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3 out of 10 employers employ Belgian workers abroad

25 August 2020 Christophe Hameeuw Employers

Entrepreneurship beyond country borders soon means employing people internationally. It means seconding people from here to there, or employing local people elsewhere. Even before you know it, you are not only an international entrepreneur, but an international employer too. Below are some of the most remarkable results of Acerta's survey on international employment.

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"Help, I employ people abroad"

Growing is already challenging enough without barriers that shouldn't be there, such as personnel management of your employees abroad. What are the legal obligations of a secondment? Where is an employee working abroad, taxed? And is foreign staff cheaper? You are certainly not the only employer with questions about international employment.

After all, entrepreneurship doesn't stop at national borders, and employing people doesn't either. If you have employees abroad, you want to be sure that you have the HR administration 100% in order. Because being active abroad is challenging enough.

30% has Belgian employees abroad

3 in 10 (30%) employers confirmed that they have Belgian workers employed abroad. Some employers have a branch abroad (11%), others have international employment on a project basis (11%) and a minority does so for their Belgian company and on a structural basis (9%).

Foreign workers abroad, a reality for 1 in 4 employers

It is striking that more than 1 in 4 employer respondents of the Acerta panel employ foreign workers abroad. There may be several reasons and motivations for this. It could be because they have a branch there (40%), because they hope to gain access to a local market through foreign employees abroad (28%) and because there is a scarcity of the specific profiles they need there (13%).

Wage costs also play a role

That 'wage costs of the labour force is cheaper than in Belgium' (8%) and that 'foreign workers are willing to work at a lower wage than Belgian workers' (6%) fall just outside the top three main reasons for employing foreign workers abroad. Employers therefore effectively assume that employment abroad would be cheaper. However, this is about perception. Whether it is actually cheaper, varies from country to country, the price of wages and various other factors.

Do you have plans abroad?

Do you also have or are you planning activities abroad, and do you also have questions about international employment? Don't let HR administration block your international ambitions. We're happy to help you.

International employment

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Written by Christophe Hameeuw

Managing consultant Tax & International

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