Social balance sheet

The social balance sheet holds specific information about the workforce: number of people employed, personnel movements, training... Who should file a social balance sheet and what form can be used?

1. Enterprises, non-profit institutions and foundations required to publish a social balance sheet as part of their annual accounts

The models of  annual accounts for Belgian enterprises contain a section entitled "social balance sheet". This section must be completed by every Belgian enterprise that employs staff.

The models of annual accounts of large and very large non-profit institutions (NPIs) and foundations are also provided with a section entitled "social balance sheet". The latter section must be completed by every NPI and foundation that employs at least 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) members of staff.

NPIs and foundations that are large or very large but which use a different format from one of the standard annual account formats have to include a social balance sheet in it if the model that they use does not contain one.

The social balance sheet incorporated into the annual accounts is published by the Central Balance Sheet Office at the same time as the accounts.

Foreign companies with a branch in Belgium and foreign NPIs with a centre of operations in Belgium. The social balance sheet refers to employment levels in all their Belgian centres of activity.

2. Enterprises, non-profit institutions and foundations that are not required to publish annual accounts

Not all enterprises, non-profit institutions and foundations are required to publish annual accounts with the National Bank. Some are not even required to prepare them. However, the following companies are required to produce a social balance sheet and forward this to the National Bank within seven months of the close of their financial year:

  • the following Belgian companies, non-profit institutions or foundations:
    • hospitals, unless they have taken the form of a private limited company or non-profit association (considered as great or very great according to the size criteria) in which case they are required to publish annual accounts, social balance sheet included
    • companies under private law that are not required to publish annual accounts, if there are at least 20 members of staff recorded in the personnel register.

The presentation to be used depends on the enterprise, NPI or foundation concerned:

  • hospitals and foreign companies have to complete either the full or abbreviated presentation of the social balance sheet, depending on whether or not they exceed the size criteria.
    For foreign companies, these criteria are calculated on the basis of the consolidated figures relating to all their Belgian branches.
  • companies under private law that are not required to publish annual accounts and that:
    • employ an average of 50 or more staff have to prepare their social balance sheet using the full presentation
    • employ an average of 20 to 49 staff can prepare their social balance sheet using the abbreviated presentation.

An enterprise, NPI or foundation that is not required to publish its annual accounts at the National Bank but which has to send in its social balance sheet to the National Bank within 7 months after the closure of the bookkeeping year, can use the appropriate model of social balance.

The most recent versions of the "Full model of social balance sheet" and the "Abbreviated model of social balance sheet" as it was published by the National Bank on 5 December 2012, are listed below:

For further information on completing the different items in the social balance sheet, please see the following documents:

  • the Council CNC S100 (CBN S100) of the Accounting Standards Board entitled "Questions et réponses relatives au bilan social" (in French) or "Vragen en antwoorden over de sociale balans" (in Dutch), taken from the Bulletin nr. 39 of April 1997
  • the Council CNC 2009/12 (CBN 2009/12) of October 2009 of the Accounting Standards Board entitled "Le bilan social et les travailleurs statutaires" (in French) or "De sociale balans en de statutaire werknemers" (in Dutch) taken from the Bulletin nr. 52 of March 2010
  • the explanatory memo (in French - in Dutch - pdf) on the information on training activities, compiled by the National Bank, in cooperation with the Central Economic Council and the National Labour Council
  • overview of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ social balance sheet).

Duly completed documents should be sent in to the following address:

National Bank of Belgium
Central Balance Sheet Office - "Social balance sheet"
Boulevard de Berlaimont 14
1000 Brussels

The Central Balance Sheet Office incorporates the individual data from these social balance sheets into its statistics, which are made available to the general public. The individual data from social balance sheets of Enterprises, non-profit institutions or foundations which are not be bound to publish their annual account by the National Bank of Belgium are not made available to the general public, which is why it does not cost anything to deliver the social balance sheet to the Central Balance Sheet Office.

3. History of the models for the social balance sheet

The non-current models of the social balance sheet are available on our website in the form of a pdf-file