Questions and answers
Important questions and answers
regarding living & working in Belgium
You can contact us by phone or visit us at our offices in Bornem.
We are open
Monday to Friday: 08:30 – 12:30 / 13:00 – 17:00
Phone number: +32 3 740 76 76
You are welcome to visit us! Just give us a call to make an appointment before you drop by during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The statutory working week is 38 hours (in some companies 39/40 hours). Sometimes overtime is possible, and we always inform you about it.
Usually, we invite each employee to our office in Belgium on Monday mornings. A delicious breakfast awaits you. In case of difficulties with transport, we advise you on the best way to travel to Belgium. The first day is an organizational day under the guidance of our coordinators who take care of all the formalities on your behalf:
- We introduce you to the activity of Link2Europe
- We register you in Belgium as our employee: you receive a National Number
- We present you with the rules of the company in which you will be employed
- We provide you with a starter kit with all the documents to be signed: employment contract, health and safety rules, housing contract, accommodation conditions, etc.
- If you wish, we help you open a Belgian bank account (recommended)
- On the first day, you also receive the clothing and work boots required for your work
- We organize transport to your place of residence.
- We familiarize you with the management of the company in which you will work and provide information on safety in the workplace.
Firstly, try to avoid this. Of course life is unpredictable, we all know that, so if you are sure you’re not going to make it, or you are going to be late, first call your supervisor and us to inform us when you expect to arrive at work if you’re going to be late. Remember that every hour of your absence from work without formal proof of medical leave will not be paid. Absence from work may result in the termination of your contract.
Accidents can happen everywhere, so we ask you to be careful at all times! However, if an accident does occur, you have to inform your team leader and us immediately. Note the time of the accident and try to identify witnesses. If necessary, you will be referred to a doctor. We will give you the necessary paperwork to take with you.
Your weekly payment will be transferred every Friday of the following week. If it doesn’t reach your bank account (which practically never happens), it could be because the bank is closed for a national holiday. Wait until Monday, and if the funds are still not on your account – call us.
Holiday pay is 15.38% of your gross income. It will be paid at the end of May or early June in the following year. If you’re no longer in Belgium when this bonus is paid, you’ll have to fill out an L76 form in order to receive the money in your foreign bank account. You can find this form in your starter folder which you receive from Link2Europe on your first day of work.
This is paid at the end of December or early January.
Yes, the Belgian social security system guarantees the possibility of applying for family benefits. One child entitles you to a monthly payment of €92.09; for two children, you receive €170.39; and for three or more children, you get €254.40.
Meal vouchers (maaltijdcheques) are an additional benefit that you get depending on the company you work for. If your company offers them, the information below will be useful for you:
- vouchers are exempt from any contributions related to social security or income tax
- your salary will only be deducted by the personal contribution of each voucher; for example, for a €5 voucher, your personal contribution is €1.09; so the net value of the voucher is €3.91
- you receive one voucher per day worked; after 3 weeks you will receive your card from us, with the equivalent amount of money related to your vouchers for your first weeks and we will top it up weekly
- you can use this card to make purchases in supermarkets and restaurants.
Just ask us and we will take care of it!
After you receive tax form 281.10, you have to go to the Tax Office and show it. Depending on the amount you paid earlier, you will either receive a tax-back.
In Belgium, declarative taxes apply: when you complete the employment formalities, our Belgian consultant will advise you on the tax threshold most advantageous for you. The most important contributions that are deducted from your salary are social security contributions (RSZ 13.07% – a fixed rate for all employees) and an advance payment for income tax (variable amount, depending on many factors, but at least 11.11%). You can ask our recruiter for an approximate net hourly rate for work in a specific position.
Anyone who has earned income in Belgium, whether from an employment contract or social security/health benefits, is required to file a tax return at the local tax office.
Yes, if your income earned in Belgium accounts for 75% of your total global annual income. An additional condition is joint registration with your wife/children in the tax year.
Every worked month in Belgium entitles you to 1.66 days off, equivalent to 20 days off per year if you work fulltime. You can carry holidays forward into the following year. However, thanks to weekly contracts, you can always take a week of unpaid leave by suspending your contract for a week.
First you have to ask your supervisor. If he agrees, call us to let us know.
Your holiday pay is always paid into your account at the end of May/early June. You will not receive holiday pay earlier than this date. For instance, if you work from November onwards and you want to go on holiday in April the following year, even though part of your holiday money is owed to you, it will not be paid to you until the end of May or early June.
If something in your apartment is not working properly (heating or something broke) send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office in Belgium.
If you have a problem with the Internet try to reset your router. If this doesn’t help, wait for a while, as maintenance work could be taking place. If the problem persists, you can call the Internet provider and ask them to resolve the issue.
Sure! If you want to live with your friends or family, or you prefer to rent an apartment on your own – feel free! Just let us know your address, so we can send you your contracts and other documents.
If you notice that your bike needs to be repaired, e.g., the brakes are not working properly or you cannot adjust your bike seat, you have two weeks to report the problem to us at email@example.com. All problems reported after this time will have to be resolved by you. Remember that you have to return the bike in a functioning state.
If your company car sounds as if it could have a problem, the air conditioning is not working properly, or if there is any other technical problem, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office in Belgium.
If you experience or witness a serious accident call 112.
If an illness is serious enough to prevent you from coming to work, first of all call your team leader and us to inform us that you’re not going to be at work and why (if you’ve been working for more than a month, you are entitled to a week’s paid sick leave as long as you show us a letter from a doctor registered in Belgium excusing you from work).
Yes. The doctor’s note is required to prove your illness. If you do not e-mail a copy to us within 48 hours of being absent from work due to illness you will probably not get paid.
Search for the nearest doctor online or ask your colleagues to recommend one.
Belgium has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. After your arrival, we will sign you up with a health-insurance company. You will be responsible for covering the costs of enrolling. This is approximately 90€ per annum. If you do not work for the whole year, you can apply for a reimbursement of some of the costs.
Mutualiteit is a Belgian health-insurance fund covering mandatory basic health insurance. Its annual contribution may vary depending on age; however, usually it’s around €90 per annum. Payment is usually due at the beginning of the year following the year that you have worked.
In case you are ill, it is important to immediately inform both the company you work for and Link2Europe. It is best to do this before the work shift starts. In case of an early shift, you can send an e-mail or phone the office from 08.30 onwards. You need to be examined by a doctor, who will also fill out and sign a medical leave form (ziekte-attest). You have 48 hours to send us a photocopy of this document at email@example.com.
You will receive two notes from the doctor:
- one note is to justify your absence from work for the employer (we recommend you ask for two copies, one for the employer and one for L2E; otherwise, a copy is acceptable)
- the second note is used to get a refund of your medical costs (you have to send it to the health insurance company and they will directly refund the costs to your bank account).