Recruiting employees: formalities and obligations
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 activa.brussels: 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 activa.brussels: 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.
You inform the National Social Security Office (NSSO/RSZ) that you will soon become an employer. This can be done online via the Employer Identification application.
You file a declaration of employment – also known as the Dimona declaration – with the NSSO. This, too, can be done conveniently online.
You submit a multifunctional quarterly declaration – DmfA for short – every three months. It contains each of your employees’ salary and hours worked.
2. Other obligations
In addition to social security obligations, you also have to:
draw up an employment contract and work regulations
request a (free) affiliation with a child benefit fund, and that within 90 days of the recruitment. This obligation also applies if your employee does not have children. If you don’t choose a fund, you will be automatically affiliated with the National Office for Child Benefit Allowances (Rijksdienst voor Kinderbijslagen van Werknemers - RKW). In some sectors, you will not have a choice. These include e.g. port labour and local and regional government services.
get affiliated with an external service for prevention and protection at work. The service monitors the mental and physical health of your employees. You will find a presentation of the various external services for prevention and protection at work here.
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.