Belgian Vacation days for expat employees.


I have been told by my employer that I have only 6 vacation days as I have worked for only 3 months in Belgium last year. As per the law, the number of vacation days depends on amount of time in employment in previous year.
Is there any exemption for this rule for expats? Because almost most of them will have very few or no vacation days in the first year of joining.
Experts can put on more light on this.

Note: HR did say that I can take Loss of Pay vacation days as many as I want,


In Belgium, salaried workers employed full-time normally benefit from four weeks' holiday per year. However, the calculation of the number of days off and holiday pay is different for workers, employees, apprentices, artists and civil servants.

For workers, for example, it is the benefits and the salary received during the year preceding the vacation year that constitute the starting point of the calculation. The National Vacation Office pays them vacation pay between May 2 and June 30 of the vacation year.

For employees, it is the benefits and the salary received during the previous year and the current year that are taken into account. Employees continue to receive their salary during their vacation days ("simple vacation pay"). In addition, they receive a double holiday pay calculated on the basis of the salary received during the previous year.

If you have not worked enough to earn the right to four weeks of leave, depending on your personal situation, you may use additional vacation days, young or old. Your vacation pay will be either an advance on the vacation pay for the following year, or an allowance from the National Employment Office (ONEm).

Working days                              Leave paid days
231 and over                                20
221 to 230                                    19
212 to 220                                    18
202 to 211                                    17
192 to 201                                    16
182 to 191                                    15
163 to 181                                    14
154 to 162                                    13
144 to 153                                    12
135 to 143                                    11
125 to 134                                    10
106 to 124                                      9
97 to 105                                        8
87 to 96                                          7
77 to 86                                          6
64 to 76                                          5
48 to 63                                          4
39 to 47                                          3
20 to 38                                          2
10 to 19                                          1
0 to 9                                              0

You can apply for a leave without pay, but your employer can refuse it.

Indeed, leave without pay is not a right. It must be negotiated with your employer. He is free to grant it to you or to refuse it.

Sometimes, for certain sectors of activity, a collective labor agreement (CLC) regulates the question of the leave without pay and the modalities to respect to obtain it. Check with your HR department.

If your employer gives you leave without pay, you can interrupt your paid work (for example to spend time with your children), without losing your rights to return to work.

Leave without pay is unpaid. During this leave:

you do not receive a salary from your employer;
you do not contribute for social security.
Check with your health insurance company to find out if you are covered in case of illness or accident.