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Employer essentials: Starting a business in Belgium

If you hope to start a business in Belgium, then here are four frequently asked questions which we have answered for you

Setting up a company in your home country can be challenging, however when you want to start your own business abroad there are new rules and regulations that you might not be aware of. If you hope to start a business in Belgium, then here are four frequently asked questions which we have answered for you:

What is the cost of an employee for an employer?

In addition to the gross salary, the employer must pay social security contributions for each worker, which amounts to 33% of their gross salary. However, the employer will benefit from significant reductions in contributions. Typically, the average rate works out at approximately 28%.

What is the statutory working time in Belgium?

The total time an employee is allowed to work may not exceed eight hours a day and 38 hours a week (unless other conditions have been agreed upon at the sectorial level). However, this may be increased to nine hours a day (if the employee does not work more than five days a week) and to 40 hours a week (with the allocation of 12 compensatory rest days over a one-year reference period).

What is the legal entitlement to overtime pay?

Each working hour beyond the set legal working hours entitles the employee to a double compensation. Firstly, compensatory rest times, equivalent to the extra time worked each week, must be granted to the employee. Secondly, exceeding the standard daily and weekly working hours means that workers can expect extra pay equivalent to at least 50% (for each hour beyond the statutory working hours on weekdays, Saturday included) or 100% (in the case of overtime on Sundays or public holidays) above the legal wage.

Are there different types of employment contracts in Belgium?

There are two main types of employment contracts used in Belgium: permanent contracts and fixed-term contracts. Fixed-term contracts may be renewed if there has been a maximum of four successive fixed-term contracts reached; the duration of each fixed-term contract has lasted at least three months and the total duration of successive fixed-term contracts has not exceeded 24 months.

For more information and guidance on setting your own business in Belgium, contact Hughes Thibaut, International Affairs Manager at Group S – hugues.thibaut@groups.be, +32.2.507.18.80

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Categories:   Administration

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