - Employee contributes 0%
2. Unemployment - Employee contributes 0.87%
3. Medical care in the case of sickness - Employee contributes 3.55%
4. Sickness and incapacity benefits - Employee contributes 1.15%
5. Occupational illnesses - Employee contributes 0%
6. Industrial accidents- Employee contributes 0%

VAT

VAT is 21% standard rate