Belgium flag Belgium: Operating a Business in Belgium

Work conditions in Belgium

The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 5,089,7525,137,1745,114,000

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 68.06%68.63%69.06%
Men activity rate 72.83%72.86%73.13%
Women activity rate 63.19%64.30%64.88%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labour Force) 2015
Human health and social work activities 14.7%
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 13.6%
Manufacturing 12.9%
Education 9.3%
Public administration and defence; compulsory social security 8.3%
Construction 7.1%
Administrative and support service activities 5.7%
Transportation and storage 5.5%
Professional, scientific and technical activities 5.1%
Accommodation and food service activities 3.4%
Financial and insurance activities 3.3%
Information and communication 3.1%
Arts, entertainment and recreation 1.4%
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 1.2%
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 0.8%
Real estate activities 0.6%
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 0.5%
Mining and quarrying 0.1%
 
For Further Statistics
Government Statistics Website

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
35, 38 or 39 hours
Retirement Age
65
Working Contracts
There are several types of employment contracts commonly used in Belgium. There are different contracts for manual workers, white-collar workers, domestic workers, student workers, professional sports people and home workers. More info is available at Angloinfo.
Labour Laws
Doing Business: Belgium, to obtain a summary of labour regulations that apply to local entreprises

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
Minimum wages are not determined by law. The minimum wages in force are normally set by collective labor agreements (CCT). Since April 2022, the national minimum wage in Belgium is 1,806.16 € per month.
Average Wage
According to the OECD, the average yearly wage was USD 54,327 in 2020 (latest data available).
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: The employers’ standard social security contributions are equal to 25% of gross salaries (including the base rate of 19.88% and the wage moderation of 5.12%). However, additional general contributions should be calculated (Asbestos Fund, Closure Fund, sector-specific fund for subsistence, etc.), thus the average employers’ contribution for white collar workers generally goes up to 27.5%.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: Withholding tax is estimated at 13.07% of gross salary.

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
Belgian workers are highly unionised. A national bargaining process covers inter-professional agreements that the trade union confederations negotiate biennially with the government and the employers' associations.
Unions
Syndicat Liberal
Algemeen Christelijk Vakverbond / Confédération des Syndicats Chrétiens -
Nationale Bondsstaat van de Kaders / Confédération Nationale des Cadres -
Algemeen Belgisch Vakverbond / Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique
Unionisation Rate
60%
Labour Regulation Bodies
Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue

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Latest Update: June 2022

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