The number of employees working abroad for companies in Belgium increased by 25% in 2020, according to a report from HR company SD Worx on Friday.
It reported a 16% increase in the number of Belgians working abroad and a 34% rise in the number of employees of other nationalities working across the borders for businesses based in Belgium.
"Even in a year when the coronavirus crisis hit hard, we see an increase in international employment among Belgian employers," Greet Joos, Regional Manager of SD Worx Belgium said in a press release, adding that companies did so in order to approach foreign markets.
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The top five foreign nationalities of employees working for these companies include French, which is the most represented (19.8%), Dutch (9.41%), Japanese (8.4%), Italian (7.47%), and Indian (7.03%).
The number of British people working internationally for Belgian companies, on the other hand, continues to fall.
Much of the international employment in 2020 was done on the basis of telework, which allowed many foreign and Belgian employees to continue working in their home countries within the framework of international employment for Belgian companies, despite the issues with international mobility, especially at the start of the pandemic.
The figures showed a 27% increase in the number of employers who are actively recruiting internationally, with SMEs playing a prominent role in this.
"At the beginning of the lockdown, we saw some signs of paralysis or a standstill for the start-up of new international dossiers for employees working abroad. Now, we have seen many requests from Belgian SMEs for new international jobs,” said Joos.
In 2020, most foreign employees in Belgium (55%) were employed as expatriates and were therefore subject to the special tax status of foreign executives.
The Brussels Times