Belgium PEO & Employer of Record

WeHireGlobally provides international PEO filings and global recruiting services in Belgium to companies considering entering the Belgian market or hiring local/foreign employees in Belgium. The conventional approach requires setting up a subsidiary in Belgium. However, our solution allows you to start operating in Belgium within days, saving you time and money. WeHireGlobally will hire candidates on your behalf while retaining full operational control over their work. So legally they would be our employees, on our local payroll, 100% compliant but working on your behalf.

Belgium fast facts

Population: 11.6 Million
Land area:30,688 km2
Capital: Brussels
Local currency: EUR

  • Dutch, French, and German are all accepted as Belgium’s official languages.
  • It has four bordering countries. This includes France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
  • Belgium is a developed country and has an advanced high-income economy. Belgium occupies the same area as the state of Maryland. 
  • Belgium consists of 3 federal regions: Flanders, Brussels, and Walloons. The Dutch and the French-speaking linguistic groups are the two main groups in Belgium. The country also has a small percentage of German-speakers who live in the eastern part of the country. The French-speaking population of the country is called Walloons. Walloons reside in the five southern provinces. The Dutch-speaking population is concentrated in the five northern and northeastern provinces.
  • Belgium is one of the most heavily industrialized and urbanized countries in Europe.


Hiring, Negotiating and Doing Business in Belgium

Necessity of written employment contract

A contract of indefinite duration can be concluded orally. However, the following contracts must be concluded in writing (a failure to conclude these in writing results in them being treated as contracts of indefinite duration):

  • Fixed-term contract.
  • Contract for a specific project.
  • Part-time contract.
  • Replacement contract.
  • Contract for home working or teleworking.
  • Contract for student occupation.
  • Contract for interim or temporary work.
  • Sports contract.

Some clauses of the employment contract must be concluded in writing to be valid, for example:

  • Test clauses.
  • Non-competition clauses.
  • Clauses fixing the notice period.

Belgium Employment Contract

Types of employment agreements

1. Employment contract according to the kind of work

  • Blue-collar workers
  • White-collar workers
  • Sales representatives- responsible for prospecting and visiting clients for deals. They are not subject to the working time rules.
  • Homeworkers or teleworkers

2. Employment contract based on duration

  • Permanent contracts/Open-ended contracts (Contrat de travail à durée indéterminée) –  are for an indefinite length of time. Here, the employee can claim severance as indemnity.
  • Fixed-term contracts (Contrat de travail à durée déterminée) – specify a start and an end date for the employment. They must be signed in time, before the employee starts working.
  • Specific-assignment contracts (Contrat de travail pour un travail nettement défini) – contracts that come to an end when the relevant work has been completed
  •  Replacement contracts (Contrat de remplacement) – contracts which are for an employee to replace an existing employee who is absent for a reason, such as maternity leave, etc. The contract must detail the identity and the duties of the person replaced and the reason for and length of the contract. These may not exceed two years 
  • Temporary Contracts (Contrat de travail temporaire-contrat de travail intérimaire/) – contracts between an individual and a temping agency where the individual is then placed with a client for a period of time. These are usually for a maximum of six months.  

3. Employment contract based on the difference in working regime

  • Full-time contracts: On an average of 38-40 hours a week

Part-time contracts (Contrat de travail à temps partiel) – contracts for less than a full time i.e, not up to the average working hours of 38 hours a week). Part-time contracts cannot be for a duration of less than one-third of the full time, that is, a minimum limit of 3 hours a day. The agreement must be in writing.

Belgium working hours

The maximum average working hours are 38 hours per week (maximum of 40 hours) and 8 hours per day. Working at night (8 pm to 6 am), on Sundays, and during public holidays is prohibited in principle ( can be otherwise in exceptional cases).

Overtime kicks in when you work for more than 40 hours per week or more than 9 hours per day. Overtime is only allowed in a limited number of cases e e.g. exceptional increase of work. Employees are entitled to overtime pay. This is an additional premium of 50% if the overtime is done during the week and 100% if overtime is done on a Sunday or public holiday. In addition, employees are entitled to compensatory rest. Employees in a managerial role or position of trust are exempted from the working time regulations.

Vacation leave in Belgium

Employees are entitled to four weeks paid annual leave (that is, 20 days for those working five days a week and 24 days for those working six days a week). During their holiday, employees receive their normal remuneration together with an extra payment of holiday pay (double holiday pay) which is equivalent to 92% of their monthly remuneration. White-collar employees receive their double holiday pay directly from their employer, whilst blue-collar employees receive it from a social security fund financed by their employer’s social security contributions.

Sick leave 

  • Entitlement to time off 

In the case of illness or accident, the execution of the employment contract is suspended, and the employee must not come to work. 

  • Entitlement to paid time off 

An employee unable to work due to illness or injury is entitled to his remuneration for a period that varies according to: 

The employee’s category of employment (blue collar or white collar). 

The employee’s seniority in the company. 

Whether or not the employee is on a probationary period. 

A white-collar employee is in principle entitled to his remuneration during the first month of illness. A blue-collar employee is also in principle entitled to his remuneration during the first month of illness, but the amount the employer pays decreases over time, with the difference being paid by social security (when the illness lasts less than 14 days, the first day of illness is normally not paid by the employer or by social security, though CBAs concluded at the sector of activity level can derogate from this rule).

Belgium Maternity Leave

Maternity leave lasts for 15 weeks as follows: 

  • Six weeks of prenatal leave, including a mandatory week off just before the expected date of birth of the newborn.
  •  Nine weeks of postnatal leave (compulsory)

 In the case of multiple births, maternity leave lasts for 19 weeks as follows:

  •  Eight weeks of prenatal leave, including a mandatory week off just before the expected date of birth of the newborns. 
  • Nine weeks of postnatal leave (which is extendable for two weeks at the employee’s request). Maternity leave can be extended up to 24 weeks in the case of hospitalization of the newborn. The allowance for maternity leave is paid in whole by the Belgian social security system. 

Mothers are also entitled to receiving benefits equivalent to 82% of full salary for the first 30 days and 75% for the remainder (subject to a maximum amount currently set at €104.80 per day). The insurer pays maternity benefits. Applications should be sent to your insurance fund supported by a medical certificate stating the presumed date of the delivery as well as the start date of the maternity leave.

Belgium Severance Laws

The employer or employee is allowed to terminate an open-ended employment contract at any time, provided certain formalities are observed. Usually, fixed-term contracts may not be terminated. Terminating a fixed contract before the end of the period will lead to payment which is quite expensive. However, what you need to pay cannot be more than 2x of what you would have paid if the contract was for an indefinite period of time. 

In the case of terminating a contract, a notice must be given in writing indicating the start and duration of the period at the expiration of which the employment contract will come to an end. This period will depend on whether or not you are a manual worker or a white-collar employee, whether or not the worker hands in his or her notice (resignation), or whether or not the employer gives notice (dismissal). However, in a situation where the notice is not served, an indemnity must be paid in lieu of notice, the amount that corresponds to the remuneration which would have been paid or obtained during this period. This must be paid as a lump sum.

For manual workers

The duration of notice varies according to seniority. In the event of dismissal:

 first 5 years- a gradual increase of notice period

As of the 5th year of seniority- 3-4 weeks per started year of seniority

After 20 years of service- 8 weeks

 The period of notice starts on the Monday following the week in which notice is given. In the case of dismissal by the employer, the worker is entitled to reduce the period of notice by means of giving ‘counter-notice’ of his or her own. The worker is also entitled to leave for seeking a new job. Unemployment benefit is applied for at the worker’s place of residence on termination of the contract. If notice was given by the worker, a specified period should, in general, elapse before unemployment benefit is payable in Belgium. The notice period is for a maximum of 13 weeks.

Minimum wage

 2021- TRY3,577.50 (gross) per month.

 2022- TRY5,004.00 (gross). This indicates an increase in the minimum wage rate per month.

The minimum wage applies to all employees, irrespective of age, industry, and experience. The only exception concerns employees working at underground coal and lignite mines, where the minimum wage must equal at least twice the regular rate (i.e., the monthly minimum wage for coal and lignite miners is TL10,008.00 (gross)).

Belgium Tax

Rate of taxation on employment income

Income tax is calculated on the basis of annual incomes after the deduction of social security contributions and certain costs (including professional costs). The tax rates charged on incomes are progressive, and are as follows: 

25% on income up to EUR13,870.

 40% on income from EUR13,870 to EUR24,480.

 45% on income from EUR24,480 to EUR42,370.

 50% on income over EUR42,370. 

Employers must collect a withholding tax and remit it to the tax authorities before paying wages to their employees. The final imposition of tax on employees is calculated from their tax return, which includes the amounts already paid as withholding tax. The total amount of tax may be reduced in certain circumstances, but is always increased by local taxes ranging from 0% to 10%, depending on the municipality of residence. 

From 2022, there will be a new expatriate tax regime in Belgium for directors, executives, and professionals earning over €75,000 working for multinationals. This new tax regime aims to simplify the system and provide employers and qualifying employees with more legal clarity. The regime can apply for 5 years after which can be extended to up to eight years.

With the law amending the income tax law and certain legal guidelines published in the Official Gazette dated 25 December 2021 and numbered 31700, the salary (net of the social security contributions and unemployment insurance) is exempted from the income tax, and the portion of the monthly revenue up to the gross monthly minimum wage is exempted from the stamp tax.

Additional Benefits in Belgium

Most employers pay a 13th-month bonus to their employees and a few even add a half of a 14th month’s pay to that, typically payable at the end of the year.

Belgium Holidays

  • New Year’s Day
  • Easter Monday
  • Labor Day/May Day
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • Belgian National Day
  • Assumption Day
  • All Saints’ Day
  • Armistice Day
  • Christmas Day

Why Choose WeHireGlobally

WeHG takes care of all the onboarding hurdles, payroll, compensation and benefits, tax filing, and termination of employment. Our Employer of Record solution allows you to maintain your overseas teams efficiently while minimizing cost and risk.


FAQ Belgium

  • Belgium working hours

    Usual working hours are a maximum of eight hours a day and 40 hours a week.

  • Belgium Holidays

    • New Year’s Day
    • Easter Monday
    • Labor Day/May Day
    • Ascension Day
    • Whit Monday
    • Belgian National Day
    • Assumption of Mary
    • All Saints’ Day
    • Armistice Day
    • Christmas Day
  • Belgium Tax

    Income tax is calculated on the basis of annual incomes after the deduction of social security contributions and certain costs (including professional costs).

    The tax rates charged on incomes are progressive, and are as follows:

    • 25% on incomes up to EUR8,350.00.
    • 30% on incomes from EUR8,350.01 to EUR11,890.
    • 40% on incomes from EUR11,890.01 to EUR19,810.
    • 45% on incomes from EUR19,810.01 to EUR36,300.
    • 50% on incomes over EUR36,300.01.
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