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Employer of Record (EOR) in Belgium | PEO Belgium

An Employer of Record (EOR) in Belgium is a company that takes on the responsibility of being the legal employer for a worker. This includes managing payroll, benefits, and other employment-related tasks on behalf of the worker's actual employer.

employer of record Belgium

Discover the key considerations and essential details you should be aware of before you hire your remote team in Belgium.

On this page: Employment Contracts | Employment Laws in Belgium | Social Security in Belgium | Personal Income Tax in Belgium | Hiring Options in Belgium | Employee Benefits in Belgium

Employment Contracts in Belgium

The employment contract landscape in Belgium is diverse, with distinct regulations based on factors like the nature of work, employment status, and contract duration. Categories include blue-collar workers, employees, sales representatives, and domestic workers, each subject to specific rules. Special cases like remote workers, students, and unique professions are governed by tailored legislation. Employers must carefully determine the type of contract involved and consider factors such as nature of work, contract framework, duration, and working hours to ensure compliance with Belgian employment regulations.

Working Hours

The employment contracts in Belgium vary based on working time, with full-time contracts covering the standard weekly duration (e.g., 38 hours/week) and part-time contracts involving voluntary, regular work for fewer hours than the company's normal working hours.

Contract Duration

Employment contracts in Belgium are categorized by duration, including open-ended contracts for indefinite periods (permanent), fixed-term contracts specifying a date or event for mutual obligations release, specific-assignment contracts detailing work without a set duration (e.g., a 10-month contract for a specific role), and replacement contracts to fill in for employees with suspended contracts due to reasons other than economic factors, bad weather, strike, or lock-out.

Nature of Work

Employment contracts in Belgium are categorized by the nature of work, distinguishing between blue-collar workers and white-collar employees. The Belgian Act of 26 December 2013 aimed to unify employment status rules, maintaining separate regulations for blue-collar and white-collar roles. Additional considerations include specific employee statuses (e.g., students under a student employment contract), the manner of authority exercise (e.g., temp agency workers placed with clients), and work location (e.g., remote workers).

Contents of Employment Contract

An employment contract in Belgium involves a mutual agreement between an employer and a worker, encompassing four essential elements:

  • A bilateral contract, the undertaking of work, remuneration, and a relationship of subordination. The contract is based on the consent of both parties and cannot be unilaterally altered, with any amendments requiring mutual agreement.
  • Work under the contract is characterized by the employer providing tasks, and the employee performing them diligently.
  • Remuneration, a crucial component, must be determined or determinable, considering statutory minimum wage regulations.
  • The presence of a relationship of subordination, marked by the employer's authority, distinguishes an employee from a self-employed person, with managerial and supervisory powers defining this authority. Clear criteria are outlined in the law to determine the nature of the working relationship.

Employment Laws in Belgium

Navigating employment laws in Belgium is crucial for foreign employers seeking to establish and manage a remote team in the country. Understanding key aspects such as minimum wages, working hours, overtime pay, payroll cycles, probation periods, notice periods, severance pay, and the 13th-month salary is essential for ensuring compliance and fostering a successful working relationship. This overview provides insights into the regulatory landscape, enabling foreign employers to make informed decisions and create a seamless employment experience for their remote teams in Belgium.

Minimum Wages

As of December 2022, Belgium's national minimum wage is €1,954.99 per month. This translates to various hourly rates based on weekly working hours, with rates such as €11.87 per hour for 38 hours, €11.57 per hour for 39 hours, and €11.29 per hour for 40 hours, assuming an average of 4.33 weeks per month.

Working Hours

In Belgium, working hours are subject to strict regulations to safeguard employee well-being. The maximum daily working time is set at eight hours, generally between 6 am and 8 pm, with exceptions allowing for extended hours under specific circumstances. Weekly work schedules adhere to either 38 effective hours or 38 hours on average over a designated reference period. It's important to note that the effective weekly working time should not exceed 40 hours. These regulations aim to balance productivity and employee welfare, ensuring a fair distribution of work hours and providing opportunities for rest and compensation.

Overtime Pay

In Belgium, overtime work is generally restricted, with exceptions permitted under specific circumstances. When authorized, overtime pay is set at a minimum of 1.5 times the regular rate, doubling on Sundays or public holidays. Paid rest periods accompany overtime, except for specific roles exempt from these regulations, such as sales representatives or managerial positions. Belgium also allows voluntary overtime, capped at 120 hours per year (extendable to 360 hours through sector agreements) with compensation but without rest periods. Starting July 1, 2023, "relance hours" enable additional voluntary overtime, exempt from overtime pay and compensatory rest.

Payroll in Belgium

Payroll in Belgium involves the process of managing and calculating employee compensation, including salaries, taxes, and other deductions. Employers in Belgium follow a monthly payroll system, making monthly wage payments to employees. Once the wage transfer is completed, a payslip is issued as documentation of the payment.

Probation Period

In Belgium, there is no general probation period for regular employment contracts since 2014. However, specific cases, such as student and temporary contracts, automatically have a three-day probation period. For open-ended contracts, there is no legal probation period, and both employer and employee have equal rights from the beginning. During the first year, shorter notice periods apply, allowing flexibility for termination assessments:

  • Up to 3 months' seniority: 1 week's notice for both employer and employee
  • More than 4 months: 3 weeks for employer, 2 weeks for employee
  • More than 5 months: 4 weeks for employer, 2 weeks for employee
  • More than 6 months: 5 weeks for employer, 2 weeks for employee
  • 6 to 9 months: 6 weeks for employer, 3 weeks for employee

These shorter notice periods enable a fair evaluation of the working relationship without the right to terminate based solely on performance during this initial phase.

Notice Period

The notice period in Belgium varies based on the initiator of termination (employer or employee), the date of the employment contract (before or after January 1, 2014), and the employee's seniority. For resignations, the maximum notice period is 13 weeks. Employer dismissals have no legal maximum, but minimum statutory periods apply based on seniority. The minimum notice period for employer dismissal ranges from 4 to 14 weeks, depending on the employee's years of service.

  • Up to 1 year: 4 weeks
  • 1 to 3 years: 6 weeks
  • 3 to 5 years: 8 weeks
  • 5 to 10 years: 10 weeks
  • 10 to 20 years: 12 weeks
  • Over 20 years: 14 weeks

13th Month Salary

In Belgium, the 13th-month salary is a mandatory bonus for most employees, equivalent to an extra month's pay, typically distributed in December. Calculated as one-twelfth of the annual basic salary, it is a separate, legally mandated payment subject to higher taxes. Eligible for most employees under Belgian contracts, it may be pro-rated if not working the entire year. Legal recourse is available if the employer fails to pay as required. Some variations may apply for specific situations, such as apprenticeships or short employment periods.

Severance Pay

In Belgium, severance pay is not mandatory for most employment terminations, differing from practices in some other countries. Exceptions include cases of unjustified dismissal, where damages equivalent to several weeks of salary may be awarded by a court. Specific collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) in certain sectors or companies might also stipulate mandatory severance pay. Alternatives to mandatory severance pay include notice period payment and negotiated severance agreements, where employers may offer financial compensation, outplacement services, or extended health insurance. Factors influencing severance pay include the reason for termination, length of service, employee's age, and any collective agreements in place.

Belgium Social Security Contributions: Employers & Employees

In Belgium, both employers and employees contribute significantly to the social security system through various contributions.

Employee Contributions

  • 13.07% of gross salary: This is the main contribution toward the general social security system, covering pensions, sickness insurance, unemployment benefits, and family allowances.
  • Additional contributions: Based on individual circumstances, employees may also contribute to:
    • Special social security contribution: Varies between €9.30 and €60.94 per month, calculated through tax returns based on family income.
    • Family allowances fund: A small contribution for employees with children, supporting family benefits.
    • Funds for closure of enterprises: A minimal contribution preparing for employee compensation in case of company bankruptcy.

Employer Contributions

  • Around 35% of gross salary: Covers a wider range than employee contributions, including:
    • Pensions: Around 14% for future retirement benefits.
    • Sickness and invalidity insurance: Around 7% for healthcare and income replacement during illness or disability.
    • Unemployment insurance: Around 6% for supporting unemployed individuals.
    • Work accidents and occupational diseases: Approximately 4% for compensating work-related injuries and illnesses.
    • Family allowances: Around 2% for family benefits.
    • Other contributions: Additional smaller amounts for specific programs.

Key Points

  • Contributions are deducted directly from salaries by employers and paid to the National Social Security Office (NSSO).
  • Contributions are not tax-deductible.
  • Specific amounts can vary slightly based on salary and individual circumstances.

Belgium Social Security Contributions Breakdown: Employee & Employer (As of January 2024)
Program Employee Contribution (%) Employer Contribution (%) Total (%)
Pensions 7.5**%** 14**%** 21.5**%**
Sickness & Invalidity Insurance 3.5**%** 7**%** 10.5**%**
Unemployment Benefits 1**%** 6**%** 7**%**
Family Allowances 1.2**%** 2**%** 3.2**%**
Additional Contributions Varies Varies Varies
* Special Social Security Contribution - - 0.85% to 7.35% (Calculated based on family income)
* Family Allowances Fund - - Up to 1.48% (For parents)
* Funds for Closure of Enterprises - - 0.03%
Total **13.07**%** **Around 35%** **48.07% to 53.45%**
  • The percentages for some programs are approximate and may vary slightly depending on individual circumstances.
  • The additional contributions section shows examples but is not exhaustive, and other specific employer contributions may exist.
  • The total contribution range reflects the variation in the "Special Social Security Contribution" based on family income.

Personal Income Tax in Belgium

Tax Base and Rates:

  • Tax base: The net taxable income of the employee, calculated after deducting specific expenses from their gross salary or other income sources.
  • Tax rates: Range from 25% to 50%, applied to different portions of the employee's income according to five brackets:
    • Up to €13,870: 25%
    • €13,870 to €24,480: 40%
    • €24,480 to €42,370: 45%
    • €42,370 to above: 50%

Additional Components:

  • Tax-free allowance: Everyone receives a basic tax-free allowance, currently €9,270 (for 2022 income, increasing to €10,160 for 2023 income). This reduces the taxable income of the employee before tax brackets are applied.
  • Regional surtax: On top of the federal tax, the residence region of the employee charges an additional surtax, ranging from 0% to 9% of the federal tax due.
  • Deductions and credits: Various deductions and credits can further reduce the tax liability of the employee, depending on their circumstances (e.g., childcare expenses, pension savings, medical expenses).

Key Points to Remember:

  • Belgium taxes residents on their worldwide income, while non-residents pay only on Belgian-source income.
  • Filing the tax return is mandatory for employees unless they fall under specific exemptions.

Hiring Options in Belgium

Explore the various hiring options available in Belgium to meet your organization's needs. When considering employees, you have the flexibility to hire indefinitely or on a fixed-term basis, including specific assignments. These employees can work either full-time or part-time, with specific employment terms applicable to certain categories such as sales representatives, structural remote workers (teleworkers or homeworkers), and students. Discrimination based on employment status is strictly prohibited, ensuring equal treatment for part-time and fixed-term employees, as well as sales representatives, structural remote workers, and students.

If you require services from independent contractors, you have the option to engage them directly or through a personal services company. Independent contractors operate autonomously and are not subject to the authority of the employer or in a subordinate position.

Another hiring option in Belgium is agency workers, who can be employed temporarily to replace terminated or suspended employees, handle increased workloads, perform exceptional tasks, or fill in vacancies. However, agency work is subject to specific conditions and time limitations. It is important to note that agency workers must be employed by licensed interim agencies. These workers are entitled to equal treatment in terms of pay and other benefits, ensuring fair treatment compared to regular employees.

Employee Benefits in Belgium

In Belgium, attracting and retaining top talent goes beyond competitive salaries—employee benefits play a crucial role. Understanding the intricacies of the Belgian benefits landscape is essential for foreign employers looking to establish and expand their teams. Here's a breakdown of the common benefits offered in Belgium:

Social Security

A robust system funded by both employers and employees, providing extensive coverage for healthcare, unemployment benefits, pensions, and family allowances. This offers substantial peace of mind and security for your workforce.

Education and Training

Many companies invest in upskilling their employees through training programs and educational initiatives, fostering continuous learning and career development.

Annual Leave

  • Minimum entitlement: 20 days for employees working 5 days a week, or 24 days for those working 6 days a week.
  • Accumulation: Employees can carry over unused leave days for up to one year.
  • Timing: Employers generally determine when leave can be taken, considering employee preferences and operational needs.
  • Payment: Employees receive their regular salary during annual leave.

Other Paid Leaves

  • Sick Leave: 30 days at 100% pay, followed by 15 days at 85.88% pay, and an additional 15 days at 25.88% pay (if needed).
  • Maternity Leave: 15 weeks, with an optional extension of 1 week before the due date.
  • Paternity Leave: 15 days (10 paid during working days, 5 unpaid on weekends).
  • Adoption Leave: 6 weeks for each parent, to be taken within 2 months of the child's arrival.
  • Parental Leave: Unpaid leave available to both parents until the child's 12th birthday, with flexible options for part-time or full-time leave.
  • Family Care Leave: Up to 10 days per year to care for sick family members or manage urgent family matters.
  • Marriage Leave: 3 days for the employee's own marriage, 1 day for a child's marriage, and 2 days for the marriage of a parent, sibling, or grandchild.
  • Bereavement Leave: 3 days for the death of a spouse or child, 2 days for the death of a parent, sibling, or grandparent, and 1 day for the death of a father-in-law, mother-in-law, or grandchild.
  • Jury Duty Leave: Paid leave for employees summoned for jury duty.


Public Holidays: Belgium has 10 official public holidays, which are additional days off for employees.

Other Benefits

  • Group Insurance: Many employers offer additional insurance covering healthcare costs, life insurance, and income protection in case of disability. This provides extra security and financial support for your team.
  • Company Cars: A popular perk, especially for long commutes, companies may provide cars or car allowance schemes, easing transportation burdens and boosting employee satisfaction.
  • Meal Vouchers: Subsidized or free meal vouchers reduce daily lunch expenses and encourage healthy eating habits among your workforce.
  • Flexible Working: Embrace modern work styles with remote work options, part-time arrangements, or compressed workweeks to cater to diverse needs and improve employee autonomy.
  • Childcare Benefits: Some companies offer childcare subsidies or on-site facilities, alleviating concerns and supporting working parents in managing their responsibilities.
  • Pension Supplements: Go beyond mandatory social security contributions by offering company-funded pension supplements, ensuring a comfortable retirement for your employees.

Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
Total Time zones1
Working hours per week38
Working weekMonday–Friday
Typical hours worked7.6
Financial Year1st January to 31st December
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
CurrencyEuro (EUR)
VATthe standard rate is 21%

Choosing an Employer of Record (EOR) in Belgium is a strategic decision for businesses aiming for international expansion. Delegating tasks like managing local employment regulations, handling payroll complexities, and ensuring compliance to the EOR allows companies to seamlessly establish a presence in Belgium without the complexities of setting up a legal entity. This collaborative partnership enables businesses to focus on their core objectives and growth strategies while ensuring their Belgian workforce operates in strict compliance with local laws. The EOR streamlines international employment processes and provides expert guidance to navigate the intricate landscape of Belgian employment regulations.

Western Europe: EOR Belgium | EOR France | EOR Ireland | EOR Luxembourg | EOR Netherlands