US

Oct 16 2020

Flanders and Brussels Regions Announce Minimum Salary Level Increases

Belgium

At a Glance

  • Effective January 1, 2021, the minimum annual salary for foreign workers in the region of Flanders, Belgium will increase 1.94% to: EUR 69,638 for executives (including managers under the forthcoming EU Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) Permit); EUR 52,229 for EU Blue Card applicants; EUR 43,524 for specialists and trainees under the EU ICT Permit and for highly-skilled permit applicants; and EUR 34,819.20 for locally hired highly-skilled staff under 30 years old.
  • The minimum annual salary for foreign workers in the region of Brussels will increase 1.23% to: EUR 72,399 for executives; EUR 56,111 for EU Blue Card applicants and managers under the EU ICT permit; EUR 44,889 for specialists and EUR 28,056 for trainees under the EU ICT Permit; and EUR 43,395 for highly-skilled permit applicants.
  • Employees must increase salaries for current and new staff and notify authorities of increases for pending applications.

The situation

Effective January 1, 2021, the minimum annual salary for foreign workers in the Flanders and Brussels regions will increase as follows:  

FLANDERS REGION

Permit Type

New Threshold

Current Threshold

Percent Increase

Executives; 

EU ICT Manager

EUR 69,638

EUR 68,314

1.94%

EU Blue Card 

EUR 52,229

EUR 51,235

1.94%

Highly-skilled Employees; EU ICT Specialists and Trainees

EUR 43,524

EUR 42,696

1.94%

Locally hired highly-skilled staff under 30 years old

EUR 34,819.20

EUR 34,156.80

1.94%

 

BRUSSELS REGION

Permit Type

New Threshold

Current Threshold

Percent Increase

Executives

EUR 72,399

EUR 71,521

1.23%

EU Blue Card; EU ICT Managers

EUR 56,111

EUR 55,431

1.23%

EU ICT Specialists

EUR 44,889

EUR 44,344

1.23%

EU ICT Trainees

EUR 28,056

EUR 27,715

1.23%

Highly-skilled Employees

EUR 43,395

EUR 42,869

1.23%

 

The exchange rate at the time of publication of this alert is 1 EUR to 1.17 USD.

A closer look

  • Existing employees. Employers of foreign nationals currently under the above categories must increase foreign nationals’ minimum salaries to comply with the new rule.
  • Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew a permit under the above  categories on or after January 1, 2021 must increase foreign nationals’ minimum salaries to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be rejected.
  • Pending applications. Employers of foreign nationals with pending applications in the above work permit categories as of January 1, 2021 must increase foreign nationals’ minimum salaries to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.

 

Reminders on other requirements

  • Benefits and allowances. As before, benefits and allowances generally cannot be included in the minimum salary calculation. In exceptional cases, allowances can be included provide they are: (1) a remuneration for services, (2) guaranteed and fixed, (3) taxable, and (4) indicated in the employee’s pay slip.
  • Currency. As before, employers are required to guarantee the salary in EUR regardless of payroll location and/or exchange rate fluctuations.

 

Background

European countries typically increase minimum salary requirements for foreign workers by one to five percent as of January 1, to account for cost of living increases.  

Looking ahead

Fragomen expects the Belgian region of Wallonia will publish its 2021 salary thresholds in the upcoming month, along with many more European countries.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].