Contracts in Belgium

Overview by

The Active Population in Figures

Main Indicators 2006
Labor Force 6 million
Labor Force (Annual Growth, %) -
Rate of Activity (%) 61.0
Unemployment Rate (%) 3.6

Source: National statistics

Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labor Force) 2006
Agriculture 1.3%
Industry 24.5%
Services 74.6%
For Further Statistics
government web site in statistics

Management of Human Resources



Method of Recruitment
Recruitment via connections is high rate of success. Interim as the charges and the constraints for employers are high, most companies would recruit after testing the person on interim basis. Big size companies recruit within the group/company.
Recruitment Agencies
Sam Headhunting
Russel Reynolds associate
Michael Page
Le Forem
Recruitment Websites

The Contract

Type of Contract
There are several types of employment contract commonly used in Belgium. There are different contracts for manual workers and white-collar workers. In addition, separate contracts exist for domestic workers, student workers, professional sports people and home workers. More info on Angloinfo.
Breach of Contracts
  • Dismissals
Dismissal because of misconduct or resignation means no benefit entitlement under normal circumstances. Dismissal must be done by registered letter.

Protected workers, such as trade union representatives, prevention advisers, workers on paternity leave and pregnant women, cannot be dismissed. In some cases dismissal is possible only if a severance payment is made.
  • Other Possible Methods
Employment may come to an end for various reasons. In most cases, either the employer or the employee gives notice. Other possibilities are expiry of the agreed period of employment, death, dismissal for serious misconduct, major force, or mutual agreement.

Sometimes a contract is suspended on account of a temporary instance of major force , such as inclement weather or a fire. If the suspension is short-term, the employer pays; otherwise payment is the responsibility of the unemployment office.
Labor Laws
Anglo info

Dispute Settlement


Conciliation Process

  • Procedure
Notice must be given in writing and indicate the start and duration of the period of notice. This period differs according to whether you are a manual worker or a white-collar worker, whether the employee hands in his or her notice (resignation) or whether the employer gives notice (dismissal). It is possible for the notice not to be worked, in which case it is replaced by a one-off payment, the amount of which is equivalent to the salary, which would have been paid or received during this period.

In Belgium, conciliation of collective labor disputes relies on the principle of voluntary conciliation. It is conducted by joint commissions, which are statutory bodies under public law, generally chaired by social conciliators, civil servants from the Department of Collective Labor Relations Service, in the Federal Ministry of Employment and Labor.

Judicial Structures

  • Competent Legal Body

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