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How are the social security contributions of a self-employed worker calculated?

The social security system for self-employed workers is undergoing significant changes. 

To summarise:

Previous method (up until 31/12/2014):


You will pay provisional contributions throughout your entire career.
These contributions will be corrected 3 years later, when your taxable income is communicated by the SPF Finances [the Belgian federal tax office].

More information is given on the page Calculation of contributions for beginning self-employed workers (French or Dutch). 

For further information, contact Group S - International Division.


In the first 3 years of activity, you pay provisional contributions which are corrected 4 years later.  
From the 4th year onwards, you pay fixed contributions on the basis of your income 3 years earlier.

New method (from 1/1/2015, without transitional period):


I am hiring my first worker. What procedures are involved?

There are a good number of administrative procedures involved in the hiring of your first worker:

  • taking out an occupational accident insurance policy and making a Dimona declaration before the entry into service of the worker;
  • drawing up a work contract for certain jobs (part-time jobs, fixed-term jobs, etc.);
  • registering with the ONSS/RSZ [NSSO] and with the direct tax office;
  • affiliating with a child benefit fund;
  • affiliating with an annual leave fund when you plan to hire blue-collar workers;
  • affiliating with an external service for prevention and protection at work;
  • drawing up work rules;
  • organising the proper welcoming of the worker;
  • identifying the joint committee which the worker will come under and which will determine the applicable sector agreements.


Group S can facilitate these tasks by offering you its expertise when carrying out these steps. Do not hesitate to contact Group S - International Division.


What is the cost of hiring a worker?

If it is your first worker, you first need to begin with the administrative steps as a new employer.

Read: I am hiring my first worker. What procedures are involved?

Otherwise, the cost of hiring a worker is made up of:

  • the worker's remuneration according to his/her status (blue-collar worker/white-collar worker) and the joint committee that he/she comes under;
  • the basic employer contributions in addition to those specific to the industry sector;
  • additional costs relating to employer allowances for transportation costs, the provision and upkeep of work clothing, training, etc.


For further information, please contact Group S - International Division.


How do I determine my worker's wages?

Theoretically, remuneration is set freely and contractually by the employer and the worker.


The determination of remuneration is very often decided through collective labour agreements concluded by a joint committee. These agreements establish pay scales which correspond to a classification of the roles carried out by the workers, and which may also take into account other factors such as the age, length of service or experience of the worker.


To view the minimum pay scales by sector, please see our extranet (in French or Dutch only).


In the absence of a collective labour agreement, an agreement from the Conseil National du Travail (C.N.T.) [National Labour Council] sets a guaranteed minimum income applicable to all sectors for which a specific C.L.A. has not been concluded. It also provides a guaranteed minimum wage.


The worker's social security contributions and withholding tax will be deducted from the gross wages to obtain the net wages.  This is the amount that will actually be paid to the worker.


In order to calculate net wages from given gross wages, or conversely, gross wages from desired net wages, Group S offers a simulation tool : Salary Sim.

For more information, please contact Group S - International Division.


What are the collective labour agreements for my sector?

The commercial activity of the employer determines the competent joint (sub)committee(s) for that company.  These joint committees draw up Collective Labour Agreements (C.L.A.) on different subjects such as work and pay conditions, end-of-year bonuses, union delegations, unemployment schemes with contributions from the ex-employer, etc. for the sector concerned.


The Legal Department of Group S analyses and adapts the figures and draws up and updates detailed sector documentation.


Collective Labour Agreements (C.L.A.), as well as figures and sector documentation, are available on our website, in the extranet section. To access these documents, read Accessing Group S sector documentation (in French or Dutch only).


What type of work contracts are there in Belgium?

Of the different types of work contracts that exist in Belgium, the most used is the work contract concluded for a full-time permanent position.  This type of contract is not subject to formal requirements and can even be concluded verbally.  However, we recommend concluding the contract in writing.  A contract drafted in writing enables subsequent discussions relating to specific agreements made at the time the contract is concluded to be avoided, including those relating to the role, wages, wage payment methods, etc.


On the other hand, there are contracts which must be concluded in writing, at the latest when the concerned worker enters into service.  The main contracts of this type are: fixed-term work contracts or contracts for a specific task, part-time work contracts, student contracts and replacement contracts.


Certain categories of workers require a specific and appropriate work contract to be drafted.  These include, for example, work contracts for trade commissioners or domestic workers, telework contracts, work-from-home contracts, etc.


All of these work contracts are available on our website:

  • Work contracts for white-collar workers (french or dutch)
  • Work contracts for blue-collar workers (french or dutch)
  • Other work contracts (french or dutch)


How do you terminate a work contract?

In order to terminate a work contract correctly, certain rules, which are determined by the conditions in which the termination is carried out, must be implemented:

  • Why does the work contract need to be terminated? Is it due to a case of force majeure, a death, a cancellation clause, through mutual consent or through a unilateral decision by the worker or the employer?
  • Who is being terminated? Is it a single worker or several workers? Is it a mass redundancy or a company closure?
  • Does the worker have to give notice? Is the work contract being terminated in return for a redundancy payment or is the worker being terminated on serious grounds?
  • Which type of work contract is being terminated? Is it a permanent or fixed-term work contract, a student or sales representative contract, a part-time work contract or a replacement contract?
  • Is the worker protected?
  • Is the performance of the work contract suspended?
  • Are there adequate grounds?

Group S would be pleased to answer all of these questions. Contact Group S - International Division.




Group S - International Division

Ursulinenstraat / Rue des Ursulines 2
1000 Brussels 
Tel: +32 2 507 18 80
Fax: +32 2 507 16 32
Email: international@groups.be