What should I know about hiring in Belgium?
When hiring remote employees in Belgium it is essential to know that the Belgian labor market is highly regulated. This means that employers must follow specific rules and regulations when hiring employees.
Also when hiring in Belgium, it’s crucial to remember that all agreements must be written. This includes both the job offer and the employment contract. The offer letter must outline all relevant details, including job description, duties, salary, and start date.
Additionally, it’s crucial to understand the unique features of the Belgian labor market because of their significant differences from those of other countries. Another consideration when hiring in Belgium is the country’s high social security tax.
Why is Belgium a good choice for finding remote employees?
Belgium is an excellent place to look for remote workers for several reasons. To begin with, Belgium is a relatively small country, and as a result, there is a smaller pool of potential employees to choose from, making it easier to find the right fit for your company.
In addition, Belgium is home to many international corporations, so there is no shortage of professional growth and development opportunities. As a bonus, Belgians enjoy a high quality of life, making the country a desirable location for remote workers.
And lastly, Belgium is centrally located in Europe, making it easy for remote employees to travel to and from other countries.
How can Native Teams help you hire in Belgium
If you aren’t familiar with the Belgium job market, knowing where to start can be difficult. That’s why at every stage of the hiring process, Native Team will be there to offer guidance and support. From the initial hiring process to the final payment of wages and benefits, having a Native Team on your side may help ensure that your business complies with all Belgium laws.
Hire your first Belgium employee with Native Teams.
Legal requirements for hiring in Belgium
The minimum wage in Belgium increased in the first quarter of 2023 to 1,955 EUR.
Contributions & taxes
The employer expense typically ranges between 27.5 and 40% of the employee compensation.
The corporate tax rate in Belgium is 25%.
Total Employee Cost is 13.07%.
Tax rates on personal income are between 25% and 50%. The tax system applies progressive rates on income.
To calculate the salary and taxes in Belgium please click here.
In Belgium, pay is usually made on the last day of the month and is made monthly for work performed between the first and last day of the month.
Is there a 13th salary in Belgium?
A 13th-month salary, if given at all, is often distributed by companies at year’s end. Some companies even pay the equivalent of a whole 14th month’s salary as a bonus.
If employees don’t work a full calendar year during their first or last year, their 13th-month bonus will be paid out proportionally.
Since January 2014, when the Unified Employment Status Act was enacted, trial or probationary periods have been illegal.
The duration of the required notice period is proportional to the employee’s tenure:
- Less than 3 months of employment: 2 weeks’ notice;
- From 3 to 6 months of employment: 4 weeks’ notice;
- From 6 to 9 months of employment: 6 weeks’ notice;
- From 9 to 12 months of employment: 7 weeks’ notice;
- From 12 to 15 months of employment: 8 weeks’ notice;
- From 15 to 18 months of employment: 9 weeks’ notice;
- From 18 to 21 months of employment: 10 weeks’ notice;
- From 21 to 24 months of employment: 11 weeks’ notice;
- From 24 to 36 weeks of employment: 12 weeks’ notice;
- From 36 to 48 months of employment: 13 weeks’ notice;
- From 48 to 60 months of employment: 5 weeks’ notice;
- From 60 months to 19 years of employment: 60 weeks’ notice + 3 weeks for every year exceeding 5 years;
- From 20 to 21 years of employment: 62 weeks’ notice + 1 week for every year.
Only in the event of an unannounced termination is severance pay payable; in such a case, the severance payment would be equal to the amount the employee would have received had they been given advance notice of termination.
The employer may terminate the employee’s employment at any time, with or without cause, by paying the employee an indemnity in lieu of notice. It’s also possible for the two to go hand in hand: the employee could put in for their notice, then collect an indemnity for the time they weren’t working.
The annual salary, including all mandatory and contractual benefits, of the employee at the time of termination will be used to determine the amount of the indemnity instead of notice to be paid to the employee.
In Belgium, the maximum number of hours in a workweek that can be considered “normal” is 39. After that point, workers are entitled to overtime pay at rates that change based on the specifics of their extra shifts.
Leave and benefits
There are 10 official holidays in Belgium every year. Depending on the worker’s location, they may be eligible for additional regional holidays.
- New Year’s Day
- Easter Monday
- Labour Day
- Ascension Day
- Whit Monday
- Belgium National Holiday
- Assumption Day
- All Saints’ Day
- Armistice Day 1918
- Christmas Day
The employer must pay the employee’s regular salary for up to 30 days if the employee becomes ill or injured while on the job. If the sick leave lasts longer than 30 days, then the Health Insurance Fund will begin making payments instead. A doctor must verify any time off for illness.
Maternity leave & paternity leave
Maternity leave consists of two distinct periods: prenatal and postnatal. Each mother is entitled to between one and six weeks of paid absence from her job as prenatal leave, beginning at the beginning of her pregnancy and ending on the day her baby is expected to be born. A mother is also entitled to unpaid leave for nine weeks after the birth of her child. The female employee can use the remaining time off before and after giving birth. There is a 15-week maternity leave period for women working for a company, which can be extended to 19 weeks in case of complicated birth or multiple deliveries.
Within the first four months following the child’s birth, the employee must take leave. The father has 20 days of paid Paternity leave as a legal right. The 20 days of paid leave may be taken singly, consecutively, or in 40 half-day increments.
A worker is entitled to 3 days off in the event of the death of his or her spouse, child, father, mother, stepfather, or stepmother; 2 days off in the event of the death of a brother, sister, sister-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, grandchild, great-grandfather, great-grandmother, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law residing in the worker’s home; 3 days off in the event of the death of a son-in-law, or a stepdaughter.
The employee is free to request parental leave at any time after the conclusion of postnatal maternity leave, and the employer is required to grant it if the employee and employer agree on the following conditions:
- A single 4-month period;
- Multiple periods that are separated by at least one month;
- Temporarily cutting down on hours worked to 80% for up to 20 months. Additionally, this time frame can be split up into multiples of two-month time frames;
- Temporarily cutting hours by 50% for up to 8 months. In addition to whole months, this time frame can also be broken down into multiples of two months;
- Taking a half-day off every week or a full day off every two weeks. This can last up to 40 months or be divided into periods of 10 months each.
What are the minimum vacation days?
Annual leave for a Belgian worker is calculated according to the number of days worked that year. Depending on their schedule, employees can take anywhere from 20 to 24 days of vacation per year.
Health security & private insurance
Anyone who has worked for an employer for at least three months within the previous fifteen months is entitled to free medical and dental care through the Social Security Administration.
*Native Teams can support you in finding the best private insurance in the country. Contact us and we will send a comparison of insurance packages and prices.*
Relocation and work permits
Native Teams will apply for your work visa in the nation on your behalf and serve as your Employer of Record. All the required documents can be uploaded using our app. Until you have your work and residency visa, Native Teams will support you by providing you with frequent information on the progress.
How long is the visa/work permit process?
2 to 4 weeks depending on the authorities and provided documents.
Which documents do you need?
Why use Native Teams for hiring in Belgium?
Native Teams lets you employ team members ‘like a local’ meaning you get all the benefits of a global team, wherever you are based. Here are the reasons why you should use Native Teams for hiring:
- No paperwork: We will handle all the necessary paperwork for you.
- Save on taxes: We help you handle your taxes.
- No company set up: You can expand your business using our company entitles.
- Online onboarding: We’re here to ensure your onboarding process is trouble-free.
- No accounting: We will handle all of your accounting needs, including invoicing, payroll, and more.
- Increase your profit: We assist you in growing your business and maximizing your profits.
- Compliance expertise: we can assist your company in navigating the regulatory environments and ensure you meet all relevant requirements.
- Local support: We can assist you in understanding and complying with the relevant local laws.