Work in Belgium 在比利时工作

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This short blog will give you some ideas of how it is like working in Belgium in general.
这篇文章会介绍一下在比利时工作是一种怎样的体验。

1. International-国际化

Belgium is a very small country, it is very easy to work with people coming from France, Germany, or even from US or Asian countries.
比利时因为国家小,地理位置好,所以很容易吸引其他国家的人来工作,很多人来至法国,德国,甚至美国或者亚洲国家。

2. Multicultural – 多元文化

Thanks to its good location and small size, Belgium attracts lots of people from other countries, as a result, multi-culture is another characteristic.
因为比利时工作环境的国际化,导致工作环境也很多元文化,和同事们交流过程中你会学到很多关于其他国家或者种族的文化。

3. Multilingual – 多语种

Never ask anybody “Do you speak Belgian?” , it just shows you don’t know anything about this country, Belgium has 3 official languages: Dutch, French and German, indeed, English is not one of them. To know a bit more about the differences of people who speak different language in Belgium, please check another blog here.

永远不要问一个人“你说比利时话吗?”, 这样只是显示你对这个国家一点都不了解, 其实比利时有3种官方语言分布在不同区域:法语,荷兰语和德语, 英语虽然很广泛使用但是不是官方语言之一。关于比利时人的区别,请参考我的另一篇博客

Like many others, language is another thing that I am struggling for years in this country. In China, if you speak multiple languages, people would refer you as “legend”, however, in Belgium, even a cleaning lady is expected to be multilingual.

If you are working in a consulting company, you are expected to speak English, Dutch and French, if you happen to be a foreigner, then by default you master at least 4 languages, and it is very common.

像其他很多人一样,多年来我还在为语言这个问题纠结。在中国,如果你会说多种语言,人们就已经会把你称作传奇了。然而在比利时,就连一个打扫卫生的大妈也会说多种语言。

如果你在一个咨询公司工作的话,你必须至少会或者尝试说英荷法三种语言(这是比利时弗拉芒区的基本配置),如果你正好又不来自外国,加上你的母语,不用问大家都会期待你掌握四种语言。

4. You get 14 months salary, but only work for 11 month
你一年拿14个月的工资,但其实最多只需要工作11个月

If you are an employee of an Enterprise(not freelancer), you get 14 months salary per year, plus at least 20 days paid vacation. In China, if you are lucky, you get only 5 paid holidays.

如果你是被一个公司雇佣的正式员工(而非自由职业者),比利时法律规定你每年会拿14个月工资,加上至少20天法定带薪年假。

5. Tax-个人所得税极高

Normally they don’t talk about salaries in Belgium, but if they do, there are 2 definitions of salaries: Bruno and Netto which means salaries before tax and after tax.

Even if you just graduated, tax from your income is up to 40%!
There is a very complex algorithm to calculate the tax per individuals depending on the family situation, number of childre…

通常比利时人不习惯讨论工资,但是如果在面试或者必要条件下谈论工资,他们会谈论税前和税后工资。
比利时个人所得税之高,以至于就算你刚刚毕业,拿着公司最低的工资,你的个人所得税也可以达到40%!

6. Company car is not an Asset – 公司配车是很正常的事

Partially due to the high tax rate, company car in Belgium is very very common. Typically the employer lease or buy cars in the name of the company and provide the cars to employees as part of benefit.

部分原因是因为税收太高,所以用人单位在福利上面会更下功夫,通常情况下用人单位会花一定资金来买或者租赁轿车来提供给员工。

7. Extra benefits – 福利还不错

Most companies provide extra benefit for employees such as:
Computer, phone, transportation..
Group insurance, death insurance..
Training..
大部分公司会给员工提供一定的其他福利:
电脑,手机,交通,各种保险和培训。

8. Flexibility – 上下班时间的灵活性
I don’t know about other countries, but in China, the schedule for start and get off work is quite strict, typically you start at 9 and ends at 6, during noon you get 2 hours for lunch or siesta.

In Belgium, it is all up to individuals, you can arrive at 7am and leave at 4pm, or arrive at 10am but leave at 7pm, as long as you finish what you are expected to do, nobody would question you.

在中国,工作时间大部分时候是很固定的,而在比利时, 你自己可以选择什么时候开始上班或者下班,你可以早晨7点开始上班,下午4点离开,或者早晨10点到公司,晚上7点离开。

8. Traffic – 交通
Brussels, the capital of Belgium is located in the center of Belgium, also most of the big enterprises located at. If you want to go from one side of the country to another, you always need to pass the ring of Brussels, and, the ring of Brussels is not round, every morning, there are up to one hour of traffic jams on the ring.

比利时交通大部分都会经过布鲁塞尔,从而导致每天早晨布鲁塞尔环上交通拥堵。

9. Gender equality – 男女平等
So far I haven’t experienced any discrimination against females at my company or clients’, there are indeed less females in an engineering company due to personal interest, but there is no explicit discrimination against females, in fact the CEO of my company is a female and the CIO of my client is also a female, so I guess in Belgium people don’t discriminate your gender as long as you are competent.

到目前为止我还没有感受到比利时人对女性的歧视,确实在一个以工程为中心的公司,相对来说女性会比男性少很多,但是在工作上面公司并没有区分对待不同性别的人。实际上我现在所在的咨询公司,CEO就是一位女性,客户这边CIO也是女性,所以我认为只要你能力够强,比利时是不会因为你的性别来对你区分对待的。

If you are thinking of working in Belgium, don’t hesitate to check the details here.

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