Why work in
Grow your team in
Growing a team means hiring the right employees at the right time and for the appropriate positions. Employers in Belgium must have a local legal organization and use local resources to handle compliance, payroll, tax, and benefits management. The complexity of employment regulations in Belgium makes compliance with employment laws demanding.
With Gloroots’s global Employer of Record (EoR) service, you can let Gloroots do the heavy lifting of payroll, tax, benefits, and compliance and concentrate on what matters to you most: your employees and company growth.
Risks of misclassification
Misclassification of employees in Belgium can have significant legal and financial repercussions for employers. Misclassifying workers as independent contractors or exempting them from certain employment regulations can lead to disputes, penalties, and potential lawsuits. Such misclassification may result in the denial of essential rights and benefits to employees, including social security, paid leave, and protection under labor laws.
However, partnering with a reputable PEO/EOR in Belgium can help businesses avoid the risks associated with misclassification. By leveraging the expertise of these professionals, employers can ensure proper employee classification, accurate payroll processing, and compliance with Belgian labor laws and regulations. The PEO/EOR assumes responsibility for managing employment-related tasks, allowing businesses to focus on their core objectives with confidence in their workforce's legal compliance and the protection of their employees' rights and benefits.
Legal aspects of employing in
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Belgium's employment regulations are governed by a multifaceted framework, encompassing the constitution, EU directives, federal and regional statutes, and collective bargaining agreements. Compliance with these laws is vital for businesses operating in Belgium to protect workers' rights and interests. Regulations cover areas like working hours, minimum wages, paid leave, and social security contributions.
Belgian employment law doesn't require indefinite employment contracts to be in written form, except for fixed-term, part-time, and specific contract types. The language used in the employment contract is required to be either Dutch, French, or German, depending on the employee's workplace location or the registered office of the business firm.
However, it is a common practice in Belgium to have written employment contracts that clearly outline essential terms and conditions.
1. The written contract should identify both the employer and the employee.
2. It should include the start date for the employment (and duration for temporary contracts).
3. The workplace where the employee will perform their duties must be mentioned.
4. The contract should specify the job description, duties, and responsibilities of the employee.
5. Base salary and any additional compensation or benefits must be clearly stated in the contract.
6. The working hours expected from the employee need to be defined.
7. The contract should outline the employee's entitlement to annual leave.
8. It should also include notice periods required for termination of employment.
9. Provisions related to training and non-competition clauses can also be included in the contract.
This might sound overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. A solution like Gloroots eliminates the barriers for you. With Gloroots’ Employer of Record offering, hiring and managing employees globally is a piece of cake.
The standard workweek in Belgium is limited to 38 hours, beyond which employees must receive overtime pay (with exceptions for senior executives and managers). However, some industry sectors may have lower maximum working hours based on collective bargaining agreements. Statutory exceptions apply to this rule.
For shift work, employees can work up to 11 hours per day (50 hours per week), and continuous work allows up to 12 hours. Employers can implement flexible schedules with a weekly working time exceeding 38 hours, as long as the quarterly or yearly average remains at 38 hours per week, subject to specific conditions.
The minimum daily working time is three hours, but exceptions exist. Working at night, on Sundays, or during public holidays is only permitted under strict legal conditions.
Employees under full-time working contracts, limited to a maximum of nine hours per day and 38 hours per week, are bound by working hour restrictions. However, these limits may be exceeded in specific circumstances, such as extraordinary work demands or urgent tasks resulting from unforeseen events.
For overtime work, two types of compensation are provided: (1) Paying a higher rate of overtime, 50% additional salary for overtime on weekdays and Saturdays, and 100% additional salary for Sundays and public holidays; and (2) Granting catch-up rest for each hour worked beyond the weekly working hours. For instance, an employee working four overtime hours is entitled to four hours of catch-up rest to be taken within the year.
Certain workers in managerial and trusted positions might be exempt from the rules governing overtime work.
Employees have the right to receive payment for ten official public holidays. If a public holiday falls on a Sunday or a day when the employee doesn't typically work, the employer must provide a compensatory rest day in return.
In Belgium, payroll is processed on a monthly basis for work conducted between the first and last day of the month, and employees usually receive their payment on the last day of the month.
In Belgium, there exists a GMMMI (Guaranteed Minimum Monthly Income) along with an absolute minimum income level established at the national level (in cases where no sectoral minimum wage is defined). The GMMMI is calculated based on the total monthly wage, which includes various salary components received throughout the year, such as year-end bonuses and variable pay. The latest GMMMI figures for individuals aged 18 and above amount to 1,954.99 EUR.
If an employee falls sick or experiences a personal accident, the employer provides the regular salary for a duration of thirty days. After this initial period, the Health Insurance Fund takes over and covers the remaining leave, paying 60% of the employee's salary. However, to avail sick leave benefits, the employee must provide a certified sickness certificate issued by a medical professional.
Maternity and paternity leave
Employees can avail up to 4 weeks of annual leaves in a year. Any unused leaves (for up to 2 weeks) can be carried over to the following year.
Employees can also cash-in their unused annual leaves with their employer when they leave their job.
Social security contributions
The termination process varies depending on the type of employment agreement, with dismissal with notice being the most stringent form. Employees employed for at least six months have the right to be informed of the reasons for termination.
Certain employees have protection against dismissal, such as pregnant women who cannot be fired due to their pregnancy. Dismissal is only permitted under specific legal grounds, for example, employee representatives in Works Council and Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPPW) cannot be dismissed without valid reasons.
Certain sectors may have additional procedures outlined in collective bargaining agreements, providing specific information and consultation rules that may not fall under European and national collective dismissal rules, even in cases of multiple dismissals.
Upon the termination of an employment contract, any outstanding wages must be promptly paid, with the payment due at the latest on the first payday following the contract's end (as per Article 11 of the Wage Protection Act).
In situations where a significant percentage of the workforce is made redundant, collective agreements generally entitle them to additional compensations beyond average unemployment benefits. Employees dismissed for serious reasons or those who resign will not immediately be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Severance pay is only applicable in cases where the employer terminates the employment without providing notice.
Employers also have the option to pay in lieu of notice. From January 2023, new rules were implemented for the notice period. During this period, the worker is entitled to take time off for training or coaching. This practice is set to be further improved in 2023, with the aim of encouraging a "transition trajectory" to facilitate a quicker return to the labor market.
Since January 2014, the Unified Employment Status Act has eliminated probation or trial periods, except for students, temporary workers, and temporary agency workers.