Public Holidays 2016 and 2017
We currently have public holidays for 2016 and 2017 listed. Please scroll below to see these lists of holidays.
Belgium is a Western European country that currently celebrates 10 national holidays each year. National holidays are regulated by the Public Holiday Act of 1974. This Act has established the current holidays as well as regulates pay and work hours for these dates.
According to the Public Holiday Act, employees are not required to work on any public holiday. If the employee is required to work on that public holiday due to the nature of their work, they must be compensated with an additional day off from work within six weeks of the holiday that was worked.
Pay for holidays and pay for holidays where the employee works is part of the work contract between employer and employee. However, contracts cannot refrain from paying employees on a national holiday.
There is varying information regarding bridge holidays in Belgium. Information posted by one of the ministries of the government states that holidays that occur on a Sunday are “bridged” to the following day for celebration. However, on another ministry site, the information states that holidays are not moved to the following work day.
Although not officially recognised as national holidays, there are four additional celebrations that take place in Belgium each year. These are considered cultural holidays, and many people within certain districts will take time off for these celebrations. These are not national holidays, however, and employers are not required to provide time off or pay for these events.
Some of the holidays celebrated in Belgium change their date for celebration each year. These religious holidays are calculated on the lunar cycle and will change each year. The government of Belgium requires all employers to acknowledge these dates are national holidays when they are announced each year, regardless of the dates on which they occur.
Seven of Belgium’s holidays have fixed dates each year. The three Easter holidays (Easter Monday, Ascension Day and Pentecost/Whit Monday) have variable dates but always occur between March & April each year.
Cultural, Religious, and Regional Holidays
Additional holidays based on cultural or religious beliefs are celebrated throughout the country of Belgium. At this time, these celebrations are acknowledged by the government of Belgium, but not accepted as national holidays. Employers are not required to provide a paid day off for these events.
There is current legislation being proposed to the Belgium government requesting a national holiday for the ending of the Ramadan celebration. At this time, there is no definite answer if the government will approve a new holiday.
Public Holidays 2016
Date Day Holiday
1 Jan Fri New Year's Day
28 Mar Mon Easter Monday
1 May Sun Labour Day
5 May Thu Ascension Day
16 May Mon Whit Monday
21 Jul Thu National Day
15 Aug Mon Assumption of the Virgin Mary
1 Nov Tue All Saints' Day
11 Nov Fri Armistice Day
25 Dec Sun Christmas Day
26 Dec Mon Christmas Day
Public Holidays 2017
Date Day Holiday
1 Jan Sun New Year's Day
17 Apr Mon Easter Monday
1 May Mon Labour Day
25 May Thu Ascension Day
5 Jun Mon Whit Monday
21 Jul Fri National Day
15 Aug Tue Assumption of the Virgin Mary
1 Nov Wed All Saints' Day
11 Nov Sat Armistice Day
25 Dec Mon Christmas Day