All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. That’s
why, as a worker in Belgium, you are entitled to different types of paid leave,
including numerous public holidays. Here’s what you can expect, so you can
schedule your time off as efficiently as possible.
Public holidays in Belgium
Belgium has 10
public holidays in total, including:
Year’s Day (1 January)
Day (1 May)
holiday (21 July)
of Mary (15 August)
Saints’ Day (1 November)
Armistice (11 November)
Day (25 December)
Most businesses are closed on these days, but there are exceptions. At
Link2Europe, we’ll make sure you are properly informed about this. Keep in mind
that public services and offices are closed as well, however, which means the
best thing to do is to just relax – and maybe head for the beach?
Annual leave and holiday
In Belgium, your annual leave in the private sector is calculated based on the number of days you worked during the preceding year. For example, if you worked a full year in 2019, this means you’re entitled to 20 vacation days in 2020. However, if you are employed by an employment agency, you’ll get a holiday bonus, which is paid by the RJV. This holidays supplement is equal to 15.38 percent of your earnings in the preceding year.
Taking a leave of absence
If this is your first year working in Belgium, chances are you won’t
have any annual leave. Not to worry: every worker in Belgium is entitled to
leaves of absence from work for family events and to comply with civic obligations. To make
sure you get paid, you need to inform your employer in advance or as soon as
possible. In case of an
unforeseen event – such as a loved one getting in an accident, a fire at your
home etc. – workers in Belgium may also take leaves of absence. However, this
leave is limited to 10 working days per year and isn’t paid.
Maternity and parental
in Belgium get three months of paid maternity leave. Fathers usually get 10
days of paternity leave after the birth of their child. New mothers also get
the possibility of adding an extra three months of breastfeeding leave, while
fathers can opt to work four days out of five for a certain period as well.
Belgians are hard workers – but they also like their holidays. To make
sure you get all the paid leave you are entitled to as an expat, your best bet
is to refer to an international organisation like Link2Europe. Find out which
opportunities we have in store for you!