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Belgium – 2016 Minimum Salary Increases for Work Permits

The Belgian government has announced a slight increase in the minimum salary requirements for Type B work permits and Blue Cards from 1 January 2016.


Minimum Salary Thresholds

  • The minimum annual salary for highly skilled foreign nationals applying for Type B work permits has increased from €39,802 EUR, to €39,824 EUR.
  • The minimum annual salary for senior management and executive-level foreign nationals applying for Type B work permits has increased from €66,406 EUR to €66,442 EUR.
  • The minimum annual salary for Blue Card applicants has increased from €51,466 EUR to €51,494 EUR.


The Belgian government annually increases its minimum salary requirements for foreign nationals in line with inflation. Work permits are processed by the Belgian Regions: Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia.


Action Items

  • Employers should review the salaries of any current and future foreign national employees sponsored for Type B work permits in Belgium.


France has announced a state of urgency due to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, prolonging border control measures. In other news, businesses convicted of illegal labor may be blacklisted.


State of Urgency Until End of February

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris of November 13-14, 2015, the French parliament has voted to maintain a “State of Urgency” until the end of February 2016. This means that the French government can prolong its border controls until that time.


Blacklist for Illegal Labor

Businesses convicted of illegal labor may now be on a “blacklist” posted on the website of the Ministry of Labour.

The Act of 10 July 2014 provided for the establishment of a “blacklist” of companies convicted of illegal work. A decree of October 21, 2015, specifies how this information will be posted on the website of the Ministry of Labour. The government hopes that the negative publicity affecting a company’s image could dissuade it from hiring unauthorized workers in the future.



Effective 1 January 2016, the statutory minimum wage in Ireland increased from €8.65 to €9.15 per hour, which equates to a new annual minimum salary of €18,556 per year (based on a 39 hour working week).


Who is Affected?

This increase in the Irish minimum wage impacts the following categories of employment permit applicants current holders:

  • Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit;
  • Exchange/Internship/Reactivation/Sport and Cultural Employment Permits;
  • Intra Company Transfer (ICT) and Contract for Services Employment Permits.

It is important to note that these revised rates apply equally to employment in respect of which employment permits are already in force.


What pay increases may be required for existing Employment Permit holders?

  • Existing Employment Permit holders with hourly pay rates on or below the previous minimum requirement must receive a pay increase from 1 January 2016;
  • ICT Employment Permit holders with a base annual salary (before allowances) below €18,556 must receive an increase to their base annual salary to bring them it to the new minimum salary no later than 1 January 2016.

Action Items

  • Ensure the salaries of all foreign national employees in Ireland meet the new annual minimum salary;
  • If necessary, increase the base salaries of existing Employment Pass holders to at least meet the new minimum salary.

Netherlands – New Minimum Salary Levels for 2016

Effective 1 January 2016, the Dutch immigration authorities have implemented new minimum salary levels for knowledge migrant workers (aka Highly Skilled Migrants) and Blue Card applicants coming to the Netherlands.


Affected Applications

It is not necessary to adjust salaries of existing Knowledge Migrants in the Netherlands unless applying for a renewal of the residence permit. The new levels apply only where an application, either for a new residence permit or a renewal of an existing residence permit, is made.


Minimum Salaries for 2016

The new minimum gross monthly salary levels are as follows:

  • Knowledge Migrants aged over 30: €4240 EUR (up from €4189 EUR);
  • Knowledge Migrants aged under 30: €3108 EUR (up from €3071 EUR);
  • Persons who have graduated in the Netherlands within the last 12 months: €2228 EUR (up from €2201 EUR);
  • Blue Card holders: €4,968 EUR (up from €4908 EUR).


  • Note that amounts listed above do not include the mandatory 8% holiday pay.
  • Payments must be made monthly, directly into the bank account of the foreign national, and the onus is on the employer to prove that such payments have been made and meet monthly requirements. Failure to be compliant with these rules may result in fines.
  • Per diems and allowances may only be included if they are guaranteed and stated in the employment contract.
  • It should be noted that salaries must also meet the market salary rate for the specific position. If the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (the IND) consider the suggested salary to be less than sufficient, they can ask the UWV Werkbedrijf (the body that provides opinions on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) for an opinion. Additional justification for the salary level would likely be requested from the prospective employer. Applications which do not meet market conditions as adjudicated by the UWV Werkbedrijf will be rejected.

Action Items

  • Note new minimum salary levels for 2016 and ensure that upcoming applications meet the new criteria.

מקור: Pearl Law Group