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Saturday
Aug 24th
Home arrow Individuals arrow Living in Belgium

Working in Belgium - employment contract

Employment contracts are usually made in the form of a written agreement, which lays down all terms of employment. Any issues, which are not specifically dealt with in the agreement, will be dealt with in the way laid down in the work regulations adopted by the employer, or in the Belgian employment law.

An employment contract must not necessarily be in writing. However, certain terms and conditions, such as a trial clause, a non-competition clause, or a part time contracts are not valid unless they are agreed in writing. Unless otherwise agreed, the contract is for an indefinite period of time. 

In Belgium, an employee is normally entitled to 20 days of paid annual vacation, apart from the 10 official public holidays. 

In case of sickness or accident, the employer will pay the first month's salary to (white collar) employees. For the remaining period of sickness, an indemnity is paid by the social security system.

Employees are entitled to a basic wage, normally calculated and payable on a monthly basis. 

The employee can also be entitled to fringe benefits (such as the use of a company cars, see below, luncheon vouchers, pension schemes, medical insurance, ...)

In addition to his salary, an employee is entitled to an additional holiday pay equal to 92% of one month's salary.  In many sectors of industry, employees are also entitled to an end of year bonus, generally called “13th month”. 

The Belgian employer pays the employee a net salary after deduction of the social security contributions and the withholding tax on the salary.   The employer usually relies on a payroll agency for these calculations.  The payroll agency delivers monthly pay slips, which show how the net salary is calculated. 

This pay slip shows:

  • the gross monthly salary ;
  • the number of working days, the effective days of work, the holidays and the days of sickness' leave during the month ;
  • the value of any fringe benefits ;
  • the reimbursement of any expenses which the employee has advanced for the employer ;
  • the social security and tax withholdings.
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