Hiring your first employee: target group deductions and work benefits

Last modified:

Monday 26 April 2021

Establishing yourself as a new employer entitles you to social security rebates or other support measures if you recruit employees from specific target groups. Specifically, young people, seniors, hospitality staff and the long-term unemployed make up these groups.

‘6 first recruitments’ target group deduction

If you meet the prerequisites for a ‘new employer’, your employer social security contributions will be reduced for 13 quarters. Better still: if you hire your first employee before 1 January 2021, you will enjoy this allowance indefinitely.


This allowance comes with some conditions. For example, before the recruitment of your first employee, you may not have contributed to employer social security yet, or have employed any staff for at least four consecutive quarters.

Note! Flexi-job workers are included, however.

More info can be found in the French or Dutch section of this site.

‘Hospitality’ target group deduction

If, as an entrepreneur in the hospitality sector, you have a registered cash register and record the attendance of all employees, you are entitled to a discount on the social contributions of a maximum of 5 full-time employees. In concrete terms: you get a 500-euro discount per employee and per quarter. If your employee is under the age of 26, the deduction will rise to 800 euros.

An example: Nadia has a restaurant. She has 4 employees, all of whom are above the age of 26, three of whom work full-time (an average of 38 hours per week). The target group deduction entitles Nadia to a quarterly discount of 1,500 euros on her social security contributions.

Work benefit ‘Young people’

In the Brussels-Capital Region, employers get the support of Actiris when hiring a young person. Under the scheme, the employment office will offer you a so-called ‘work benefit’ that you can deduct from the net pay. The amount is broken down as follows:

  • 350 euros a month in the first 6 months following the recruitment
  • 800 euros a month for the next 12 months
  • 350 euros a month for the last 12 months


The recruited young person must be under the age of 30 and a Brussels resident. He or she must be low-skilled and a registered unemployed jobseeker for at least one day. In addition, you must offer him or her an employment contract (at least part-time) for a minimum term of 6 months.

More info can be found in the French or Dutch section of this site.

‘Seniors’ target group

You can also get a deduction on your social security contributions for people aged 57 and over. In this case, there are no formalities to obtain this rebate. If your employee meets the conditions, you will get the discount automatically.

Advantages: a deduction of 1,000 euros per quarter on social security contributions.

More info can be found in the& Frenchor Dutch section of this site.

‘Long-term unemployed’ target group deduction

Under the Activa Brussels scheme, if you hire a long-term unemployed person, you can deduct a so-called ‘work benefit’ from the worker’s net pay for 30 months.

(Based on a full-time contract) the work benefit is:

  • 350 euros a month during the first 6 months;
  • 800 euros a month for the following 12 months;
  • 350 euros a month for the last 12 months.

More info can be found in the French or Dutch section of this site.


If you recruit staff from target groups, you will probably be entitled to significant or work benefits or deductions on your social security contributions. So, make sure to always check your entitlements beforehand. This will allow you to save (for a while) on labour costs.

Would you like more information on target group deductions? Please contact your payroll services provider. You may also find more information on each target group reduction in the French or Dutch section of this site: Subsides / Subsidies

Let's stay in touch

Join more than 25,000 subscribers and receive every fortnight in your mailbox our free newsletter (French or Dutch), packed with the latest news, fascinating testimonials, actionable advice and an overview of useful workshops and networking activities for entrepreneurs in Brussels !