What wages am I entitled to?

Here we explain what you should earn as a minimum. There are also rules about how your employer must pay you. You’ll find more information about this here.

General rules

  • You are always entitled to the statutory minimum wage.
  • Your wages must be paid to you personally at regular intervals.
  • Only you can decide what you do with your wages.
  • There are strict rules about paying in kind (which means paying with something other than money, such as meals or accommodation).
  • The payment of your wages should never depend on the profit or loss of your employer.
  • Your employer is not allowed to pay you less if they believe you haven’t carried your work out well.
  • There is no such thing as a trial period in which you have to work for free.
  • Your employer must also pay a part of your travel costs for getting to work.

Minimum wages

The minimum wage in Belgium also applies to underhand work and working off the books. The exact minimum wage you should receive depends on the type of work you do, your age, your qualifications and how long you have worked. The hourly wage must sometimes be higher. When you work many hours, or work in the evenings or at the weekends, for example. If you would like to know whether you’re being paid the correct wage, it’s best to get in touch with the trade union or the inspectorate. Minimum wages are adjusted most years.

The general minimum wage is (since 1 April 2024) €2,029.88 a month if you work 38h a week. Or €12.33 per hour. So you can never earn less than this wage. In fact, most sectors have a higher minimum wage.

A few examples:

Als je in de bouw werkt is het bruto-minimumloon € 17,157 per uur (geldig op 1 juli 2023)
Als je voor een schoonmaakbedrijf werkt is het bruto minimumloon € 15,6570 per uur (geldig op 1 januari 2023)

You’ll find the correct wage for if you work with service vouchers or as housekeeping staff here.

Gross and net

All wages set by law are gross wages. If you work legally, your employer will pay a part of that gross salary in taxes and another part in social security contributions. What remains is paid to you. We call this wage the net wage.

If you’re 21, for example, and you work 38 hours a week, you will be paid for a month’s work:

€ 1.954,99 brutoloon
– €7,01 RSZ
– €117,03 voorheffing
= €1.830,95 nettoloon

Important! If no minimum wage has been agreed for a particular sector, you are still entitled to receive at least the general minimum wage. No-one in Belgium is allowed to be paid less than this wage. Since 1 September 2021, the minimum wage is €1,658.19 a month if you work 38 hours a week.