Q&A Employees – Link2europe

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Important questions and answers

Contact

When can I contact the office?

You can contact us by phone as well as in person at our offices in Opole and Bornem. Our opening hours are:

Opole: from Monday to Thursday: 8:30-17:30, on Fridays: 8:00-16:00 | Phone number: +48 503 028 18777 44 14 502

Bornem: from Monday to Thursday: 8:30-17:30, on Fridays: 8:30-16:00 | Phone number: +32 3740 7676

If you plan to visit us in person, we are happy to have you! Just give us a heads-up, and drop by :).

*In case of a very urgent matter send your coordinator a message and she will contact you back as soon as possible.

Work related

What is the working time in Belgium?

The statutory working time is 38 hours a week (in some companies 39/40 hours). Sometimes overtime is possible, we always inform you about it.

What is the arrival and registration procedure of an employee in Belgium? What formalities do I need to complete?

Usually, we arrange with each employee to come to our office in Belgium on Monday morning by any means of transport. A delicious breakfast awaits you there. In case of difficulties with transportation, we will be happy to help and advise you on the best way to get to Belgium. The first day is an organizational day, you are under the protection of our coordinators who will take care of all the formalities on your behalf:

  1. We will introduce you to the activity of Link2Europe
  2. We will register you in Belgium as our employee – you will receive a “Numero National” (NN – the equivalent of Polish NIP)
  3. We will present you the rules prevailing in the company in which you will be employed
  4. We will provide you with a starter kit with all documents to be signed: employment contract, health and safety rules, housing contract, accommodation conditions, etc.
  5. If you wish, we will help you open a Belgian bank account (recommended).
  6. On the first day, you will also receive clothing and work boots necessary to work.
  7. We will organize transport to your place of residence.
  8. We will familiarize you with the management of the company in which you will work and provide information on safety at the workplace.
I am going to be late/I am not going to come to work. Now what?

Firstly, try to avoid this. Of course life is unpredictable, we all know that, so if you are sure you’re not going to make it, or you are going to be late, first call your supervisor – and us – to inform (and provide information on when you’ll be there if you’re going to be late). Remember that every hour of your absence at work without official proof of medical leave will not be paid. Not coming to work may result in the termination of your contract.

Accident at work. Now what?

Accidents can happen everywhere, so we ask you to be careful at all times! But if an accident does occur, you have to inform your team leader and us immediately. Note the time of the accident and try to identify witnesses. If necessary, you will be referred to a doctor. We will give you the necessary paperwork to take with you.

Financials

When is payday?

Your weekly payment will be every Friday of the following week. If it doesn’t show on your bank account, (what usually never happens), this might be because of a national holiday and the bank was closed. Wait until Monday, and if it’s still not on your account – call us. Phone number: +32 3740 7676.

When do I get my holiday pay?

Holiday pay is 15.38% of your gross income. You will receive it end of May / early June of the following year. If you’re no longer in Belgium when this bonus is paid, you’ll have to fill out a L76 form in order to get the money on your Polish account. You can find this form in your starter folder which you received from Link2Europe on your first day.

When do I get my end of year bonus?

You can expect this end of December / early January.

Can I get any extras when I have children?

Yes, the Belgian social security system guarantees the possibility of applying for family benefits. The first child is entitled to a payment of €92.09, for the second – €170,39, for the third and subsequent – €254.40.

What are meal vouchers and how do they work?

Meal vouchers (maaltijdcheques) are an additional benefit that you get depending on the company you work for. If your company offers them, here is some information for you:

  • vouchers are exempt from any contributions related to social security contributions or income tax
  • your salary will only be deducted by the personal contribution of each voucher, for example if you get a voucher worth 5€, your personal contribution is 1,09€, so the final value of the voucher is 3,91€
  • you receive one voucher per worked day after 3 weeks you will receive your card from us, with the amount of money for your first week and we will top it up every week
  • you can use this card to pay in bigger supermarkets or restaurants.
How do I open a bank account in Belgium?

Just ask us and we will take care of it!

How do I apply my tax return?

After you receive tax form 281.10, you have to go to the Tax Office and show it. Depending on the amount you already paid earlier, you will either receive a reimbursement or charge-back.

What taxes are in Belgium / How much will I earn net?

In Belgium, declarative taxes apply – our Belgian consultant will advise you when completing employment formalities, which tax threshold will be the most advantageous for you. The most important contributions that are deducted from your salary are social security contributions (RSZ 13.07% – fixed interest rate for all employees) and an advance payment for income tax (variable amount, depending on many factors, minimum 11.11%). You can ask our recruiter for an approximate net hourly rate for work in a specific position.

Who has the obligation to settle the Belgian tax?

Anyone who has achieved income in Belgium, whether from an employment contract or social security / health benefits, is required to file a tax return at the local tax office. More information: www.zwrotpodatku.eu

Can I use tax allowance for my wife/children while fulfilling tax declarations?

Yes, if your income earned in Belgium accounts for 75% of all your annual income. An additional condition is mutual registration with the wife / children in the tax year. More information: www.zwrotpodatku.eu

Holidays

How many holidays do I get?

Every worked month in Belgium gives you 1,66 day off, this makes 20 days off per year if you work fulltime. Officially you can use it in the following year. But thanks to weekly contracts, you can always take a week of unpaid holidays by suspending a contract for a week.

How can I request a day off?

First you have to ask your supervisor. If he agrees, call us to let us know.

Do I get holiday pay?

Your holiday pay is always paid into your account end of May/early June, and you will not receive any money during any holiday before. For instance : if you work from November onwards, and you want to go on holiday in April the following year, you already collected some amount of your holiday money, but you will receive it in order with the schedule – May turning to June.

Housing

Problem in my house. What to do?

If something in your apartment is not working properly (heating, something broke) send us an email at support@link2europe.be or call our office in Belgium.

Internet is not working, how can I fix this?

If you have a problem with the Internet try to reset your router. If this doesn’t help – wait for a few moments. Maybe there are maintenance works going on. If the problem takes too long, you can call the Internet supplier and ask what’s going on. They should be able to help you solve the problem.

Can I use another accommodation?

Sure! If you have an opportunity to live with your friends or family, or you prefer to hire something on your own – feel free! Just let us know what your address will be, so we can send you your contracts and other documents.

What is direct debit / domiciliation?

It’s a direct debit for your rent. Usually we open it for you after 3 to 4 worked weeks. Before that, your rent is deducted from your salary, so you receive your salary minus your rental money.

Transport

Problem with my bike, what should I do now?

If you notice that your bike somehow needs to be fixed, e.g. brakes are not working properly, or you cannot adjust your bike saddle – you have 2 weeks to report this problem at support@link2europe.be. All problems noticed after this time, will have to be solved by you. Remember that you have to return a decent and properly functioning bike.

I have a problem with a company car/Broken company car.

If you notice that your company car sounds suspicious, the air conditioning is not working properly, or you notice any other technical problem, contact us at support@link2europe.be or call our office in Belgium.

Health

Emergency

If you’ve experienced or witnessed a serious accident call 112.

What to do when I am ill?

If any illness attacks you so seriously you can’t come to work, first of all call your team leader and us to inform us you’re not going to be there and why (if you’ve been working for more than a month, you will get a week paid if you show us an official medical leave from a doctor).

Do I need a doctor’s note?

Yes. The doctor’s note is essential to prove your illness. If you do not e-mail it to us in 48 hours, you will probably not get paid.

I am ill/I don’t feel well. Where can I find a doctor?

Search for the nearest doctor online or ask your co-workers for any recommendation.

What does health insurance in Belgium look like?

Belgium offers one of the best healthcare systems in the world. After your arrival, we will sign you up to a health-insurance organization. You will cover the costs of it on your own. This is approximately 90€ per year. If you will not work for the whole year, you can apply for a reimbursement of some costs.

What is mutualiteit? How much does it cost?

Mutualiteit is a Belgian equivalent of the Polish health-insurance fund – obligatory basic health insurance. Its yearly contribution may be different depending on age, but usually it’s around €90 per year. Payment is usually due at the beginning of the following year you work.

Medical leave/Sick note.

In case you are ill, it is important to immediately inform both the company you work for and Link2Europe. It is best to do this before the work shift starts.
In case of early shift, you can send an email or phone as from 8.30 to the office. You will also have to go to the doctor. He will examine you and give you a medical leave (ziekte-attest). You have 48 hours to send us a photo of this document, to info@link2europe.be.

You will receive 2 notes from the doctor:

  • 1 is to justify the absence for the employer (tip: you can always ask 2 exemplars, so you can give one to the employer and one to L2E – if not a copy is also ok)
  • 1 is to get a refund of the medical costs (this you have to send to the health insurance and they will refund directly on your bank account).

Other

Contract

Contracts are prepared weekly – always for 38 hours, but you can work longer. This will be reflected in your payment (you will receive information about overtime in another document : “payslip” (loonbriefje)]. If you’re about to start your first week at work, you will sign a contract in our office in Belgium. Every other contract you will receive via e-mail, where you’ll find a link to online-signing. Thanks to that, you will not have to come to our office every week or check your mailbox and return letters.

Payslip

Payslip (loonbriefje) includes all information about your weekly salary like gross income, taxes, worked overtime and the pay for it, as well as possibly charged money (ex. for your apartment) and any other additions.

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