Minimum wage Belgium

A guide to Belgian minimum wage and average salary in Belgium

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What salary in Belgium can you expect? This article explains the Belgian minimum wage and average salary in Belgium to help guide your Belgian salary negotiations.

If you're looking for jobs in Belgium or want to negotiate your salary in Belgium, being aware of Belgium's minimum wage levels and average salaries in Belgium for certain industries provides a good base.

While many countries in Europe either operate with a state minimum wage or set wages on an industry level through collective agreements, Belgium's minimum wages operate on both levels. The minimum wage in Belgium is reviewed bi-annually, and consisently ranks among the top five highest minimum wages in the EU.

This guide explains the levels of Belgian minimum wage; how to learn whether the state minimum wage or a collective agreement applies to your industry; how Belgian employment legislation protects workers; and average salary in Belgium and which jobs attract the highest salary in Belgium.

Minimum wage Belgium 2017

The minimum wage in Belgium is agreed by committees in different sectors, meaning wage legislation varies between industries. For industries that don’t have a minimum wage set by their committees, the nationwide Belgian minimum wage applies.

The Belgian minimum wage levels since 1 June 2016 are:

  • EUR 1,590.64 – employees at least 20 years old with 12 months of experience
  • EUR 1,572.58 – employees at least 19 years old with 6 months of experience
  • EUR 1,531.93 – employees aged 18 or over.


In 2017, the Belgian government also accepted an inter-professional salary agreement for the next two years. The agreement states that wages can rise up to 1.1 precent above inflation, as well as raises the age for taking pre-pension, although in smaller steps than the government originally wanted.

Minimum wage per hour in Belgium

The minimum wage in Belgium is decided on a monthly basis rather than an hourly one, so if you are paid on an hourly or weekly system instead, you’ll need to work out your salary pro-rata based on a 38-hour working week.

Net Belgian minimum wage – after tax

Income tax in Belgium is calculated in brackets. As a worker in Belgium, you’ll need to pay both social security contributions and income tax. Read more in our guides on Belgian taxes, expenses and tax deductions and calculating your tax burden in Belgium.

Minimum wage for internships in Belgium

If you have an internship in Belgium and are aged over 21, you should be given an allowance of at least EUR 751 per month, and have a contract specifying the exact job roles and training you will undertake. Some Belgian companies have faced accusations of exploiting trainees by making them work normal jobs with full-time hours, without paying them the standard Belgian national minimum wage.

Belgium minimum wage

Minimum wage in Belgium – by sector

Many industries set their own minimum wages in Belgium based on collective agreements within their sectors.

Understanding these agreements isn’t always easy, however, as the exact minimum wage you’ll be paid can depend on the following factors:

  • Where the job is located – Belgium is split in to provinces on some parts of minimum wage legislation, which means you might be paid a different amount depending on where you live.
  • Your role – some sectors split roles in to ‘classes’ of seniority, and the minimum wage varies accordingly.
  • The hours you work per week – minimum wages in some industries vary based on how many hours you work per week.
  • How long you’ve done the job – Some sectors set different wages for new starters and those who have been in their role for more than six months or a year.

The following industries in Belgium offer guidance documents where you can find full details of Belgium;s minimum wage rules:

Employees who are unsure of whether their industry belongs to a collective agreement can contact the Social Legislation Inspectorate via email at

Average salary BelgiumAverage salary in Belgium

After two years of decreases in 2014 and 2015, the average salary in Belgium increased by 2.2 percent in the second quarter of 2016, after a 1.3 percent growth in the first quarter. This comprised of a steady increase in the wages of skilled workers (from EUR 2,970 per month in Q1 to EUR 3,020 in Q2 2016)and a small growth for low skilled workers (from EUR 1,840 per month to EUR 1,850).

According to a FPS Economy report in 2016, the average salary in Belgium was EUR 3,192 gross per month. CEOs of large companies topped the list of the highest paid professions in Belgium, followed by managerial positions across Belgium’s main sectors. The jobs attracting the highest average salaries in Belgium wages were listed as follows:

  1. Company CEOs – EUR 8.610 per month
  2. ICT managers – EUR 6,725 per month
  3. Business and administrative managers – EUR 6,527
  4. Marketing and sales managers – EUR 5,841
  5. Manufacturing, logistics and construction managers – EUR 5,702
  6. Statisticians, mathematicians and actuaries
  7. Chemistss
  8. Retail and wholesale trade managers
  9. Electro technology engineers
  10. Engineers

In 2017, another study on average Belgian wages was published by the weekly Vacature and Leuven University. In their report, the average wage in Belgium was calculated at EUR 3,401 per month (before tax), or around EUR 2,000–2,200 per month after tax (depending on the situation). Many employees also earned fringe benefits, for example, 75 percent of workers in Belgium were paid a 13th month of salary, more than 40 percent had access to a company car and some 65 percent had hospital insurance. The hospitality sector generally ranked as having the lowest average monthly salaries, around EUR 2,676 per month, while the best paying jobs were found in the banking, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors at an average wage of EUR 4,279 per month.

How does salary in Belgium compare?

The minimum wage in Belgium is among the best in the European Union, with only Luxembourg (EUR 1,999), Ireland (EUR 1,563) and the Netherlands (EUR 1,552) paying a higher minimum wage to adult workers.

In addition to having one of the highest minimum wages in Europe, Belgium also has labour laws in place to protect the rights of workers at a national level.

Employers in Belgium must pay their staff at least once a month, or twice a month if they’re a manual worker. They must also provide a payslip to the employee for each payment they make.

To ensure the Belgian minimum wage is being paid, employers must provide a yearly account of the total amount they’ve paid their workers (similar to a P50 in the UK). The labour inspectorate can access this record to check that employers are abiding by the rules.

Belgium operates a maximum 40-hour working week, although working hours are usually 38 hours a week. Employees in Belgium are entitled to 24 days of holiday each year, although some collective labour agreements offer a greater allowance. Belgium also has 10 Belgian national holidays a year. Read more in our guide to vacation leave in Belgium.

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