Are you taking your first steps in the HR profession and looking for advice? Or are you an experienced HR professional who likes to keep your finger on the pulse? In this FAQ you will find answers to all your questions.
The paycheck is a complicated and in many cases unstructured document that is hardly ever looked at by 7 out of 10 people. It doesn't help that the wage calculation in Belgium belongs to the top 3 most complex wage processes in Europe. Still, it's crucial to understand what's in your payslip. Below, we explain the main elements you'll find on your payslip and how you can interpret them.
The first thing you see on your payslip is your gross monthly wage, your wage before social security and tax deductions. This is the wage that you agreed upon with your employer and which is also reflected in your employment contract.
Social contributions to the NSSO (National Social Security Office)
The second point on your payslip are the contributions you pay for social security. These contributions amount to 13.07% for employees and are used to 1) provide payout to blue-collar and white-collar workers who do not work, and 2) for child support and health insurance.
The amount that remains after the deduction of the social contributions to the NSSO is the taxable wage.
Your pay slip logically continues with the withholding taxes. These are determined on the basis of a number of variables: for example, the amount of the wage, marital status and family situation. These variables have a direct influence on how much taxes you pay as an employee. So two employees with the same gross monthly salary on their payslip do not necessarily have the same net monthly salary.
The amount that remains on your paycheck after tax credits is your net pay.
Dimona stands for Déclaration Immédiate/Onmiddellijke Aangifte and is the electronic message that an employer uses to report when an employee starts working, leaves his job or works longer or shorter than planned. As an employer, you are obliged in both the private and the public sector to make this Dimona declaration as soon as one of these three things happens.
The Dimona declaration is also mandatory for all employees. Only for volunteers, persons working with a PWA-agreement and occasional employees working for provincial and local administrations you do not have to submit it. Also for certain trainees you do not have to declare Dimona.
The cafeteria plan is one of the most flexible extralegal benefits on the market. Because employees can choose from a wide range of options - just like in a cafeteria - they can tailor their benefits to their individual needs. Last year's headline in De Tijd stated that the number of employees composing their salary via the cafeteria plan had increased by half. Yet, our survey shows that 84% of those surveyed have only just come into contact with the flexible wage package. That is a pity, because it creates a win-win situation.
On the one hand, the employee's freedom of choice is central to the cafeteria plan. They are encouraged to choose the fringe benefits that best suit their personal circumstances.
On the other hand, the introduction of a cafeteria plan concludes a modern wage policy for the employer, who can present him/herself as someone who is consciously aware of the real needs of his/her employees.
So how does the cafeteria plan work?
There are four parts to starting a cafeteria plan:
One of the rights that employees build up during their career is their holiday entitlement. Holiday pay is also part of this right. Both single holiday pay (the payment of the normal wage, also on the holiday days) and double holiday pay (an extra sum to pay for your holiday expenses)
For employees with a fixed salary, the single holiday pay is equal to the employee's regular net salary. The double holiday pay is calculated by multiplying the net monthly pay by 92%. Employees are in fact entitled to 4 weeks of leave, which can be reduced to 92% of a month.
A different calculation applies to employees with a variable salary. A reference period of 12 months is used for both single and double holiday pay. The single holiday pay amounts to 8% of the gross variable pay, the double holiday pay amounts to 7.67% of the gross variable pay.
For blue-collar workers, the single and double holiday pay are combined for the calculation. They receive 15.38% of their gross monthly salary at 108%.
When an employee earns 2,500 euros per month, both the employer and the employee pay a part for social contributions to the NSSO (National Social Security Office). The employer's social security contributions amount to approximately 25%. The social contributions for the employee are 13.07%. In addition, an employee pays taxes on the gross salary.
The difference between the total wage cost and the net wage quickly increases due to social and fiscal deductions, also when a raise is given: for the employer the wage cost is too high in relation to the net wage increase, for the employee the net wage is too low in relation to the gross wage increase.
It is from this approach that fringe benefits are an attractive alternative to a traditional salary. This can bring you the following benefits:
The cost of luncheon vouchers, for example, goes entirely to the employee: if you work with luncheon vouchers of EUR 7, the employee has EUR 140 extra per month. If you want to give them EUR 140 gross, then you as an employer pay a lot more and the employee gets less in the end.
Bicycle allowances of less than 0.24 euro per kilometre travelled are exempt from taxes and social security contributions. Is your bicycle allowance higher? Then only the part that exceeds EUR 0.24 is taxed. Company bicycles that are only used for the journey to and from work are also fully exempt from taxes.
The government consciously makes this fringe benefit fiscally attractive. Cycling employees are in fact fitter, which makes them more productive, less stressed and less sick.
Watch out: In 2020, the Constitutional Court annulled the mobility allowance regulation. It is no longer possible to offer this.
A payroll provider is an organisation that carries out administrative tasks for approximately 90% of all Belgian companies. This mainly involves payroll administration, personnel management and the filing of social documents.
You can see them as your payroll partner that takes care of your payroll from A to Z. As HR-manager you only need to send the correct payroll information to your account manager: gross pay, leave, sick days, overtime, expenses, weekly schedule, time registration, etc.
Finally, the payroll provider is also responsible for the creation of documents with regard to the government, such as the Dimona: the immediate electronic declaration of recruitment and termination.
Sharing information with your teams about how and why certain positions are paid in that way is a good thing. The idea behind this is that transparency about the structure of your payroll promotes fairness, equality and flexibility within the process. It gives your employees the chance to provide feedback, which in turn allows you to optimize your payroll.
Employers can allow employees to work up to 120 voluntary overtime hoursto respond to peak periods. This overtime does not have to be paid in full.
With this type of overtime, employees are indeed entitled to their normal wages, plus the overtime bonus. However, they cannot recuperate them with catch-up rest or a payout of 150%. Moreover, the first 25 hours do not count towards the internal overtime limit.
As is the case with other remote processes, remote onboarding cannot imitate normal onboarding. A different approach is therefore necessary, with extra attention for the human element in the online context.
Since the organisational chart maps out the structure of an organisation, it also usually forms the basis for a company's HR processes. In that context, it is first and foremost a guideline for employees. Thanks to that structure, they can better assess who they should contact when there are difficulties. Getting to the right person quickly helps to solve problems quickly. Moreover, the organisational chart makes teams aware of their rights, obligations and expectations.
Both have a different purpose and therefore require a different approach. Therefore, keep them well separated.
OKR stands for Objectives & Key Results. Andy Grove devised this framework to link achievable objectives to measurable results.
The method aims to get the whole company moving in the same direction. In other words, it wants to help teams align. How? By accurately applying those objectives and results to all levels of the organisation. So individual goals are linked to team goals which, in turn, are linked to what the company is striving for.
If you combine information about the 'human capital' - the human resources - with other relevant figures, and look for connections between them using statistical methods, then you are talking about HR analytics. You can look for insights into salary evolution, diversity, absenteeism and so on. Analysing these relationships will help you to improve your HR policy, so that your employees perform better, function better and stay in your company for a longer period time.
The Bradford Factor is calculated using the following formula: B = S² x D
B = the Bradford score
S = the number of different sickness periods for a particular employee in the past year
D = the total number of days of illness for a particular employee in the past year
Generally speaking, the higher the Bradford Factor, the more damaging it is to your organisation. Frequent short periods of absence are more difficult to cope with than long periods of absence.
But it is best to take this with a grain of salt. The assumptions implied by the score are not always correct and can be influenced by all sorts of factors. Interpret the Bradford Factor therefore carefully, critically and humanly. Investigate underlying concerns when a high score occurs and enter into a dialogue with the employee in question. Good leadership starts with well-founded and open communication.
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