Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in northwestern Europe. It is a part of many supranational organizations, including the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU), the Benelux Economic Union, and the EU. In addition, Belgium is divided into three regions: the Flemish and Walloon Regions and the Brussels-Capital Region.
*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Belgium.
Euro (€, EUR)
Languages spoken :
Dutch, French, German
11.58 million (2022 est.)
Minimum wage 2023 :
€1,955.04 per month
Cost of Living index :
$$$$ (22 of 139 nations)
Payroll Frequency :
VAT - standard rate :
GDP - real growth rate :
6.2% (2021 est.)
The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2023.
Belgium celebrates 12 public holidays. If any of the public holidays fall on a weekend, the day becomes a floating holiday, which the employee is entitled to use like any vacation day.
The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in Belgium is 5 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.
NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.
In principle, an employee’s working time should not exceed eight hours per day and 38 hours, five days per week. With the employer’s consent, employees can also work 38 hours per four-day working week, totaling nine hours and 30 minutes per day.
Under any circumstances, the maximum working time for any employee cannot exceed 48 hours per week. Overtime is paid at a minimum of 150% of the normal rate, or 200% in the case of work on Sundays or public holidays. It is also prohibited to work between 20:00 and 6:00, but exemptions may be granted.
Probationary, or trial, periods are not permitted in Belgium (other than for the first three days of a temporary agency work contract).
The notice period varies according to the duration of the employment contract. The notice starts the following Monday from the date on which it was served. It must be in writing to provide complete details of the duration and start of the notice.
Notice period based on seniority is as below:
|Seniority||Notice to be given by Employer|
|0-3 months||1 week|
|< 4 months||3 weeks|
|< 5 months||4 weeks|
|< 6 months||5 weeks|
|6-9 months||6 weeks|
|9-12 months||7 weeks|
|12-15 months||8 weeks|
|15-18 months||9 weeks|
|18-21 months||10 weeks|
|21-24 months||11 weeks|
|> 2 years||12 weeks|
|3 years||13 weeks|
|4 years||15 weeks|
|5 years||18 weeks|
|10 years||33 weeks|
|23 years||65 weeks|
Full-time employees are usually entitled to an annual leave of four weeks (20 days). Holiday entitlement must be between 20 and 24 days of annual leave, depending on whether the working regime includes five or six working days per week for 12 months of work.
Employees are entitled to sick leave and there is no maximum number of days. There is no obligation for the employee to submit a medical certificate for the first day of incapacity for work three times per calendar year. All white-collar employees with a contract of at least three months are entitled to receive 100% of normal remuneration for the first 30 days of absence.
During the first year of incapacity following the period covered by the guaranteed salary, the employee will receive sickness benefits from the Health Insurance Fund (ziekenfonds-mutuelle). The sickness insurance starts when the guaranteed salary period paid by the employer is over. The compensation rate is 60% of earnings.
For each child, an employee can request parental leave in the form of a full break for a maximum of four months. During parental leave, the employee’s contract is suspended, and they have no statutory entitlement to receive salaries from the employer. However, they are entitled to obtain a monthly interruption allowance from the National Employment Office (ONEM), to compensate for the decrease in the employee’s income.
Maternity leave must be taken within four months after the birth. The leave is 15 weeks long (with a possible extension of two weeks in case of multiple births) and is broken down into two stages:
The maternity benefit, paid by the social security system, is equal to 82% of the employee’s salary for the first 30 days and then drops to 75%, which will be capped.
Spouses are entitled to 15 days of leave within a period of four months following the birth.
The basic entitlement is six weeks’ leave per adoptive parent, increased by two weeks per parent if more than one child is adopted simultaneously. There is also an additional entitlement of two weeks’ leave per child, which may be either shared by both adoptive parents (where a couple adopts) or taken by one of them.
Employees are entitled to 10 days of bereavement leave if they lose a child or partner.
A salaried worker in Belgium is entitled to take time off from work and still receive a normal salary in the case of important family events, civil obligations, or court appearances.
Such leave may not exceed 10 working days in a calendar year. An employee has the right to be absent from work for compelling reason such as unforeseeable events that require the urgent intervention of the worker.
Social security includes seven branches:
In the scheme for employees, both employees and employers have to pay contributions to the National Social Security Office (Office national de sécurité sociale, ONSS). The addition of contributions to the business closure fund further adds to the employer costs depending on the number of employees they employ.
The following table presents the social security contributions from the employer:
Medical benefits (Ziekte en invaliditeit – geneeskundige verzorging)
Cash Benefits, Disability Pensions and Maternity Benefits (Ziekte en invaliditeit – uitkeringen)
Work accidents (Arbeidsongevallen)
Occupational Diseases (Beroepsziekten)
Child Benefits (Kinderbijslag)
Basic Contributions Total
NOTE: The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged by WorkMotion may differ.
Health insurance includes both medical care and cash allowances.
The employer contributes 3.80% to health insurance for medical care, while the employee contributes 3.55%. The employer also contributes 2.35% to the cash benefits fund that covers sickness, while the employee contributes 1.15%.
Only the employer contributes 0.32% to accident insurance and 1.00% to occupational diseases insurance.
All Belgian employers are obliged to insure their paid employees for the risk of accidents at work by subscribing to a policy with an insurance company.
The employer contributes 1.60% towards unemployment insurance, while the employee contributes 0.87%.
Employees covered by social security can obtain unemployment benefits if they meet the necessary conditions.
The employer contributes 8.86% to the pension, while the employee contributes 7.50%.
In Belgium the legal pension age is set at:
Only the employer contributes 7% towards child benefits insurance.
Family benefit schemes of the federated entities provide for:
The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.
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