Employing in Belgium

Handmade chocolates, moules frites and a wide variety of beers may be enough to turn many people onto Belgium — but from a business perspective, there are plenty more compelling reasons to be attracted to the country and to expand your growing workforce there.

Despite not being in the top 10 European countries by population and only 34th by area, this cosmopolitan country certainly packs a punch as the de facto capital of the European Union.

Having land borders with Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands — as well as easy access to the UK by sea — Belgium is one of Europe’s best-placed countries for onward trade. Well-established transport links have allowed Belgium to become a recognised export hub and put the circa 500 million consumers who live within an 800 km radius in easy reach.

Belgium is also a likely place to look for top talent as it has excellent universities and centres for research and development, which make for a highly qualified workforce. Having the native languages of French and Flemish (and German in one area) and an abundance of first and second-generation migrants also makes the country a good target for anyone looking to build a multilingual team.


Our Expertise

Managing a global workforce in Belgium

Managing a workforce in Belgium requires navigating a complex landscape of labour laws and employment regulations. TopSource Worldwide offers comprehensive support to businesses operating in Belgium, ensuring businesses can effectively manage their workforce in Belgium and supporting legal compliance and operational efficiency. 


Extensive expertise

Our team of experienced, knowledgeable staff collectively provide up-to-date employment information across 180 countries, so you can always get accurate advice.


Entity-free employment

Feel free to hire employees from all over the world without being weighed down by setting up entities, running complex payroll or recruiting a hiring team.


Payroll without hassle

Have the confidence that your staff will always be paid accurately and on time, so that you can focus on your core business activities and work towards your success. 


Always-on support

Access helpful, relevant, personalised advice whenever you need it, along with expert-led recruitment policies and tried-and-tested HR best practices.


Global Employee Cost Calculator

Estimate the cost of your new hire with our calculator. Simply enter their location and salary information in to this handy tool to see what will be spent in employment costs each month.


Hear from our clients about our EOR solutions in Belgium

"With TopSource we were able to have employees hired or maintained in Nutreco without having to establish an entity in these countries for only 1-2 employees. I think most countries are covered by TopSource, so they can help us with almost all cases. Good advice on conditions and direct contact with employees. Invoicing done directly to the company. An easy process compared to hiring employees by ourselves."

Annette van Duijnhoven

”We searched the market for a local payroll vendor in 2014 and we chose TopSource as our partner. We were looking for error-free and timely payroll processing and TopSource Worldwide delivers this, saving us time and money. We have worked together for 8 years now and would recommend them to anyone."

Praveen Lihinar

”TopSource Worldwide has a detailed and methodical onboarding process that made it easy for us to get set up and running with our UK employees. They were able to take the worry out of trying to comply with all local laws and regulations. Because they have this knowledge we do not have to research on our own and hope we are in compliance. This has saved us hours of time and gives both the company and employees a sense of security."

Client based in Ft Worth, Texas, USA

Personalised Employer of Record services in Belgium

TopSource Worldwide offers personalised Employer of Record (EOR) services tailored to meet the specific needs of your business in Belgium. This includes handling employee onboarding, payroll processing, tax compliance, employee benefits management, and HR support. Our EOR services ensure that your business meets all legal and regulatory requirements, providing a hassle-free solution to manage your Belgium-based employees.

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End-to-end Belgium payroll services

Looking to expand into Belgium? Our unparalleled expertise in global payroll services ensures that your business can seamlessly navigate the complexities of payroll on a global scale, supporting your Belgium expansion initiatives.

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Global entity management

Venturing into the Belgian market can be both exciting and challenging. With distinct business regulations, cultural nuances, and economic landscapes, it's essential to have a clear roadmap for your business establishment journey.

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Whether your goal is to process your purchase-to-pay transactions with minimum errors or manage your expense claim procedure, our team of experts can handle your accounting responsibilities, allowing you to focus on your core business and save time and money.

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Global EOR services

Managing a diverse global workforce can be complex. This is where TopSource steps in as an invaluable employer of record services partner for companies seeking to expand their global reach while ensuring compliance with local employment laws and regulations.

Global Expansion Simplified

How to do business in Belgium

Entering the Belgian market presents a mix of excitement and challenges. Given unique business regulations, cultural intricacies, and economic dynamics, a well-defined roadmap is crucial for a successful business establishment.

TopSource Worldwide is with you at every stage. Whether it's navigating local regulations or facilitating seamless operational transitions, our expertise ensures a swift and efficient process for establishing your business in Belgium.


Belgium Insights

Key insights into Belgium's landscape


VAT rates: Belgium has a standard Value Added Tax (VAT) rate of 21%, with reduced rates of 12% and 6% for specific goods and services.


Ease of Doing Business rank: Belgium ranks 42nd in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index, indicating a moderately favourable business environment.


Consumer Confidence Index: As of 2022, Belgium's Consumer Confidence Index was approximately 104.5, reflecting stable economic sentiment.


Employee maternity/paternity leave: Maternity leave is 15 weeks, and paternity leave is 10 days, supporting work-life balance for new parents.


Employee termination period: Standard notice for termination is typically 1 to 3 months, depending on employment contract terms and duration.


Employee salary pay date: Wages are generally paid monthly, with specific pay dates outlined in employment contracts and subject to labour laws.


Bank holidays: Belgium observes public holidays, including New Year's Day, National Day, and Christmas, with a total of around 10 public holidays in a year.

Statutory provisions in Belgium

TopSource Worldwide is subject to the Joint Industrial Committee 200 (JIC 200) — formerly JC 218 — regulations in Belgium. An employee who works for a company under the scope of JIC 200 in Belgium is entitled, on an annual basis, to the following salary elements:

  • 12 monthly salary instalments
  • A double holiday allowance (month 14)
  • A year-end premium (month 13)
  • A yearly premium
  • EcoCheques

Common HR queries about Belgium

Year-end premium (month 13)

This is paid in December each year and equals the gross salary of the month of December in case of a full reference year (calendar year). A minimum of six months’ service is required and certain absences during the year may reduce the entitlement.

Yearly premium

This is payable in June (2020 – €265,12 for a full reference year).


Belgian employees are entitled to receive €250 worth of EcoCheques per year in case of a full reference year. An EcoCheque is a voucher given by the employer to the employee for the purchase of ecological products and services.

  • The reference year is from 1 June to 31 May.
  • TopSource Worldwide issues vouchers via Sodexo.
  • Payment to employees by means of EcoCheques is exempt from social security contributions and taxes.
  • There is a specified list of products that may be purchased with EcoCheques.
Salary indexation

Each year in January, salaries are indexed for employees of companies subject to Joint Industrial Committee 200 (JIC 200).

Indexation is the mechanism whereby salaries are linked to the consumer prices index. More specifically, the monthly salary is increased by a percentage equal to the inflation rate of the previous calendar year. The indexation system as foreseen by JIC 200 is applicable to all employees falling under the scope of this Joint Industrial Committee. This indexation, when determined, will be applied to the employee’s salary in January of each year. The annual indexation rates are as follows:

  • January 2017 (1.13 %)
  • January 2018 (1.83%)
  • January 2019 (2.16%)
  • January 2020 (0.8%)

Holiday & Leave

Holiday allowance

This holiday allowance is an extra allowance in addition to the normal salary pay and equals 92% of the monthly gross salary. In the case of incomplete employment during the previous calendar year, the double vacation allowance amounts to 92% of the monthly gross salary multiplied by 1/12 multiplied by the number of months worked in the previous year.

The annual salary is always cited as a monthly gross salary in the employment contract and is arrived at by dividing it by 13,92 to arrive at the corresponding monthly salary to comply with the Regulations of the JIC 200.

Holiday entitlement

Statutory minimum holiday entitlement in Belgium is 20 days. However, that entitlement depends on the length of time the employee worked during the preceding calendar year. If the employee has worked 12 months during the previous calendar year, he is entitled to 20 vacation days. If the employee has worked less than 12 months, he is entitled to a pro-rated portion of 20 days.

Number of months worked during the previous calendar year
Number of vacation days to be taken during the present year in a 5-day week

Example:  If an employee has only have worked for two months in 2020, he will only be entitled to four days holiday during 2021. Additional days can be granted if required.


Other holiday information

Public holidays

The public holidays in Belgium are as follows: New Year’s Day, Easter Monday, Labour Day, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Belgian National Holiday, Assumption Day, All Saints Day, Armistice Day and Christmas Day.

When a public holiday falls on a Sunday or another day which is normally a non-working day (usually a Saturday), it must be replaced by a replacement day on a normal working day. In theory, in Belgium, employees cannot be required to work on public holidays. However, the employer is obliged to pay the employee a normal salary for that holiday.

The law of January 4, 1974 provides for the manner in which replacement days should be determined. In theory, the Joint industrial Committee competent for each sector may decide when replacement days shall fall. If the Joint industrial Committee has not taken its decision before the 1st of October, the company can make their own determination.

Unpaid leave

The average work week consists of 38 hours with a maximum actual working time of 40 hours. In the case of a 39 or 40-hour working week, compensatory rest days have to be provided to employees in order to bring the average weekly hours down to 38 hours.

Overtime is payable for all hours worked above nine hours per day or 40 hours per week:

  • Overtime on weekdays and Saturdays: +50%
  • Overtime on Sundays and public holidays: +100%

All hours over 40 hours per week are to be recuperated. This recuperation may be replaced by cash payment under certain conditions.

An employee who works remotely from home is not subject to the working time provisions of the Act of 16 March 1971, and any hours worked by the employee outside regular business hours would not give rise to a right to salary, overtime pay or paid time.

An overview of termination in Belgium

Below is a high-level overview of terminating an employment agreement according to the Belgian legislation.

  • The legal basis regarding the termination of an employment agreement is the Act of July 3, 1978.
  • This act states in article 32 that an employment agreement comes to an end in the following cases:
    – When the agreed term comes to an end;
    – When the work for which the agreement has been concluded has ended;
    – Because of the decision of one of the parties when the agreement was concluded for an undetermined period of time, or in case of a serious cause;
    – In case of the decease of the employee;
    – In case of force majeure.

We will focus in the 3rd overview of the above-mentioned cases which can lead to the termination of the contract. In case of an employment contract concluding for an undetermined period of time, either party can decide to terminate the contract on a unilateral basis.

Article 37 of the above-mentioned act stipulates that in that case, the party which has taken the initiative to terminate the contract should give notice to the other party. The length of the notice period has been changed on the 1st of January 2014 and is solely based on the years of seniority of the employee with the company. On the 1st of January 2014, the option of including a probationary period within a contract was also abolished.

  • The notice period differs depending on whether it is the employer or the employee who has given notice.
  • The notice period which should be respected by the employee is shorter compared to the one which the employer needs to respect.
  • The notice periods for the first 10 years of employment are outlined below.
Years’ Service (Months/Years)
Employer Notice
Employee Notice
0 – < 3 months
1 week
1 week
3 – < 4 months
3 weeks
2 weeks
4 – < 5 months
4 weeks
2 weeks
5 – < 6 months
5 weeks
2 weeks
6 – < 9 months
6 weeks
3 weeks
9 – < 12 months
7 weeks
3 weeks
12 – < 15 months
8 weeks
4 weeks
15 – < 18 months
9 weeks
4 weeks
18 – < 21 month
10 weeks
5 weeks
21 – < 24 months
11 weeks
5 weeks
2 – <3 years
12 weeks
6 weeks
3 – < 4 years
13 weeks
6 weeks
4 – < 5 years
15 weeks
7 weeks
5 – < 6 years
18 weeks
9 weeks
6 – < 7 years
21 weeks
10 weeks
7 – < 8 years
24 weeks
12 weeks
8 – < 9 years
27 weeks
13 weeks
9 – < 10 years
30 weeks
13 weeks

If either the employee or employer wants to terminate the contract with immediate effect and without respecting the notice period as laid down by the law, they will need to pay the other party an “indemnity in lieu of notice” which equals the salary for the period which normally should have been respected as a notice period.

Article 35 of the act on employment agreements finally foresees the possibility for either party to terminate the contract for a serious reason. Such a reason is one which makes it immediately and irrevocably impossible to continue the employment relationship (e.g. theft by the employee or fraud committed by the employer). In this case, no indemnity is due to the other party and the contract comes to an end with immediate effect.

Apart from the above-mentioned situations which are foreseen by the act on employment agreements, parties can always choose (based on the Belgian Civil Code) to terminate the employment agreement in mutual consent. In that case, parties are free to choose the end date, any indemnities due etc.

Terminations with respecting a notice period or a serious cause are subject to mandatory formalities which can lead to an invalid termination. The termination in mutual consent and the one with immediate effect by paying an indemnity in lieu of notice are not subject to any legal formalities.

As regards the reasons to terminate the contract, a new option called a the “manifestly unreasonable dismissal” was introduced in the Belgian labour legislation in 2014. A “manifestly unreasonable dismissal” is a dismissal based on reasons which:

  • Are not related to the capability of the employee to perform the job or the behavior of the employee or
  • Are not based on the necessities regarding the functioning of the company and which would never have been decided by a normal and reasonable employer.

Employees have the right to ask their employer to outline the reasons around which the dismissal was based. If the dismissal is considered to be manifestly unreasonable, the employer can be sanctioned with an indemnity of a minimum of three and a maximum of 17 weeks’ salary. The amount of the indemnity is decided upon by the labour court.

Common HR queries about Belgium

WHat is 13th Month Pay in belgium

The Belgian labor code dictates that all employees are eligible to receive the 13th Month pay as a mandatory monetary benefit. This equalizes one-twelfth of their annual salary, which can be earned every month as opposed to just once per year like most people think!

Companies simply divide your gross yearly wage by 134 when figuring out how much you’ll get paid monthly so there’s no need for any extra calculations or anything else fancy like that.

What are ecocheques in Belgium?

An EcoCheque is a voucher given by the employer to the employee for the purchase of ecological products and services. Belgian employees are entitled to receive €250 worth of EcoCheques per year in case of a full reference year (1 June to 31 May).

  • Payment to employees by means of EcoCheques is exempt from social security contributions and taxes.
  • There is a specified list of products that may be purchased with EcoCheques.
What is double vacation allowance in Belgium?

The double holiday pay corresponds to 92% of the monthly gross salary. Belgian legislation does not provide the payment of a year-end bonus. Yet, most of the business sectors have made the granting of a year-end bonus compulsory.

What is the minimum holiday entitlement in Belgium?

The statutory minimum holiday entitlement in Belgium is 20 days. However, that entitlement depends on the length of time the employee worked during the preceding calendar year. If the employee has worked 12 months during the previous calendar year, he is entitled to 20 vacation days. If the employee has worked less than 12 months, he is entitled to a pro-rated portion of 20 days.

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Specialising in multi-country payroll solutions

TopSource Worldwide offers comprehensive payroll outsourcing services, ensuring seamless and accurate management of your organisation's payroll functions. With cutting-edge technology and a team of experienced professionals, we handle payroll processing, tax compliance, and regulatory requirements with precision.

Calculate Your Employer of Record Taxes in Seconds

Employment Cost Calculator in Belgium

Our Employment Cost Calculator simplifies complex tax calculations for global businesses. Accurately assess tax obligations, ensuring compliance with local regulations. Streamline payroll management effortlessly with our user-friendly tool, providing transparency and efficiency in international workforce taxation.

In addition to calculating your EOR taxes, our calculator can also help you:

  • Understand the different types of EOR taxes
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest changes to EOR tax regulations
  • Avoid penalties for non-compliance

Employer of Record FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Belgian employment solutions

What is an Employer of Record in Belgium?

An Employer of Record (EOR) is a professional services provider that assumes the responsibility of being the legal employer for a company's workforce in Belgium. This entails managing tasks such as payroll processing, tax withholding, benefits administration, and ensuring compliance with local labour laws and regulations.

How do global employment services work?

Global employment services operate as a comprehensive solution for businesses seeking to expand their workforce across borders. These services, often provided by Employer of Record (EOR) companies like TopSource Worldwide, streamline the complexities of international employment.

What are the benefits of working with an Employer of Record in Belgium?

Employer of Record companies assume the legal responsibilities associated with employment, alleviating the burden of compliance, payroll, and HR management in Belgium. This allows companies to expand globally without the complexities of establishing legal entities in each location.

What is the difference between EOR & PEO?

An EOR acts as the legal employer, handling tasks like payroll, tax compliance, and benefits administration. This allows companies to expand internationally without establishing legal entities. On the other hand, a PEO shares employer responsibilities with the client company, often co-employing workers.

How are employer payroll taxes calculated in Belgium?

Calculating employer payroll taxes involves understanding the various taxes associated with employing workers and complying with tax regulations in Belgium. Key components include federal and state income taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes.

What global employment solutions does TopSource offer?

TopSource Worldwide facilitates hassle-free global expansion by acting as the legal employer, handling payroll, tax obligations, and HR responsibilities. With expertise in global entity management, TopSource assists businesses in navigating the intricacies of legal structures across borders.

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