Belgium/ 5.1 General legislation
5.1.4 Social security frameworks
In 2000, measures were taken to enable artists who receive unemployment benefits to practise their art more freely, which hitherto had been prohibited by law.
In December 2002, the federal parliament ratified measures to improve the social security system for artists. On July 1st 2003, this regulation came into effect. The main points are:
- artists are treated either as employees or as self-employed for the purposes of social security. To stimulate salaried work for artists, employers are given a discount on their share of social security contributions to compensate for these additional costs;
- child and holiday allowances for artists which are covered by the employees' regulation will be paid by the federal government. This will simplify the payment of allowances caused by working for different employers; and
- those who infrequently hire artists (e.g. for an occasional show in a café or for an individual commission) can apply to the "Social Bureau for Artists" to take care of the employer's share of administrative procedures. These bureaux, mostly interim offices, must be recognised by the regional authorities.
On 1 July 2004, the additional "small fees scheme" came into effect. Under this scheme, artists can receive a small fee that is exempt from social security contributions. Since 1 January 2007, the "small fees scheme" is tax free.
See also comparative information provided in the Compendium "Themes!" section under "Status of Artists".
Chapter published: 07-11-2012