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Working in EuropeUnemploymentBelgium





Workers in Belgium enjoy excellent protection against unemployment. 

Unemployment benefits are one of the many components of social security and replace lost income from work. .

International researchers are only entitled to receive unemployment benefits in Belgium if :

  • there is a bilateral social security agreement between Belgium and their home country
  • they have paid social security contributions in Belgium for a sufficient number of months
  • they have registered as a job-seeker with the public employment agency for the region in which they are living.


Further information regarding unemployment benefits and entitlement can be found at :


For statistics on unemployment, see the website of Belgian Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue.




Unemployment benefits are managed by the federal national employment office (Office national de l'emploi - ONEM, Rijksdienst oor Arbeidsvoorziening - RVA). The ONEM/RVA determines the framework and legal context for unemployment benefits and.also decides whether or not an individual is entitled to receive them.

The actual payment of unemployment benefits and the processing of individual files is done by a public agency or by a trade union. 

Finally, the outplacement of unemployed workers is organized by public regional agencies. Which agency is competent depends on where the unemployed worker lives.  Each agency helps unemployed workers to find a new job through job offers, publication of their CV, training and personalized follow-up.


The ONEM/RAV has developped 159 information sheets (in French or Dutch) on various topics related to individual situations, rights or unemployment benefits.



The public employment agency for the Brussels Capital Region is ACTIRIS :


The public employment agency for Flanders is VDAB :


The public employment agency for Wallonia is FOREM :