Work conditions and cost of living for young people in Brussels

My boyfriend (21 yrs old) was offered a full time job as a barista in Brussels. The salary is very low - €1500 net per month, with a view to renegotiate after 6 months. I am aware that this is a very low salary but baristas don't get paid as much elsewhere as they do in Australia and we understand this completely. She will be sorting out his work permit etc.

I am 23 and would be looking for a marketing job, preferably in a media agency but I would obviously be flexible depending on the work available. I have 18 months experience in an Australian media agency. Does anyone know roughly would I would be earning? A grad salary for marketing roles would suffice to give me an idea of my salary. I have an Italian passport so hopefully this makes it easy for me to get a job without needing a visa etc,

In terms of employment contracts, I read that holiday leave is based on the amount you worked the previous year in Brussels- is this correct? Can someone clarify the holiday leave rules for me?

Is it also true that above 39 hours per week, employer must pay the employee for over time (unless otherwise stipulated in the correct)

Would two young people survive financially in Brussels? The salaries seem low and tax rates are high- we would be wanting a basic rental in a good area shared with other people, does anyone have rough rental prices for this situation?

We think this would be a great experience for both of us and would love to be able to travel around Europe while we work and live in Brussels- hence my question about holiday leave. If anyone has any other info on cost of living/employment conditions that would be great! Thanks in advance 😊😊😊😊😊

Wow, what a speech ... You sure it's in marketing you going to do career. It would not rather in journalism or writing ... :D

Well, done laughing, here are my answers to your novel.

About your boyfriend, not knowing what position he will have is difficult to answer if his salary is acceptable or not ... But for a young 21, starting with 1500 € net / month is not not bad. Especially if renegotiation is expected after six months. What you have to understand with the Belgian tax system is more than your gross pay, the more you will pay taxes. The most interesting is to negotiate extra benefits.

On paid leave, it is true that it depends on the days worked. So do not expect to have this year. Unless of course one of you have worked for another Belgian company previously ... But nothing prevents you to take unpaid days of leave. But only if the employer agrees. And it always makes bad impression when you are newbie in a company ...

About your case, I have no knowledge of salaries in your industry. But I think that with some well targeted internet search, you should be successful in finding valid information.

Of course that overtime is paid if you have a contract worker. But contract employee contracts or frameworks work on other rules. That will determine each time with your employer.

If you want to survive in Brussels, you must not live in Brussels !!! But in the periphery of at least 40 km away. Now the cost of living is high, that is correct. But with a little resourcefulness and internet search, there are ways to find many tips for living well.

By cons, it will have absolutely speak French or Flemish. Because even if English is helpful, it is not a Belgian national languages. So do not expect any official or business document in English ...

Working in a European capital can indeed be very interesting but you should definitely increase your knowledge of European language. Because right now, you must speak at least three languages. And if you want real opportunities, do not confined to conventional languages ...

Here, I stop as answer your novel brought me a cramp wrist ... Oh yes, take the time to read other articles on this website, you'll find many answers. And you could even start there ...


Wow what a nice way to be introduced to a country and a forum! Thanks for being condescending in basically all your answers!!

I said that my boyfriend's position would be full time barista. If you read my 'speech' properly you would have known that 😊 I'm also away of your progressive tax system, we have a similar system in Australia.

Yes I have 4 years in marketing.. Content marketing to be precise. This is a forum, not a portal to submit a short novel. I am trying to give as much info as possible and ask all of my questions at once.

I also wouldn't be asking about salaries in my industry in Belgium if I hadn't already done my research and found very little information. I'm also aware of workplace impressions- I wasn't asking for your opinion on my desire to take unpaid leave.

We both speak fluent French, and we've been told by several Belgians that we've since met that English would have sufficed to find me a job.

On a serious note, thanks for the information re. Holiday leave, negotiation of extra benefits and monthly income for my boyfriend, both answers were very helpful.

If you estimate that I was condescending in my answers. It's your right. Just a note, I'm 50 and I was already expatriate at the time when your mate and you were not even born yet !!!

Now if you've done real research is good. It changes because many people on this site that appear and disappear after asking a question or two.

Finally, someone always answers with respect to its interpretation of a question. So if you want factual answers, ask factual questions ...

Have a nice day and good luck for your Belgian adventure

Being an expatriate before I was born has given you a false sense of superiority.

My questions were factual.

I hope you don't turn other people off using this site like you have me!

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