Download Belgium Guide

By submitting this form, you agree to receive the requested information, as well as occasional communications regarding Papaya Global's products, services, and events. You can unsubscribe at any time. To read more visit privacy policy

Back

Public Holidays Calendar

Download:
CSV
PDF
ICS
Copy link
Belgium 2022
Day Date Holiday Notes
Saturday Jan-1 New Year's Day Day off must be given in lieu
Monday Apr-18 Easter Monday
Sunday May-1 May Day Day off must be given in lieu
Thursday May-26 Ascension Day
Monday Jun-6 Whit Monday
Thursday Jul-21 National Day
Monday Aug-15 Assumption of Mary
Tuesday Nov-1 All Saints Day
Friday Nov-11 Armistice Day Day off must be given in lieu
Sunday Dec-25 Christmas
Countrypedia

Belgium
Payroll and Benefits Guide

Last updated: Feb 27, 2022
Currency
Euro (EUR)
Payroll Frequency
Monthly
Employer Taxes
25.00%

Papaya Offers Complete Payroll, PEO and Contractor Management Services For Belgium

Download PDF Version

Overview

Capital
Brussels
Currency
Euro (EUR)
Date Format
dd/mm/yyyy
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December

Contributions

Employer

Employer Payroll Contributions

25.00% 

Social Security (start-up reductions are available for the first six recruitments; Full exemption from payment of basic social security contributions (25%) for the very first hire, for the second to sixth employee, it is reduced to 1,550 EUR for the first five quarters, 1,050 EUR for the next four quarters and 450 EUR for the last four quarters) Further specific reductions also available for elderly employees (Flanders)

25.00% Total Employment Cost

Employee

Employee Payroll Contributions

13.07% (in % on gross wage at 100.00%)

Social Security for white collar workers

13.07% (in % on gross wage at 108.00%)

Social Security for blue collar workers

13.07% Total Employee Cost

Employee Income Tax

25%

0.00 EUR – 13,540 EUR

40%

13,540.01 EUR – 23,900 EUR

45%

23,900.01 EUR – 41,360 EUR

50%

41,360.01 EUR and above

Payroll

Payroll Cycle

In Belgium, the payroll frequency is monthly for work between the first and last day of the month and is typically paid on the last day of the month.

13th Salary

A 13th salary may apply depending on the Joint Labour Committee. For those employers who do pay a 13th-month bonus, it is typically paid at the end of the year. In addition, some employers also add half of a 14th month’s pay.

In the first and last year of employment, the 13th-month bonus is paid pro-rata, assuming the employee doesn’t work a full calendar year.

Working Hours

General

The standard working week in Belgium can be no longer than 38 hours. After 38 hours, workers must be paid overtime (this generally does not apply if the employee is a senior executive or manager).  The maximum working time per week may be lower in some industry sectors based on a collective bargaining agreement. There are several statutory exceptions to this rule.

In the case of shift work, it is possible to work up to 11 hours per day (50 hours per week) and in the case of continuous work, even up to 12 hours. Under certain conditions, employers may introduce flexible working time schedules with a weekly working time exceeding 38 hours, provided that the quarterly or yearly average remains at 38 hours per week. The daily minimum working time is three hours, but statutory exceptions exist. Working hours at night, on Sundays, or during public holidays is only allowed under strict legal conditions.

Overtime

If work time limits are passed, compensation of overtime is compulsory. Overtime work is strictly regulated and, in general, prohibited, although there are several exceptions to this rule. Where overtime is authorized, overtime pay is at least 150% of the employee’s regular rate of pay and 200% of the standard rate if the overtime occurs on a Sunday or a public holiday. Rules on overtime and working hours do not apply to some jobs such as sales, managerial roles, and trust roles.

Working Week

Monday-Friday

Leave

Paid Time Off

In Belgium, an employee’s annual leave entitlement in a given year is determined by the number of days worked. Employees are entitled to 20 to 24 days of annual leave, depending on their working regime (i.e., For a 5-day week, the entitlement would be 20 days paid annual leave and for a 6-day week 24 days).

Employees are entitled to remuneration for ten official public holidays. If a public holiday falls on a Sunday or on a day the employee does not usually work, the employer must grant a replacement rest day.

Public Holidays

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

Sick Days

In case of illness or a personal accident, the employee continues to receive their regular salary for thirty days of which the employer pays. After 30 days, should the sick leave continue, the Health Insurance Fund will take over the payments. All sick leave must be certified by a medical professional.

In 2022 the government has set the goal of getting more long-term ill individuals back to work via several initiatives. 

Maternity Leave

A pregnant employee is entitled to 15 weeks of Maternity Leave, with the potential to increase to 19 weeks in the case of complicated or multiple births.

Maternity leave consists of two periods: Prenatal leave and Postnatal Leave.

A mother must take a minimum of one week’s leave before the expected due date but can take up to a maximum of 6 weeks of leave before the due date; this is the Prenatal Leave. A mother must also take a further nine weeks of leave following the birth of a child, the Postnatal Leave.

Employees are forbidden to perform work during the seven days preceding the presumed delivery date and within the nine weeks that begin on the day of delivery. The employee may take the remaining weeks either before or after childbirth. The employee is required to notify her employer at the latest seven weeks before the expected date of delivery (or nine weeks when multiple births are expected), a medical certificate attesting to this date.

Women receive maternity benefits while on maternity leave. This benefit, paid by the social security system Health Insurance Fund, equals 82.00% of the employee’s salary for the first 30 days and then reduces to 75.00% of their regular pay (which will be capped). During this period, the employer is not obliged to make any payments to the employee.

Paternity Leave

The father is entitled to 15 days of paid Paternity Leave. The 15 days of paid leave can be taken separately, in a row, or split up into 30 half-days. The employee must take leave within the first four months of the birth of the child.

Parental Leave

Parental leave can be requested at any time from the end of the post-natal maternity leave and can be taken once an agreement has been reached between the employee and employer, as follows:

  • A single 4-month period
  • Multiple periods which are broken into at least one month each
  • Temporarily reducing the working hours to 80% 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 two weeks. This can be done for a maximum of 40 months or divided into several periods of 10 months each. However, the employer has the right to refuse this scheme.

An employee who takes in a child in his family as part of long-term foster care or adoption is entitled to an individual credit for Parental leave of up to six weeks. This credit for six weeks is not transferable to the other adoptive parent.

Other Leave

Depending on the various Joint Labour Committees, employees may be allowed additional leave types, once approved between the employer and employee.

Family care, to assist a seriously ill household or family member:

  • All employees (employed full-time or part-time) can entirely suspend their services for 12 months maximum per patient. These interruptions must be taken each time for periods of a minimum of one month and a maximum of 3 months
  • All employees are entitled to reduce their benefits by 1/5 or 1/2 during 24 months maximum per patient. These benefit reduction periods must also be taken each time in periods of a minimum of one month and a maximum of 3 months.
  • All employees employed part-time whose average weekly working hours is at least equal to ¾ of the average weekly working hours of a full-time worker can reduce his or her benefits by up to half of full-time employment for a maximum period of 24 months per patient. These benefit reduction periods must also be taken each time in periods of a minimum of one month and a maximum of 3 months.
  • Employees are entitled to paid time off to perform their jury leave duties.
  • Employees are entitled to paid leave due to a death of a family member.
  • Employees are entitled to leave for the marriage of the employee or family member.

Termination

Termination Process

The termination process varies depending on the employment agreement; the strictest form of dismissal is dismissal with notice.  Employees who have been employed for at least six months have the right to know the reason for the termination.

Some employees enjoy protection against dismissal, meaning that the employer may not dismiss them on some grounds; for example, pregnant women can not be dismissed because of their pregnancy.  An employee cannot be dismissed except for specific reasons provided by law (e.g., employee representatives in the Works Council and Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPPW)).

Some sectors have additional procedures (laid down in collective bargaining agreements) that could provide specific information and consultation rules, etc., which, even with multiple dismissals, do not fall under the European and national collective dismissal rules.

When the employment contract ends, all wages that are still due must be paid without delay; they are to be paid on the first payday following the date on which the employment contract ends at the very latest. (art. 11 of the Wage Protection Act).

When a certain percentage of the workforce in a business is made redundant, collective agreements generally entitle them to additional compensations over and above the average unemployment benefits.  Employees dismissed for serious cause, or resigned employees will not (immediately) be entitled to unemployment benefits.

Notice Period

Notice periods are dependent on the length of service/employment:

Length of service                                          Amount of notice

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 employee has been terminated without notice; in this circumstance, the severance pay would be the same amount the employee would have earned if they had received notice.

An employer can choose to either terminate an employment contract granting a notice period or terminate the employment contract immediately with the payment of an indemnity in lieu of notice. A combination of both, where the employee serves the notice period, followed by the payment of an indemnity for the remainder of the notice period, is also a possibility.

The indemnity in lieu of notice is calculated based on the employee’s annual salary at the time of termination, including statutory and contractual fringe benefits.

Probation Period

Probation or Trial periods have been suppressed by the Unified Employment Status Act since January 2014 (except with students, temporary workers, and temporary agency workers).

VISA

VISA

EU nationals planning to stay in Belgium for less than three months should register with the relevant local authority upon arrival. If the period of stay is for more than three months, it will be necessary to obtain a registration certificate from your local authority.

After living in Belgium for three years, EU citizens will need to transfer their health and social security coverage to their host country to apply for permanent residency.

Citizens of non-EU countries require a visa and/or work permit. Short-term visas are for individuals staying less than 90 days in Belgium, while long-term visas are for those residing in Belgium for more than 90 days. The latter also requires a work permit, which the prospective employer must usually apply for, ideally many months in advance.  The type of employee determines conditions and procedures for the application process. Applications are to be made in correlation to the region in which an employer will be working. An application must be submitted to the Economic Migration Department at least two months before the expiry date to extend a work permit.

 

VAT

General

The standard rate of VAT in Belgium is 21%.

Version History

February 27, 2022
The monthly minimum wage has changed.
January 1, 2021
Paternity leave extended from 10 to 15 days.
Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Questions & Answers

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
31 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Francis T.
Francis T.
1 year ago

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

Emily Kuhnert
Admin
1 year 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.

Scott W.
Scott W.
3 months ago
Reply to  Emily Kuhnert

For the double holiday pay, if the employee has commissions, how are the commissions calculated for that pay? Is is the year’s total commission averaged out per month or is calculated on the total year’s commissions?

Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Scott W.

Hello Scott,

It’s important to note that in Belgium Holiday Allowance and Pay is based on the 12 months before the month of vacation i.e. it is accrued in advance.

Holiday pay in Belgium is calculated according to Belgian labor laws based on general notions of salary. These are all benefits of the work performed in executing the employment agreement. The remuneration that is not subject to social security contributions is excluded from this notion.

Commissions and bonuses are included in the calculation base.

The single holiday pay corresponds to the average variable remuneration earned during the 12 months before the month during which the main vacation is taken, divided by 20.83 (in case of a 5 days working week) and multiplied by 20 (if entitled to the complete 4 weeks of vacation).

The double holiday pay corresponds to 92% of 1/12th of the gross variable remuneration earned during the 12 months before the month during which the main vacation is taken.

Tils Kneepkens
Tils Kneepkens
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year ago

Are there mandatory annual salary increases?

Emily Kuhnert
Admin
1 year 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%.

Vikki Gledhill
Vikki Gledhill
2 months ago
Reply to  Emily Kuhnert

Do we know when the 2022/2023 mandatory annual salary increases will need to be applied please?

Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  Vikki Gledhill

No, we usually only find out the increased amount on the month it is given.

Max
Max
1 year ago

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

Admin
1 year 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
1 year ago

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

Emily Kuhnert
Admin
1 year 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.

Joke De Maesschalck
8 months ago

For new employees joining, does Papaya declare the new person to social security services?

Emily Kuhnert
Admin
8 months ago

Hi, thank you for your question. Yes, Papaya works with our Employer of Record to ensure that your worker is being hired with full compliance with local labor laws and requirements. Our partners are fully vetted to ensure this. Please feel free to schedule a call with us to understand how we can assist you https://papayaglobal.com/schedule-a-demo/.

Jamuna Singh
Jamuna Singh
8 months ago

Hi , If you can help to understand the payouts norms Belgium laws. We want to appoint XYZ as Manager Finance. Our offer for him is 55000 Euro per annum. Your advise is require to help and to understand how we can bifurcate into CTC components as per Belgium payout norms.

Admin
8 months ago
Reply to  Jamuna Singh

Hi Jamuna, This is very specific and the setup will vary depending on the setup of the client, the joint committee, etc. For example, under our EOR ICP, the salary will be 12 regular salaries + an additional 100% salary as 13 salary + 14th salary at 92% salary. It’s important to seek specific guidance to understand what will impact your workers.

Meli Smith
Meli Smith
6 months ago

Hello,
Hope you are well?
I am located in the UK and I have just agreed on a monthly net salary with a Belgian company. I would like to know about the holiday pay. Is this something supposed to be paid to me as an extra? Or should this be included in the net salary. Could you kindly let me know?

Admin
6 months ago
Reply to  Meli Smith

Hi Mel, It depends on what was agreed on during the contract signing.

Meli Smith
Meli Smith
6 months ago
Reply to  Erez Greenberg

Hi Erez, thanks for the answer. There was no mention about this, so I believe they included this in the net salary without letting me know.. 🙂

lina
lina
6 months ago

HI I would kindly ask what rules apply about travel costs, to my understanding:
If an employee commutes by train (over any distance), the employer makes a contribution towards the employee’s season ticket. The contribution is set at a flat rate, based on the cost of a season ticket at 2019 prices (the flat rate is renegotiated every two years).
•          If an employee commutes by another form of public transport, over a distance of at least five kilometres each way (one kilometre each way, from 1 July 2020), the employer makes a contribution towards the employee’s season ticket. This flat-rate contribution is the same as that for rail transport but is capped at either 71.8% or 75% (depending on how the price is set) of the actual cost of the public transport.

based on this I am not sure if we need to reimburse the train ticket and also to what extent. so does an employee need to bring a train ticket monthly or once is enough?

Admin
5 months ago
Reply to  lina

According to section 8 of the COLLECTIVE WORK AGREEMENT N° 19/9, “The employer’s contribution to the transport costs borne by the workers is paid once a month for workers with a monthly subscription, or during the period of payment which is customary in the company in with regard to tickets that are valid for three months, one year or for part-time tickets”. http://www.cnt-nar.be/CCT-COORD/cct-019-09.pdf https://emploi.belgique.be/fr/themes/remuneration/intervention-de-lemployeur-dans-les-frais-de-deplacement-domicile-lieu-de

Ellie
Ellie
4 months ago

Hello,

Regarding overtime for part-timers during normal office hours would it be calculated as 125% of the basic salary ?

Additionally, for paternity leave are employees entitled to full pay for the fifteen days or how would it be calculated ?

Kind regards,

Admin
4 months ago
Reply to  Ellie

Overtime pay should be at least 150% of the employee’s regular rate and 200% of the standard rate for overtime on Sundays or public holidays. For the first three days of paternity leave, fathers and co-parents receive their full salary from their employers. The employees’ mutual insurance fund will pay 82% of the capped gross salary for the remaining period.

Thelit
Thelit
3 months ago

Hello, I started a job in BE in January, coming from another EU country. I have 20yrs of work experience, but my current employer does not want to grant me any holiday days except for the 1/ month. At the same time seems I am not eligible for the 0.92 holiday payment either since I did not previously work in Belgium. Is this correct?

Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Thelit

It depends on the Collective Bargaining Agreement in Belgium, but as a general rule, holiday entitlements are based on what was accrued the previous year; therefore, if someone didn’t work in Belgium before starting a job, they would likely not be entitled to regular paid leave during the first year.

Akarsh
Akarsh
3 months ago

Could someone shed more info on wage categories and its difference >

Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  Akarsh

We are not aware of specific wage categories, if you could provide more context, we would be happy to share more information on this.

James
James
1 month ago

Hello,
I’d be glad if someone can give some insight to this. Got hired by a company in Brussels, after 5 days of working, a work accident happened. Employer admitted it was really a work accident. Potential surgery is imminent, will be off work for minimum 2-3months. Questions are what happens to the contract signed, also who continues to pay the employee?( I know at some point mutuality takes over, but since it is really a work accident)
thanks

Admin
2 hours ago
Reply to  James

The compensation and reimbursements for employees who have had an accident at work are very diverse and the terms will depend on the extent of the insurance which is in place and type of accident. All employers are legally obliged to provide occupational accident insurance with full coverage of their potential liability.
 
In general, an employee who is ill is entitled to statutory sick pay during the first 30 days of absence, payable by the employer. Following the 30 days period of the employer’s obligation to pay, employees who continue to be absent are generally entitled to a sickness benefit of 60% for the first year and an invalidity benefit of up to 65% (depending on circumstances) as of the second year.
 
It is important that the worker checks the details and terms of the employer insurance policy.

See how Papaya Global can help you automate your global payroll or PEO whilst staying 100% compliant with local labor laws

Get a Demo
Learn How to Comply with Local Labour Law
Learn now