Conditions of Service for Fixed-Term Staff

The following information is provided for general guidance for applicants for fixed-term positions.  The terms and conditions of service for ESA staff are set out in our Staff Regulations and Rules, which form part of the employment contract.  

Staff are normally appointed on an initial fixed-term contract of three years' duration.  An appointment is normally renewed only once, for a period of up to three years, if this is in the interests of ESA.          

Salary and benefits
We offer a generous salary and benefits package.  The starting salary is outlined in the vacancy announcement and is payable in Euros, as are all other benefits and allowances.  Under the Headquarters Agreement between ESA and the Kingdom of Belgium, staff members are exempted from paying Belgian income tax on all salaries and benefits paid to them by ESA.  However, when determining the level of taxation on other earnings, the Belgian Authorities may take into account the salaries and benefits paid by ESA.  

The benefits and allowances include:

a) Medical and life & disability insurance
Staff members are insured for medical costs and life and disability for themselves, and we offer optional insurance for eligible dependents.  Contributions are made by both ESA and the staff member, whose contributions are deducted from the monthly salary.  

Provisions are in place for staff members who, upon departure from service, initially find themselves without adequate national health insurance and/or life and disability insurance. 

b) Savings fund
On taking up a position with ESA, staff members usually leave their national social security and pension scheme. To compensate for this, ESA has established a savings fund.  The staff member contributes to this at the rate of 9.50, 12.5 or 15% of their salary, while ESA contributes a fixed amount.  The accumulated amount is paid out to the staff member at the end of their employment.

c) Dependency benefits & education allowance
A staff member with eligible dependents receives a dependency allowance from ESA.  In addition, a staff member will receive an education allowance to cover the cost of school attendance in respect of each eligible dependent child.  

d) Rent allowance
A staff member may be entitled to a rent allowance, depending on the level of rent paid.  

e) Annual leave
Staff members are entitled to 30 working days of annual leave per year in addition to ESA's public holidays. 

f) Maternity & paternity leave
A staff member is entitled to paid maternity leave for up to 6 months or paid paternity leave for up to 8 weeks.

Additional employment conditions for non-locally recruited fixed-term staff:

a) Installation allowance
Provided it is necessary for him/her to move to new lodgings, a non-locally recruited staff member, when appointed for a period of one year or more, will receive an installation allowance covering themselves and their eligible dependents.

b) Resettlement allowance
After two or more years of continuous service, and provided that he/she takes up residence more than 50km from the duty station within 12 months of his/her separation from service, a non-locally recruited staff member will receive a resettlement allowance covering themselves and their eligible dependents.

c) Removal expenses, removal leave and leave to travel
A staff member who is non-locally recruited may be paid the cost of removal of their household goods and personal effects to and from Brussels at the beginning and end of their contract.  They are also entitled to take up to two days of leave for removal and up to two days of leave to travel. 

d) Home leave
A non-locally recruited staff member is entitled to take an additional 2 days of leave once in every calendar year after the first 6 months of service for the purpose of spending a substantial period of his/her annual leave in the country of his/her home station. The Authority pay travel expenses and subsistence allowance for them and their eligible dependents. 

e) VAT exemption
Dependent on whether they have lived or worked in Belgium before and during which period, for a period of 12 months following their first moving to Belgium and taking up employment with ESA, staff members have the right to import or acquire certain household goods and a car for their personal use, exclusive of VAT.

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