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Employment Contract - Brussels

We have a role we are looking to advertise  based in Brussels. Ideally we are looking to offer a 2 year contract and some initial advice has indicated it is difficult to end an employment contract in Belgium.  Does anyone have any knowledge/experience in this area?

Thanks

Amanda 

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  • From what I recall, you can terminate contracts in Belgium but must pay compensation.  I think most companies use the Claeys-Engels formula to calculate the compensation to be paid as, apparently, if you don't pay the Claeys formula and the employee takes the matter to court then that's the formula the courts will use to determine the compensation.

    This web-page might be useful:

     http://www.opzegging.be/ECMS_CLIENT/configuration/pages/home.php

    When I worked for a company that had a site in Belgium, we used agency temps to cover maternity leave - whereas in the UK we would have hired someone directly on a fixed term contract.

    Might be worth taking some legal advice from a Belgian employment lawyer to be on the safe side.

    The CIPD has an EU Employment Advice Line (incl. Belgium) which charges ¬£45 per call + VAT, so that might be a cost effective way to get some intial advice.

    http://www.cipd.co.uk/global/europe/eu-employment-advice.aspx

  • Amanda - the time limit for an FTC in Belgium (including extensions) is 18 months. If your need is for 24 months, then that is your first obstacle.....

    Extending beyond this (except in very rare cases) will transform the contract into an indefinite contract of employment.

    In my current job I use Claeys & Engels regularly for our senior positions - they are expensive but you will not find better - many members of their staff are actively involved in working groups involved on preparing Belgian labour law with the legislature so thheir knowledge of legal doctrine is exceptional. Not for everyone's pocket.

    Some time ago in a major start-up I initially recruited 6 staff for Belgium and used the services of ADMB Sociaal Bureau in Brugges to set up contractual conditions and to run payroll, tax d√©clarations, prepare contacts etc.. The initial jobs covered were the national sales manager, his secretary, a supervisor and 3 telesales assistants - we later extended to 5 more sales reps and two more support staff. The company still exists and my Belgian colleagues say they are still one of the best for smaller companies. 

    Good luck

     

  • Hello everyone

    We wish to offer employment to a Belgian national who lives in Belgium but would commute to London for part of the working week but would also carry out part of his work from home. This is a consultant we have commissioned to carry out work as an independent contractor in the past but we now wish to offer him more work and we think the relationship would then look more like employment than consultancy.

    We believe we will have to pay Belgian social security but that's about as far as our collective knowledge takes us.

    @Ray - I hope you're online today. I've tried looking at the ADMB website you recommended back in 2015 and used Google's translate function but have not been able to make much sense of it. Did they act as the local employer for you?

  • Hi Amanda,
    Another thing to be aware of is the language - you will have to arrange the contract, handbook etc. in Flemish or French depending on the area.
  • In reply to Elizabeth Divver:

    Hi Elizabeth, just seen your post. ADMB helped both by proposing employment contract stucture/wording to meet the company's specific needs. They also oprrated the local payroll including declarations, breporting and transfer of cash (called from an account in France). They also provided day to day basic HR advice. The mother company in France was the legal employer, not ADMB. Hope this helps ;-)
  • In reply to Ray:

    Thanks, Ray. That's really helpful.