WORKING IN BELGIUM

Population:

10,431,477 (July 2011 est.)

Time difference:

(GMT+1)

Telephone code:

+32

Capital:

Brussels

Languages:

French (official) - Flemish (official) – German

Tax Authority:

Service Public Fédéral Finances - www.minfin.fgov.be

Social Security:

Service Public Fédéral Sécurité Sociale - www.socialsecurity.fgov.be

Social Security & Tax System:

The Social security in Belgium is deducted by the employers to the employees. The amount deducted to the employee is 13,07 % of the gross salary at the following amounts:

  • Sickness and invalidity: (medical care 3.55%, invalidity benefits 1.15%)
  • Unemployment 0.87%
  • Pensions 7.50%

Employees and self-employed individuals pay progressive income tax.

from €0 to 7,900.00 25%
from €7,900.01 to 11,240.00 30%
from €11,240.01 to 18,730.00 40%
from €18,730.01 to 34,330.00 45%
above €34,330.00 50%

 

Average Monthly Rent

 
Single Room Apartment €500-850
Shared Room €200-400
Studio €450-800

 

Accommodation:

The Belgium rental market is wide and relatively good value. In Belgium the accommodations are usually rented unfurnished. Prices will depend on demand conditions and geographic location.

Is advisable to use the services of an estate agency in addition to newspapers specializing in classified ads, may be useful to consult local newspapers, especially on Friday and Saturday. Many accommodations are still advertised with the traditional notice in the window.

Attention to the lease because they are very protective of the landlord’s rights. They can be two types:

- Short time lease: 3 years.
- Long time lease: 9 years. Those are the most common if signed without explicit mention of the duration. If the contract is broken before the third year the tenant will be exposed to a penalty. After that period, the contract can be cancelled with previous notice of three months before the end of every three-year period.

You will normally be asked to pay a guarantee deposit (garantie locative) equivalent to 3 months’ rent.

Opening a bank account in Belgium:

EU citizens will need a valid passport, proof of address (utility bill) and it is advisable to bring a residence permit, although not always necessary. Some Belgian banks allow foreign customers to open a bank account online before you arrive in Belgium. You will need to send your residence permit once in Belgium as proof of identity. 

Working in Belgium:

Working in Belgium includes a week of standard 38 hours, with a maximum of 40 allowed. Overtime and Sunday work is only possible where a specific agreement with the employer. Paid holidays are equal to two days per month, 24 days in a year, plus 10 days holidays.