Doing business in Belgium: Staff welfare28 February 2012
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 30 March 2012
Social legislation in Belgium prohibits discrimination and advocates equal opportunity and gender equality. Employers are responsible for promoting welfare within the company.
Non-discrimination, equal opportunity and gender equality
The Law of 10 May 2007 prohibits discrimination based on age, sexual orientation, marital status, birth, wealth, religious or philosophical beliefs, political convictions, language, current or future health status, disability, physical or genetic characteristics or social origin.
The Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism and the Institute for Equality of the Sexes are the competent authorities concerning matters of discrimination.
Protection of workers
It is the responsibility of every employer to promote welfare within their company, from risk prevention and collective and individual means of protection, to training and information for workers.
The following institutions have been established to ensure the welfare of workers:
Social security covers the following risks:
- unemployment, via the National Employment Office (ONEM);
- pensions, via the National Pension Office (ONP);
- sickness, via the worker's mutual insurance company;
- disability, via the worker's mutual insurance company;
- family allowances, via the employer's family allowance fund;
- occupational sickness (Fund for occupational diseases - FMP);
- occupational accidents (Fund for occupational accidents - FAT).
The National Social Security Office (NSSO) collects and administers payroll taxes and employment taxes.
Mandatory social rules complete the requirements related to managing staff.
Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum social legal requirements at their own initiative.
Non-discrimination, equal opportunity and gender equalityThe Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism and the Institute for Equality of the Sexes may be consulted in the event of a dispute involving discrimination.
The immediate declaration of employment or Dimona is an electronic message used by employers to notify the NSSO of employees joining and leaving their staff.
Employers are required to insure their personnel against the risk of accidents in the workplace as of the first day on the job. The Fund for occupational accidents verifies compliance with this regulation.
As an employer, you are required to report any accident likely to be subject to laws on occupational accidents to the insurer you have selected to cover the risk.
Source: European Commission