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Leave Policy

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Belgium

Leave Policy in Belgium

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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549
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EOR in 
Belgium
Monthly
$
599
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
549
/month
(billed monthly)
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Table of Content

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Introduction

Belgium's job market, shaped by its strong economy and strategic location in Western Europe, offers numerous opportunities across diverse industries. Meanwhile, venturing into the Belgian job market can be demanding with labor law compliance at the helm.  

The national labor laws cover several aspects of employment, including leave benefits, which employer organizations and trade unions influence. To implement equal treatment at work, employers and employees must have a thorough understanding of these regulations. 

Therefore, we provide you with this comprehensive guide with all of the necessary information on the leave policy in Belgium.

Adoption Leave in Belgium

When considering adoption leave in Belgium, you may have to critically analyze the entitlements under Article 30ter of the Act of 3 July 1978 on Employment Contracts. 

  • Employees typically receive an individual credit of up to six weeks per adoptive parent. This credit isn't transferable between parents.
  • If the child has a disability of at least 66% or meets specific criteria, this credit can be extended.
  • Additionally, if an employee is simultaneously adopting multiple children, they may be eligible for extra weeks of leave.

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Earned Leave in Belgium

When it comes to holiday entitlements, earned leave in Belgium depends on the duration of employment within the holiday year, typically the previous calendar year.

  • Employees are entitled to a minimum of 24 calendar days off per year for employment, including regular non-working days that count as normal working.
  • Workers can usually take up to four weeks of annual leave per year, depending on their job schedule at the time.
  • New employees or those resuming work after a break are eligible for additional holidays, allowing them to enjoy up to four weeks of leave.

Moreover, additional holidays may be granted by the Royal Decree through collective labor agreements made by social partners.

Maternity Leave in Belgium

Like maternity leave policies worldwide, maternity leave in Belgium follows specific regulations and provisions to support mothers during pregnancy and childbirth.

Maternity leave features Maternity leave details
Maternity Leave Spans for 15 weeks; may extend to 17-19 weeks for twins.
Prenatal Leave Spans six weeks before the expected due date (or eight weeks for twins), with mandatory rest commencing seven days before delivery.
Postnatal Leave Begins immediately upon childbirth and lasts at least nine weeks. It can be extended by any unused prenatal leave.
Notice Period Employees are required to inform their employer at least seven weeks before the scheduled delivery date (nine weeks in the case of twins), accompanied by a medical certificate.
Financial Assistance The insurance company provides financial assistance during maternity leave.

Parental Leave in Belgium

As an employer in Belgium, you must follow certain standards regarding parental leave. Employees can pick from several parental leave options to care for their child: 

Type of parental leave Duration Description
Full-time parental leave Up to four months Can be taken as individual months
Half-time parental leave Up to eight months Can be taken in multiple parts
1/5th parental leave 20 months Allows a 1/5 reduction in working hours
1/10th parental leave 40 months Permits a 1/10 reduction in working hours, subject to employer agreement
  • Employees can switch between these parental leave in Belgium, with each month of full-time leave equivalent to different durations in other leave types. 
  • Parental leave rights also extend to adoption situations.

Paternity Leave in Belgium

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind regarding paternity leave in Belgium:

Paternity leave features Paternity leave details
Leave duration Fathers or co-parents are entitled to 15 days of paternity leave (20 days for births after 1st January 2023). Leave must be taken within four months after the birth.
Salary Payment Employers pay the entire salary for the first three days of paternity leave, with the insurance fund covering the remaining days.

Public Holidays in Belgium

  • Belgium has 10 public holidays in a year for which you can offer paid leave to your employees:
  • New Year (1 January)
  • Easter Monday
  • Labor Day (1 May)
  • Ascension
  • Whit Monday
  • National Day (21 Jul)y
  • Assumption (15 August)
  • All Saints' Day (1 November)
  • Armistice Day (11 November)
  • Christmas (25 December)
  • When a public holiday falls on a Sunday or a typical non-working day (like Saturday), it must be replaced by another day of rest called a substitute day, scheduled on a regular working day.

Sick Leave Policy in Belgium

  • The leave policy in Belgium entrusts you to ensure that employees receive statutory sick pay: 
  • White-collar workers: Full pay for the first 30 days of sick leave
  • Blue-collar workers receive:
  • Full pay for the first week.
  • Reduced pay (85.88%) for the second week.
  • Partial pay from week three to four. 
  • After the first month, your employees will be covered by their health insurance funds (mutuelle/ziekenfonds).

Casual leave in Belgium

  • In Belgium, casual leaves are permitted only under specific circumstances. 
  • For personal reasons, such as taking care of family members or continuing their education, employees may request casual leave.
  • However, whether these requests are granted depends on your judgment, considering the needs of the business and the employee's situation.

Unpaid Leave in Belgium

Employees are allowed to take up to 10 unpaid leaves each year for urgent situations involving unforeseen situations. 

Additionally, you may extend unpaid leave or part-time work for employees to care for: 

  • A kid under the age of eight, 
  • A disabled child under the age of 21, 
  • An ill family member in serious condition, or  
  • A person with an incurable sickness.

Other leaves

Belgium offers various types of leave options to accommodate diverse needs and situations among workers, such as: 

  • Paid palliative leave: Full-time or part-time workers can take off one month per patient needing palliative care, which can be extended twice. Full-time workers can also cut their hours by 1/5 or half for one month per patient, which can be extended twice.
  • Caregiver leave: Workers, whether full-time or part-time, can choose to stop working completely for up to three months per dependent person. This break should be taken at once per month or in multiples of this timeframe.
    Alternatively, full-time workers can reduce their work hours by 1/5 or half for up to six months per dependent person. 
  • Paid educational leave: Paid educational leave allows employees to pursue approved training while maintaining their regular salary, even when absent from work.
  • Political leave: Workers holding positions in various political bodies, such as municipal councils or community commissions, are entitled to take political leave to fulfill their duties. The duration and formalities of political leave depend on the specific function or mandate held by the worker, as well as the location of the political bodies involved.

Easily Navigate the Leave Policy in Belgium with Skuad

Now that you're well-versed in Belgium's leave policies, Skuad can assist you even further. From onboarding to payroll, taxes, and compliance across 160+ countries (including Belgium), Skuad simplifies it all without the need for local entity setups. 

Sign up for a demo today to streamline your remote hiring process in Belgium.

FAQs

Q1. How many leave days per year in Belgium?

A1. Belgium offers at least 24 days of annual leave and it includes non-working days declared by Royal Decree. 

Q2. What is the annual leave policy?

A2. Under Belgian law, full-time employees are entitled to at least 20 days of paid annual leave with the possibility of more depending on employment contracts.

Q3. What are the new rules for employees in Belgium?

A3. The new rules in Belgium call for the implementation of EU Directives and medical certificate changes. 

Employers in Belgium must provide employees with particular job details right from day one. This information includes wages, salaries, job benefits, and more. Further, for the first three days of sick leave each year, employees are not required to provide a medical certificate anymore. This, however, is limited to businesses with less than fifty employees.

Q4. Can you take unpaid leave in Belgium?

A4. Yes, unpaid leave is allowed in Belgium under certain circumstances. Leave without pay may also be granted on account of personal reasons such as taking care of close family members or pursuing further studies. However, this request needs approval from employers based on business needs and employee circumstances.

Hire and pay dedicated developers in 160+ countries

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limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Belgium
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
549
/month
(billed annually)
G2 badge

Hire and pay dedicated developers in 160+ countries

G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Belgium
Monthly
$
599
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
549
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

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