1: 35-40 IS a work week. And if you work half time, you are still insured for that period. For the company having somebody work full time or two people half time will cost about the same. Part time might even cost more. The reason to get part time people is
a) Because people want to. e.g. moms who want to work part time and still have time for the kids
b) You have hours that need it.
There will be people who are willing work 4/5th (4 day week) or 9/10th (e.g. every wednesday afternoon off) or other situations were they decide to work less in agreement with the employer
2. If by schedules you mean fixed hour weeks, then yes. Working overtime in Belgium is just not worth it. The taxes on your over time are about 85% or more. So you would be stupid to do it. So how do they deal with situations where overtime can not be avoided? You get paid in extra days off. e.g. working 1 (unplanned) Saturday will get you 1.5 or 2 days off. Sunday will be 2-3, depending on where you work. As a company you will learn very fast that most unforseen days are not really unforseen. It is just bad planning. And the situations will suddenly happen less.
And yes, there wwhere situations where I did a lot of extra work one month and had 2 weeks vacation extra.
3. It is about living wages. Where I work and in many other places, public transport is not only an option, it is paid for by the company. Imagine if you would not need to pay for your car. No taxes, no payment, no maintenance, no fuel. Look at it financially, not practically, because that is not possible. For me that was 200-300EUR difference per month, easy. If you are at the low end of earning, that will be a HUGE difference. So all of a sudden, I make 200EUR more per month.
4.. Credit is obviously available in Belgium and other countries as well. And some people fall into that trap. However top get a credit (in Belgium) the credit company will be forced to look how much other credits you have, how much you make and how much you need to live. Give credit to somebody who should not get a credit and he does not even need to pay it back. Not ever. Not when he starts making money. Just no pay back at all. Complete write off for the credit company. So how does this work?
a) You need a minimal income to get a credit. Below 1100EUR per month netto and no credit.
b) Deduct from you income a standard for living. e.g. food, rent and such. Not sure what the amounts are, but say 750. That leaves 250 per month. Now look at every other credit. Not: a credit (card) is calculated as if iut where maxed out, because that is what you would have to pay back in the worst case scenario. So a CC for 2000EUR would be 100EUR as there is a minimal payback of 5% per month. That leaves you 150EUR to buy a car.
So many people will say: If I ditch the card, I can buy a bigger car. Many will even have to ditch their cards to be able to buy a house.
So you do not build credit, you get it when you work and things are not added, but deducted.
Interest rates are fixed by law. Charge more and they will close you down without blinking and good luck trying to get your money back.