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How to set a gross salary?

Employers | 03 June 2020

Every job deserves a salary, the question is how much. Here are the various elements to consider when negotiating the level of pay with your new recruit.

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How to set a gross salary?

Calculating wage costs is an essential step when hiring your first employee. It is largely on this that the balance of your accounts, and therefore the health of your company, will depend. Determining the gross salary of your new recruit should therefore not be taken lightly.

But what is meant by gross salary? In Belgium, it means much more than just payment for working hours. It also includes all the extras, such as fringe benefits, overtime, holiday pay and bonuses.

A legal minimum to be observed

Whatever the profile of your future employee, their salary should at least equal the legal minimum set out in the collective labour agreement (CCT) for your sector. If there is no such agreement, you will be obliged to observe the guaranteed minimum monthly income.
 
However, not all candidates will be entitled to the same gross salary for the same job. Older and more experienced candidates will of course be entitled to a higher salary than their less qualified younger counterparts. It is therefore up to you to see whether you can afford to hire a specialist who is already fully functional, or whether, on the other hand, and for the sake of certainty, you prefer mentoring and in-house training to keep costs down.

The law of supply and demand

In any case, a basic benchmark is necessary to give you an idea. The gross pay of your new recruit will have to reflect the market average if you want to attract talent - or even exceed it, given the current shortages in many sectors.
 
In fact, some candidates are now in a position of strength during job interviews. It's all a matter of negotiation to do better than the competition. But don't panic if you have limited resources. A lower gross salary can often be compensated for by other perks.

A few tips to limit your wage costs

Don't hesitate to sell yourself during your job interviews. Salary remains an essential component for most job seekers, but they are increasingly preferring other factors such as flexibility or access to certain fringe benefits.
 
Some of these benefits entitle you and your employee to exemptions from taxes and social security contributions. The result is a higher net salary for your employee and optimisation of your wage costs. This is the case, for example, with meal vouchers, eco vouchers, salary bonuses and the reimbursement of commuting expenses. It's worth doing the calculations - we can help you with this.
 

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