At first glance, posting to Belgium seems very attractive. From a financial point of view, that is. Because when you dive deeper and take a look on the longer term, the advantages of working with a Belgian employment contract become more obvious. This article describes the pitfalls of posting and short-term shortcomings versus long-term benefits of Belgian employment.
In Belgium, the job market for certain jobs is so tight, employers go out of their way to find skilled workforce. They are searching for profiles to match their requirements and where those candidates come from or what language they speak is less relevant.
And then there is you, looking for a job that pays as good as possible.
To bring both of you together, there are two ways: you either get hired by a local subcontractor who posts you to a job in Belgium, or you work with a Belgian temping contract. There are pro’s and cons to either choice, mostly related to your social security and the amount paid into your bank account.
Belgian contract comes with long-term profit and security
Working in Belgium with a Belgian contract means you earn a competitive salary from day one – the same salary as any Belgian citizen, that is. You get paid for every hour you work, on average 38 to 40 hours per week, and every hour of overtime will be paid at 150%.
You will also receive vacation money for the days when you take your legal holidays. That money matches the wage you would receive if you were working on those days. Another benefit is that working with a Belgian contract also means that you will receive a thirteenth month’s wage.
And did you know that the minimum wage in Belgium is among the highest in the European Union?
Belgian social system for all registered citizens
As soon as you have a job and are registered in Belgium, you can fully use the Belgian social system. This means all healthcare facilities are at your disposal and you only pay a bare minimum for it. For example, a blood test will cost not even €5 and your corona-vaccination will be free of charge. Even more so, when you are ill and unable to work, you will be paid an average of 80% of your wages.
Also, whilst working under Belgian contract, every hour you work adds to your pension plan. When you retire you will benefit from that, even when you decide to return to your home country.
Kids support – financially and at school
Another important element to consider is that you will receive financial child support for each of them, whether they live in Belgium or in your home country. But that’s not all: if your kids move to Belgium, many schools provide special classes to introduce them to their new language and guide them to the ‘normal’ classes as soon as possible – all to make the transition easier on them.
And you? With the Belgian legislation and legal holidays, you will have more time to spend with them!
Social security is what you get, but cannot see on your bank account
Because of all these extra’s in social security, your weekly net income will be lower than if you were posting to Belgium. Yet the full social security package above, combined with affordable housing and the reasonable cost of living, provides you with a disposable income that is higher than in the Netherlands, France and Luxembourg – based on a study by Deloitte.
Posting contract for short-term profit
Then there’s the other option: posting. Posting is when you are engaged by a local firm to work for their Belgian clients. Usually, pay is a fixed amount per week, and that amount will be higher than what you receive with a Belgian contract.
Considerations when posting
Your pay check covers your work hours for a week,usually more than the average, up to 60 hours per week. Some employers will pay you the 150% for any hour overtime above 40 work hours, but many candidates tell us that some others won’t.
Another reasons that the pay seems higher than that of a Belgian contract, is that your local employer can – in a fiscally friendly way – add 50 euro per day for drinks, food and cost of living to your salary. However, you should make sure that this is added on top of your hourly wage.
Our candidates who have worked in this system tell us that most of the time, they didn’t get any payroll information or pay check form. So there was no way they could verify if they received their holiday pay, their 13th month, their overtime and other benefits.
Pay check verifications before posting
Therefore, what you should check when posting, is this:
- Do you get paid for your overtime?
For any hour of overtime, your employer gets paid the 150% by his Belgian customer, for sure, since that is a legal requirement.
- Is your social security paid for?
Did you receive your A1 document to prove your adherence to your local social security system? Or else, who is going to pay for future healthcare bills?
- Is money paid into your pension plan?
And, on the longer term: what happens when you are out of work? Will you receive unemployment benefits as you would in Belgium? What support is there when you want to move your family to live with you?
Link2Europe will help you settle in
Because that is exactly where Link2Europe makes a difference: if you decide to come and live in Belgium to work with Link2Europe, our staff will do everything they can to support you to settle in. And your family too, if you decide to bring them.
Our staff in Belgium will warmly welcome you and help you with all practicalities such as housing, registering, the healthcare system and schooling for the kids. Often in your own language, so if it’s only a listening ear you need: that too is a possibility.
Employed with a Belgian contract for more peace of mind
The people we work with, your countrymen and -women, are all employed with Belgian contracts. They tell us that this way of working and living appeals to them way more than the traveller lifestyle they lived before. And also, with a family, it’s way more attractive in the long term.
So what are you waiting for? Try us!