Recruiting employees: formalities and obligations

Last modified:

Wednesday 7 April 2021

If your enterprise is running at full capacity and you could use reinforcements, you can hire a new employee. Recruiting additional staff has not just financial, but also many practical implications. Here’s a summary.

The financial picture

1. (Gross) salary

The biggest cost in the recruitment of an employee is undoubtedly the salary. Even though you are free to set the salary, you must take collective labour agreements (CLAs) into account. If a CLA applies to your sector, you must pay at least the minimum wage stipulated in that agreement. The wages should be clearly stated in the employment contract.

2. The employer social contribution

In addition to the employee’s salary, the employer also has to pay a contribution to social security. This amounts to 25% of the gross salary, although there are a few exceptions. For instance, your employer contributions will be less if you hire a long-term jobseeker or a senior employee. You will also be entitled to a substantial rebate for the first person your hire

3. Allowances and subsidies

As an employer, in addition to discounts, you may also be eligible for allowances and subsidies under certain conditions. These are the main ones:

  • the allowance from you get a maximum of 15,900 euros, spread over 30 months. If you hire someone with limited capacity for work, this sum rises to 23,400 euros.

  • the incentive for a training programme from if your new employee is following a course, as an employer, you will receive a maximum of 5,000 euros to pay for this training.

Your administrative obligations

Recruiting employees also involves a number of formalities:

1. Obligations under the social legislation

Employers must comply with three tasks in order to begin recruiting staff. You may take care of these formalities yourself or entrust them to a payroll services provider.

2. Other obligations

In addition to social security obligations, you also have to:

3. Additional obligations for blue-collar workers

If you are hiring a blue-collar worker, you must join an annual holiday fund. It calculates how many days off and pay your employee is entitled to. The affiliation takes place at the same time as the registration with the NSSO/RSZ. Many employers join the Rijksdienst voor Jaarlijkse Vakantie (RJV). Some sectors (food, construction, metal) have their own holiday fund.


Recruiting a new employee entails financial implications as well as a number of administrative obligations. So, make sure you are truly well informed before you hire an employee.


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 !