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Employment conditions

We spend a large part of our time at work, which means that good employment conditions are very important. The specific conditions depend on whether you work in the public or private sector and whether you are employed or self-employed, but all workers have both rights and duties. The general employment conditions for all types of work are outlined here. There are also links to sources of more detailed information.

Labour laws

The Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue is responsible for ensuring good relations between employees and employers. Its website is a great source of information, especially about labour laws, non-discrimination, holidays, well-being at work, employment contracts and more.

Contact us

FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue

Rue Ernest Blerot, 1
1070 Brussels

Permits and licences

Social security

All employees, employers and self-employed people must ensure their social security is in order. Thanks to your social security contributions you and your children are insured in the event of illness, unemployment or accident among other things (FR/NL).

They are also the basis of your claim to some allowances, holidays and state pension when you reach the statutory retirement age. Social security contributions are deducted automatically from your pay if you are an employee; the self-employed will have to arrange this themselves.

Contact us

FPS Social Security

Centre administratif Botanique, Finance Tower, Boulevard du Jardin Botaniqu, 50 - Box 100
1000 Brussels


Workers are obliged to join a mutual benefit society or the Caisse auxiliaire d'Assurance Maladie-Invalidité (auxiliary illness and disability insurance fund). Based on your monthly or three-monthly contributions your mutual helps pay various medical expenses (such as medication, doctor’s visits, hospitalisation, antenatal care) and reimburses you in the event of illness or disability. You are free to choose which mutual you join.

Personal income tax

You must pay taxes on your income to help the Belgian state pay for infrastructure and services. At the end of every June, all adults must submit their tax declaration (on paper or online) covering the previous year’s income.

Contact us

FPS Finances

Your tax declaration online at (FR/NL)

Holiday pay

As well as holidays, employees are also entitled to holiday pay. For ‘white-collar’ workers and civil servants this bonus is paid out by the employer; for ‘blue-collar’ workers by the Office national des Vacances annuelles (ONVA, national office for annual holidays). The under 25s and the over 50s may be entitled to a young persons or senior citizens holiday allowance in some circumstances.


Contact us

Office national des Vacances annuelles

Rue de la Croix, 4
1050 Brussels

Young persons or senior citizens holidays

In Belgium the number of holiday days you are entitled to depends on your contributions in the previous year. That means that young people who have just completed their studies and the long-term unemployed have no entitlement to holidays, as they will not have worked during the previous twelve months.

To help workers at both ends of the age scale, young persons or senior citizens holiday of up to four weeks is available, paid by the Office national de l'Emploi (ONEM, national employment office).

  • Young person holidays
    Under 25s who have just completed their studies can claim young persons holidays if they have worked for as little as one month in the previous year.
  • Senior citizens holidays
    Employees over 50s are granted supplementary paid holiday days based on the number of days worked in the previous year.


The unions defend the rights of workers in consultations with the public authorities and employers. They can also answer questions about employment conditions, your relations with your employer and all your rights and duties. Union membership is optional.