Expatica news

Belgians work more for same money

17 November 2004

BRUSSELS – The average Belgian is earning roughly the same salary as two years ago, but working longer hours, according to a study published on Wednesday.

Belgians earn about EUR 2,600 gross a month and generally work an extra six hours a week, which are rarely paid.

The figures come from the fourth survey of salaries, published by job agency Vacature.

The report concluded that the most lucrative areas to work in are chemistry, the pharmaceutical industry and the energy sector.

IT professionals no longer have the fastest increasing salaries.

Those working in marketing, management and engineering have enjoyed the biggest pay increases.

In general, though, the number of workers who have been given a pay rise of more than 6 percent in the course of the last year has fallen compared to 2002.

And whereas the average contract is for 37.7 hours a week, the actual working week is 43.5 hours.

The overtime is paid for in only 5.5 percent of cases.

In a third of cases, workers get time off to make up for overtime.

The study also appears to confirm that workers with degrees attract bigger salaries than those without.

The average university graduate earned 10 percent more than someone without a diploma.

The good news is that Belgians seem relatively satisfied with what they earn, with more than half those interviewed rating 7 or 8 out of 10 their degree of happiness over their pay.

However, there was bad news for women in a second survey published by human resource company SD Worx.

It found women workers earning 4.7 percent less than their male colleagues and the pay difference increased with age.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news