At Work in Brussels

Benefits package in Brussels

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Usually, the employee that contributes to the mandatory public medical insurance is also covered by sickness benefit. However some conditions must be fulfilled in order to get the allowance:

  1. Employees must have worked for 120 working days (including paid leave and sickness) for the 6 months period previous to the claim of indemnity.
  2. Employees must have paid a minimum amount of contributions (and if possible complete this amount with private insurance).

Working incapacity is made of two periods: premium working incapacity and disability. When there is no presumption of legal work incapacity (e.g. being at the hospital), the incapacity to work (sickness) must be declared to the insurance with a medical certificate with date and signature. The GP-advisor of the medical insurance has to notify this state and fix its duration (start and end).

During the period of premium work incapacity (1 year maximum) the employee gets 60% of his/her salary (up to a limit) during the first 30 days after the period covered by the guaranteed salary to be paid by the employer. From the 31st day, the allowance stays at 60 % for people in charge of a family or who lost their only income. For others, the percentage is lower to 55%

Maternity allowance

The maternity leave of 15 weeks is shared into two periods:

  1. During the pregnancy (maximum of 7 weeks befor the expecting date of delivery, 6 of them being optional and can be postpone to after the birth) where is is forbiden to work.
  2. After the birth for a period of 8 weeks.

The amount of the maternity allowance is 82% of the income for the first 30 days and 75% of the income (up to 100€) of the employee.

At the occasion of a birth, the father is allowed a 10 day paid leave period (3 days at a normal salary paid by the company, then 7 days at 82% of the salary, paid by the medical organisation, up to a limit). This leave must be taken within 30 days from the day of the birth an can be spread over the period.

Annual paid leave

Each month the employee get 2 days holiday that can be used the following year, i.e. 4 weeks holiday for a full work year.

The salary earned during your paid leave is more important than your normal wage because it is made with your normal salary (pécule simple) and a premium (double pécule) to cover the additional cost of holidays, explained by 12/12 of 92 % of the monthly gross income for the year when holidays take place.

Family allowance

After the birth of a child, two types of allowances are given: the birth allowance (allocation de naissance - paid once, multiplied when there are twins - to be requested from the 6th month of pregnancy with a certificate); family allowance (allocations familiales) for children between 0 and 25 years old (paid each month - to be requested as soon as the child is born with a birth certificate).

The demand for the benefits (for employees) is simple:

  • The employee will fill a request form (E form) to be given to the health organisation that the company is registered with (pregnancy certificate or a birth certificate can be added).
  • The employer will fill a declaration to the social security (AB form) if it is the first child. As soon as the child is born, an allowance request will be given to the institution, with the AA form.

The father has to request the family allowance. If he is not an employee, the mother will request them. Unemployed, people on sick leave, getting a pension benefit from the same conditions as employees. The mother will get the allowance if she is taking care of the child. If not, it will be for the person in charge of the child.

For the first child of the father or the mother, the birth allowance is € 1.043,93 (in 2005). In other cases it is € 785,43 (1st August 2005). Basic family allowance are: €77.05 for the first child, € 142,58 for the second, € 212.87 fro each child from the 3rd one (1st August 2005).

Guaranteed family benefits for a foreign national

This is the allowance to request when the individual cannot ask for the family benefits in Belgium, not in another country, as a freelance or an employee. They are paid by the ONAFTS. the maximum amount for a quarter is € 3.467,64 for a family with 1 child, 20% more from the 2nd child. More information on the ONAFTS website.

For more information: Office National des Allocations Familiales pour Travailleurs Salariés - ONAFTS [] You can calculate yourself the amount of your benefits on the website.

Update 12/05/2007


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