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Are you eligible for the exemption from social security contributions?

Your employee can’t be posted anymore and must be socially insured in Belgium. Or you are considering hiring your first Belgian worker(s)?

In that case, you will have to register as an employer with the Belgian social security authorities (NSSO) and you will have to pay social security contributions in Belgium for your employees who are employed in Belgium. However, this can be very advantageous for you!

After all, the 1st employee subject to social security is completely exempt from the basic social security contributions as an employer. The current regulations to be able to make use of this exemption for an indefinite period of time will expire at the end of this year. This means that this situation of Belgian social security has to start before 31/12/2020.

 As previously announced in the federal government coalition agreement of 30 September 2020, a legislative proposal was submitted on 14 October 2020 to maintain the target group reduction for the recruitment of a first employee after 31 December 2020. However, it is proposed to set an upper limit in order to reduce the part of the reduction that will have no effect on employment.

Although there is a very good chance that this proposal will actually be enshrined in legislation, we still have to make some reservations.

 However, if you take the necessary steps before 31 December 2020, you will in any case be guaranteed full exemption from social security contributions for your first recruitment.

Interesting contribution reductions also apply to the next 2nd to 6th employee over a number of quarters (qtr.):

Legal framework

On the basis of European Regulation n° 883/2004, which regulates the applicable social security in the EEA, the subjection of a worker to the social security of the country of origin can be maintained during the period of posting in Belgium and this for a maximum period of 24 months. The employee is in possession of an A1 certificate, issued by your local social security institution. In this way, the employee proves that he retains his usual social security regime of the sending state during the period mentioned on the A1 document.

At the end of 24 months, if the temporary posting of the worker has not ended and the conditions of posting are still met, an extension of the period of posting may be granted by mutual agreement between the competent social security institutions of the countries concerned. However, this is an exceptional derogation from the normal rule, intended only in very specific situations, in favour of the worker. In situations where the worker can’t be posted anymore or where the posting conditions are no longer met (e.g. no substantial activities (25% turnover) of the employer in the country of origin or replacement of a posted worker by another posted worker), the main rule remains that the worker concerned must then be socially insured in Belgium.

However, you can continue your service in Belgium if you wish, we will help you with all the formalities for social security cover for the employees concerned in Belgium. It is not necessary to open a Belgian company or subsidiary. It suffices to mandate us to act as an intermediary for communication with the Belgian National Social Security Office (NSSO mandatary). In our capacity as a recognised social service provider, we will take care of your entire Belgian payroll administration, including all notifications to the Belgian social and fiscal authorities.

Of course, if you choose to set up a Belgian entity, we can take over all the formalities as well as the recurring accounting work.


Feel free to contact us for further clarification.

© Van Havermaet International 2024

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