New year brings new rules on taxation, waste collection and labour law
As of 1 January, a lot of rules in Belgium will change. There will be several minor changes to taxation, administration, labour law and waste collection.
One of the changes that will affect most people is the enlargement of the system of flexi-jobs, the system whereby an employee or retiree can have an additional income without having to pay taxes. This makes it a very popular system and the number of economic sectors that can use it will increase from 10 to 22. Employers will have to pay more social contributions but no taxes.
Organic waste now has to be treated separately from general waste, to reduce the amount of waste that needs to be incinerated. The orange bag system has been mandatory in Brussels since May, and several Flemish municipalities have already implemented it voluntarily. Most municipalities in Wallonia have also introduced the system. It will not yet apply in a handful of Flemish municipalities, as the infrastructure is not ready.
A number of changes are taking place in relation to tax, mostly in the housing market. And cigarettes will again become more expensive, at 2 euros for a pack.
In accordance with an EU decision, the rules change for employees who fall sick while on holiday. Under certain conditions, they will not lose the leave days on which they are ill but will be able to use them later.
Employees who are on long-term sick leave will be monitored more closely by health insurers. The government wants people to return to the labour market, if possible. For children with cancer, an additional 50 medicines will be refunded by social security.
The maritime sector will now be part of the emissions trading system, which puts a price on the CO2 emissions of ships, and when buying a new car, there will be an environmental contribution of 10 euros.
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK