Coronavirus: neutralisation student work counter 2nd quarter

Author: Catherine Legardien (Legal Expert)

Hours worked as a student from 1 April to 30 June 2020 will not be included in the annual quota of 475 hours. The aim of this measure is to encourage students to come and work for companies that are operating at full capacity, such as those in the retail sector.

Quota of 475 hours: what's that?

The number of hours worked for which the student's remuneration is not subject to ordinary social security contributions but only to a solidarity contribution is maximum 475 hours per calendar year (i.e. from 1 January to 31 December). This quota of 475 work hours can be spread freely over the full calendar year with one or more employers. One single solidarity contribution is applicable (8,14%).

In order to be exempted from ordinary social security contributions on the remuneration for the first 475 work hours of a calendar year, the next conditions must be met:

  • the student must be employed under a student employment contract;
  • the student must be employed during the periods of non-mandatory presence in the educational establishments.
  • a valid 'student' Dimona declaration (STU) must be submitted in time, i.e. at the latest on the start date of employment.

New: neutralisation of hours worked in the 2nd quarter

The hours worked as a student (under Dimona 'STU') in the 2nd quarter of 2020 (from 1 April to 30 June 2020) will be neutralised. In other words, these hours are not deducted from the quota of 475 hours.

This neutralisation of hours worked in the 2nd quarter applies to all sectors.

Moreover, only a solidarity contribution will be deducted from the remuneration for these neutralised hours, provided that all the above conditions are met.

Consequences for child benefit and taxes?

If a student works a lot during the 2nd quarter of 2020, this may have an impact on the entitlement to child benefit or on his status of tax dependent on his parents.

Therefore, the regional institutions that grant child benefits are examining how they can adapt their rules to avoid losing the entitlement to child benefit.

It should also be noted that a draft law has been submitted to ensure that a student will continue to be considered as a tax dependent on his parents, even if he earns more by working during the 2nd quarter of 2020.

Sources: Special Powers Decree No. 14 of 27 April 2020 implementing Article 5, § 1, 5°, of the Act of 27 March 2020 authorising the King to take measures in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 (II) to safeguard a smooth work organisation in the critical sectors, Belgian Official Gazette, 29 April 2020; Intermediate administrative guidelines NSSO - 2020/1;; Draft law containing various urgent tax provisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Parl. item Chamber 2019-20, No. 1174.

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