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Foreign employment: are things simpler in the Netherlands than in Belgium and France?

07 September 2020 Christophe Hameeuw Employers

Do you have plans abroad with your organisation? Don't let your growth depend on the administrative complexity of a country. Entrepreneurship and employing people is not so much easy or difficult, it is mainly about being well aware of the rules in force.

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Where is the 'easy' and 'difficult' do run a business?

Belgian labour law has a reputation for being a tangle. With reason. In fact, our payroll is one of the most complex in the world. But what about our neighbours? We looked at the perception of employers.

Apparently this is how they see it: in France it is not so easy to employ people, in the Netherlands it's a breeze and as far as Luxembourg, Germany and England are concerned, they don't really know. Unknown is unloved?

What is really going on in our neighbouring countries

In France, many changes and additional obligations have become common in French legislation in recent years, such as the affiliation with a 'mutuelle', the deduction of withholding tax in the payroll, all kinds of preventive measures to be taken, including administrative obligations, etc. The perception that things are more complex with our southern neighbours is consistent with reality.

The Netherlands, on the other hand, is seen as an easier country. And our panellists have assessed this well. Payroll, employment law and additional administrative obligations are relatively simple. The  English are known to be more 'straightforward', and their payroll certainly is, although it remains to be seen what the precise impact of Brexit will be.

Don't let the complexity of a country undermine your international ambitions. It's not the suspected administrative tangle that should determine where your business will grow, it's the opportunities that are up for grabs. And that starts with good knowledge of the employment law applicable in the country in question.

Growing across national borders?

Do you want the growth of your company abroad to be determined by the opportunities of a country, and not by the suspected HR complexity there? Our experts will show you the way.

International employment

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Written by Christophe Hameeuw

Managing consultant Tax & International

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