Overview

Capital
Brussels
Currency
Euro (EUR)
Date Format
dd/mm/yyyy

Contributions

Employer

Employer Payroll Contributions

25-27%
Social Security
27% Total Employment Cost
Employee

Employee Payroll Contributions

13.07%
Social Security
13.07% Total Employee Cost

Employee Income Tax

25%
Up to 13,250 EUR
40%
13,250- 23,390 EUR
45%
23,390- 40,480 EUR
50%
40,480 EUR and above
Employer Taxes
3 HIGHEST
3 LOWEST
Brazil
China
Slovakia
Belgium
South Africa
Georgia
Macedonia
82.39%
41.12%
37.2%
27%
2%
2%
0%
Employee taxes
3 HIGHEST
3 LOWEST
Romania
Macedonia
Netherlands
Belgium
New Zealand
Belarus
Ukraine
45%
28%
27.65%
13.07%
1.39%
1%
0%

Minimum Wage

General

The minimum wage in Belgium varies and is agreed upon in national collective agreements and is overseen by the Joint Labour Committee.

Flanders

Minimum salary levels will increase by 1.94% in Flanders for the following categories. New minimum salary levels include:

  • Executives (including those in the upcoming EU ICT Permit): EUR 69,638
  • EU Blue Card applicants: EUR 52,229
  • Specialists and trainees (EU ICT Permit/Highly-skilled permit applicants): EUR 43,524
  • Locally hired staff under 30 years old: EUR 34,819.20

Brussels

Starting in 2021, Brussels will have a 1.23% minimum salary increase in the categories below. New minimum salaries include:

  • Executives: EUR 72,399
  • EU Blue Card applicants/managers with the EU ICT Permit: EUR 56,111
  • Specialists (EU ICT Permit): EUR 44,889
  • Trainees (EU ICT Permit): EUR 28,056
  • Highly-skilled permit applicants: EUR 43,395

Wallonia

Minimum salary levels will increase by 1.23% in 2021. New minimum salaries are reported for the following categories:

  • Executives: EUR 72,399
  • EU Blue Card applicants: EUR 56,112
  • Highly-skilled permit applicants: EUR 43,395

Payroll

Payroll Cycle

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

13th Salary

A 13th salary may apply depending on Joint Labour Committee.

Working Hours

General

The maximum full workweek in Belgium is 38 hours. Depending on some Joint Labour Committees, the number of working hours can be lower, however, the minimum number of hours per day is 3.

Overtime

Overtime is strictly regulated and in general, prohibited.

When employees work overtime, they are paid at the rate of 150% of the regular pay during weekdays and 200% for work on weekends or public holidays.

Rules on overtime and working hours do not apply to some jobs such as sales, managerial roles, and trust roles.

Leave

Paid Time Off

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

Vacation days
Public holidays
3 HIGHEST
3 LOWEST
Spain
Austria
Brazil
Belgium
Michigan
China
Federal
30
14
44
30
13
43
30
13
43
20
10
30
2
11
13
5
7
12
10
10
Public Holidays

There are 10 public holidays.  An extra holiday may be applicable according to the Joint Labour Committee.

Sick Days

For the first 30 days of sick leave, the employer must pay the employee’s full salary. The employee is required to provide a medical certificate upon the employer’s request.

After the first 30 days of sickness, the Health Insurance Fund pays for the remainder of the sick leave.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is 15 weeks long and is broken down into 2 stages:

  • Prenatal leave: The woman must take a minimum of 1 week before the expected due date and can take up to a maximum of 6 weeks of leave before the due date.
  • Postnatal leave: A mandatory 9 weeks which starts from the date of the birth of the child.

For multiple births, the mother is entitled to an additional 2 weeks of maternity leave.

The Health Insurance Fund pays for the maternity leave as follows:

  • 82% of the salary for the first 30 days of the leave
  • 75% of the salary (capped at 106.9, EUR per day) from the 31st day onwards.
PAID MATERNITY LEAVE (DAYS)
413
410
365
105
45
30
0
Norway
Bulgaria
Serbia
Belgium
United Arab Emirates
Tunisia
Federal
3 HIGHEST
3 LOWEST
Paternity Leave

The father is entitled to 15 days of paid paternity leave. The 15 days can be taken separately or in a row as well as split up to up to 30 half-days. Leave must be taken within the first 4 months of the birth of the child.

The first 3 days of the leave are paid by the employer and the remaining leave is paid by the Health Insurance Fund at a rate of 82% of the regular pay.

Parental Leave

Parental leave can start from any time from the end of the post-natal maternity leave and can be taken as follows:

  • A single 4-month period
  • Multiple periods broken into at least 1 month each
  • Temporarily reducing the working hours to 80% and can be done for a maximum of 20 months.  This period can also be divided up into multiples of 2 month periods.
  • Temporarily reducing the working hours to 50% for a maximum of  8 months.  This period can also be divided up into multiples of 2 month periods.
  • Taking off half a day per week or one full day every 2 weeks and can be done for a maximum of 40 months or divided up into several periods of 10 months each.  However, the employer has the right to refuse this scheme.
Other Leave

Depending on the various Joint Labour Committees, leave might be given for the marriage of the employee or family member.

Termination

Termination Process

The termination process varies according to how the employment agreement.

The strictest form of dismissal is dismissal with notice.

Employees who have been employed for at least 6 months have the right to know the reason for the termination.

Notice Period

Notice period varies based on the length of employment:

  • Less than 3 months of employment- 2 weeks’ notice
  • 3-6 months of employment- 4 weeks’ notice
  • 6-9 months of employment- 6 weeks’ notice
  • 9-12 months of employment- 7 weeks’ notice
  • 12-15 months of employment- 8 weeks’ notice
  • 15-18 months of employment- 9 weeks’ notice
  • 18-21 months of employment- 10 weeks’ notice
  • 21-24 months of employment- 11 weeks’ notice
  • 24-36 weeks of employment- 12 weeks’ notice
  • 36-48 months of employment- 13 weeks’ notice
  • 48-60 months of employment- 15 weeks’ notice
  • 60 months- 19 years of employment- 60 weeks’ notice + 3 weeks for every year exceeding 5 years
  • 20-21 years of employment- 62 weeks notice + 1 week for every year of employment

It is also possible to pay in lieu of notice.

Severance Pay

Severance pay is only applicable when an employer terminated an employment agreement without notice.  In this case, the severance pay would be for the same amount the employee would earn if they were given notice.

Probation Period

6 months

VISA

VISA

Foreign nationals can work in Belgium for a maximum of 90 days. Both the salaried employee and their employer need an employment permit. Conditions and procedures for the application process are determined by the type of employee. Applications should be done in correlation to the region in which an employer will be working.  

To extend a work permit, an application must be submitted to the Economic Migration Department at least 2 months before the expiry date. 

VAT

General

The standard VAT rate is 21%.

Version History

January 1, 2021
Paternity leave extended from 10 to 15 days.

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    Questions & Answers

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    Francis T.
    Francis T.
    10 months ago

    What is the rate of pay for the double holiday pay?

    Emily Kuhnert
    Admin
    10 months ago
    Reply to  Francis T.

    Depending on the collective bargaining agreement, some employees might be entitled to double holiday pay. This is usually paid out when the employee takes their main holiday or in many cases, employers choose to pay this amount out in May. The rate of pay is 92% of the gross monthly salary and any variables, including commissions, bonuses, or any other extra pay. In addition, if the employee is entitled to a mobile phone allowance, this is also included when calculating the double holiday pay. The gross monthly salary is determined by the average of the last 12 salaries before the employee takes the leave.

    Tils Kneepkens
    Tils Kneepkens
    9 months ago

    Hi Emily, At what rates are the 13th month salary and double vacation pay taxed? Are they both subject to the same social security and net income tax rates as the regular gross salary?

    Emily Kuhnert
    Admin
    9 months ago
    Reply to  Tils Kneepkens

    Hi Tils, thank you for your question! This is correct, the 13th month salary and double vacation pay are taxed at the same rate as the regular gross salary is for both the employer and employee contributions. Hope this helps!

    Pauline
    Pauline
    5 months ago

    Are there mandatory annual salary increases?

    Emily Kuhnert
    Admin
    5 months ago
    Reply to  Pauline

    Hi, good question! Yes, there is! It varies every year, and is different between different regions and job types. The percentage of the increase is announced at the end of the calendar year. For example, for 2021, the increases were between 1.23%-1.94%.

    Max
    Max
    3 months ago

    How do I calculate the number of PTO days employees get if they joined less than a year ago?

    Alex Margolin
    Admin
    3 months ago
    Reply to  Max

    The number of paid holiday days an employee earns is based on both the number of days worked per week and the number months worked over the past year, either for you or for a previous employer. An employee who works five days a week for 12 months earns 20 days of paid holiday. If the employee works less time over the past year, it can be calculated proportionately by that standard.

    Ben
    Ben
    19 days ago

    What is the maximum number of hours an employee can work in a week? 

    Emily Kuhnert
    Admin
    19 days ago
    Reply to  Ben

    In general, rules on working hours are very strict, and a 38-hour workweek is the maximum. However, depending on various collective bargaining agreements and joint labor committees, the workweek may be shorter than 38 hours. In some cases, there are work schemes that allow for successive shifts that permit an 11-hour workday or 50 total in a week. Another exception is for technical work that otherwise would interrupt the operations of a company. In this case, a 12-hour workday is permitted or 50 hours per week, or alternatively, an 8-hour workday or 56 hours per 7 days.

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