In Belgium, more than 8 out of 10 people subject to VAT are self-employed but don’t have any employees. It must be said that there is a cost involved in taking the plunge to hire your first employee. It’s a cost that you may not want to incur in these difficult times, but the economy will bounce back. Therefore, there is a great deal of benefit in recruiting this year
rather than waiting until next year.
The cost of an employee is not limited to the salary he or she is paid. Add to this base insurance costs, holiday pay and, of course, the well-known NSSO (National Social Security Office) employer contributions. At least, that would normally be the case, because until 31 December 2021 you can benefit from a lifetime exemption from these NSSO contributions
. You will also receive EUR 36.45 every quarter to cover the costs of affiliation to an approved social secretariat.
Who exactly can benefit from this?
The first hire provision
is available to any business person looking to hire their first employee. The only condition is that they have been working independently for at least one year. No matter what sector they work in or how long they have been in business. All they have to do is complete the quarterly NSSO declaration.
As for the new recruit, there are virtually no constraints there either. There are no age, unemployment or academic requirements to qualify for this initial employee exemption. Only students, apprentices and casual workers are excluded.
The icing on the cake is that the exemption is in no way linked to an individual. Has your first employee jumped ship? Don’t worry, you lose nothing. The system remains the same in every respect for his or her successor(s).
In Belgium, employers' contributions now amount to 25% of gross pay
(including wage moderation). With the first recruitment provision, you only have to pay certain special charges such as sectoral contributions or contributions for unemployment, accidents at work or workers' holidays, for example.
Our online calculator
will give you a clear idea of how much your first employee will cost you. Here are a few examples:
Benefits too for the next 5 new employees
||You save on average
|A qualified baker
|A highly experienced physio
If you want to recruit more than one person, or if you already have an employee, the provision that will end on 31 December 2021 applies to you as well. There are also incentives for the next 5 new appointments
. In this case, you are no longer entitled to exemptions but to flat-rate reductions in employer contributions. This will apply for 13 quarters:
1 to 5
6 to 9
10 to 13
|3rd to 6th recruitments
So, do you have enough work to expand your company? Or would you like to integrate new skills to diversify and/or enter the digital age? Maybe the solution is hiring. If that's the case, there’s no time to lose - from 1 January 2022 it will cost you a lot more!
Calculate the wage costs of your first employee
Estimate quickly the wage costs of your first employee.