How should the employer pay your wages?

Your employer should generally transfer your wages to a bank account. There are exceptions to this. Sometimes an employer may propose an alternative, even though this is against the law. Here is a list of the most common ways.

Je werkgever stort het loon op jouw eigen bankrekening

By law, your employer is obliged to pay your wages into your bank account except in certain sectors. If possible, choose this method. You can then prove what you have been paid using your bank statements.

Je werkgever geeft je je loon direct in handen (cash)

This is only legally permitted in a limited number of sectors, however (agriculture, horticulture and diamond sectors). Most employers pay cash when the work is underhand or off the books. Keep a note of how much you have received in wages and how much you are still owed. By law, your employer must have you sign a paper showing how much you have received in wages. An employer is unlikely to do this for business or off the books. Try to convince them to do this in order to avoid misunderstandings later on. Make sure you get a copy of the paper, preferably signed by your employer. Only sign a paper that shows the real amount you received.

Je werkgever betaalt je loon in natura

Employers must pay you in money. They are allowed to pay a part of your wages with something other than money, for example with accommodation or meals. This is called ‘payment in kind’. This is strictly regulated by law.The payment in kind must be mentioned in awritten contract. If you do not have a written contract, payment in kind is not possible.
In all cases, your employer must pay you at least 60% of your wages in euros. For housekeeping staff, there are specific rules you can consult here. Get in touch with a specialised service for more information, (FAIRWORK Belgium, , Unions, or the Inspectorate).

De baas bewaart het geld

It is extremely difficult for someone without legal residence to open a bank account. For this reason, employers sometimes propose that they keep some of the money to give to you when you need it. Do not accept this proposal. If your employment somehow goes wrong, an employer may refuse to pay you the remaining amount.

If you let someone save money for you, always create a document for both parties to sign, which clearly states that the person saving the money must always return the money immediately when you request it.

Important: Your employer is obliged to regularly pay you for your work. They are not allowed to state that you cannot receive your wage because you have no bank account, residence permit or work permit.

Important: If an employer requests an invoice, do not comply. Don’t ask a friend with their own business to prepare an invoice for you. If you do, you will be guilty of invoice fraud and this is a punishable crime. This will also make it impossible for you to claim your wages from your employer at a later date in court.