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Belgium

Belgium: Changes to Reductions in Social Security Contributions for First Hires as of 2024

In order to boost the creation of employment, Belgium knows a system of reducing the social security contributions paid for the first employees hired by a company. This system is applied to new employers of new employees, which means employers that have never engaged employees before. As these reductions are rather expensive for the social security budget, the reductions will be reduced in 2024.

The current system provides for a fixed reduction of 4,000 EUR per quarter for the first hire on a permanent basis. However, from the 2nd until the 6th hire, the reduction will gradually decrease and end after the 13th quarter.

Schematically, the reduction system until 31 December 2023 is as follows:

  Q 1-5 Q 6-9 Q10-13 Starting Q 14
1st hire 4,000 EUR
2nd hire 1,550 EUR 1,050 EUR 450 EUR None
3rd – 6th hire 1,050 EUR 450 EUR None

 

Starting 1 January 2024, the reduction system will be as follows:

Q 1-5 Q 6-9 Q10-13 Starting Q 14
1st hire 3,100 EUR
2nd – 3rd hire 1,550 EUR 1,050 EUR 450 EUR None
4th – 6th hire None

 

As you can see, the reduction for the 1st hire is reduced by 900 EUR to 3,100 but remains permanent in time. The system for the 2nd hire remains the same and the 3rd hire is now promoted to the same level of reductions (this is the only increase in reductions under the new system). They will no longer receive any reductions after the 13th quarter ends. Finally, the reductions for the 4th, 5th, and 6th hires are eliminated from the system.

The system will only apply to hires starting 1 January 2024. This means that the current, more beneficial systems will continue to apply to employees hired before the end of 2023. Therefore, in some cases, it might be wise to hire new employees before the new system comes into place.

Source: Act of 16 October 2023 regarding diverse provisions in social matters