Covid-19: student work neutralised in the 1st quarter 2022

Author: Els Poelman (Legal Expert)

The hours worked by a student in the first quarter of 2022 will be excluded from the annual quota of 475 hours: unlimited for healthcare and education sectors and up to 45 hours for all other sectors    

Students with solidarity contributions: ordinary rule

Students are exempt from ordinary social security contributions for a maximum of 475 hours per calendar year (the "quota").

For those 475 hours, a specific solidarity contribution of 8.13% is due: 5.42% is borne by the employer and 2.71% is borne by the student.

Corona aid measure in the first quarter 2022

As an extended corona aid measure, the hours worked by a student during the first quarter of 2022 are excluded from the calculation of the 475-hour quota for 2022:

  1. In the healthcare and education sectors: unlimited; 
  2. in all other sectors: up to 45 hours 

Both exceptions can be combined. For example, a student who works 50 hours in the healthcare/education sectors and 45 hours in other sectors, works a total of 95 hours outside his quota.

  1. Exception for healthcare and education

In the first quarter of 2022, student work hours will again be fully neutralised for the annual quota. Thus, they are excluded from the 2022 quota (475 hours).

Definition of healthcare sector

The healthcare sector is spread over different types of institutions. In the private sector, the healthcare sector is identified on the basis of the joint committee; in the public sector on the basis of the NACE code. Vaccination centres and contact tracing centres are added to the scope.

Private sector

JC 318: home help and elderly caregiver services

JC 319: educational and housing establishments and services

JC 330: healthcare facilities and services

JC 331: Flemish welfare and healthcare sector

JC 332: French- and German-speaking social assistance and healthcare sector

JC 322: temporary agency sector and accredited undertakings providing community-based work or services, in so far as the temporary agency worker is employed by a user belonging to one of the joint committees mentioned above).

Public Sector

NACE codes 86101, 86102, 86103, 86104, 86109, 86210, 86901, 86903, 86904, 86905, 86906, 86909, 87101, 87109, 87201, 87202, 87203, 87204, 87205, 87209, 87301, 87302, 87303, 87304, 87309, 87901, 87902, 87909, 88101, 88102, 88103, 88104, 88109, 88911, 88912, 88919, 88991, 88992, 88993, 88994, 88996, 88999  

Private and public sector

Are also considered as the healthcare sector for this measure:

  • private and public institutions and centres in charge of contact tracing in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19;
  • private and public institutions or services in charge of the operation of vaccination centres in the context of combating the coronavirus, for all activities related to the operation of a vaccination centre.

Dimona declaration "STU" in the healthcare and education sector

The quota is followed-up via the Dimona declaration, which is specific to students (Dimona "STU").

For the education and healthcare sectors, the dimona declaration "STU" will be linked to a specific follow-up by the NSSO in the 1st quarter of 2022, which will be analogous to the application for the previous neutralised quarters:

  • the NSSO manages a list (a file) with the individual employers belonging to the healthcare and education sectors and links this list to the Dimona database
  • employers from the healthcare and education sectors submit an ordinary dimona declaration "STU" with a statement of the hours to be worked
  • when submitting a dimona declaration “STU”, the Dimona database checks whether the submitter is an employer on the “healthcare/education” list
  • if YES, the hours will not be deducted from the quota of 475 hours
  • in the on-line counter containing the available quota, the hours in the healthcare & education sectors are neutralised
  • in the dmfa, the checks for these employers/students are carried out taking into account the fact that the quota is not reduced by the hours declared
  1. Exception for sectors other than healthcare and education

In all other sectors (other than health care and education), student work hours will be neutralised in the first quarter of 2022 up to a maximum of 45 hours, i.e. a maximum of 45 hours are excluded from the 2022 quota (475 hours).

The exempted hours are registered at the student 's level: his first 45 hours, worked with one or more employers, are neutralised.

The exemption is limited to the first quarter of 2022. If the student works 20 hours in the first quarter, for example, only those 20 hours are neutralised. The unused balance of 25 hours cannot be transferred to a subsequent quarter.

These 45 exempted hours can be combined with the full exemption in the healthcare and education sectors. Thus, a student can work unlimited hours outside the quota with one or more employers in the health care and/or education sector, and on top of that another 45 hours with one or more employers of other sectors.

Dimona declaration "STU" in other sectors

If the employer is not listed in the file of the healthcare and education sectors, the NSSO will neutralise only the first 45 hours of the dimona declaration "STU" in the first quarter of 2022. The 45-hour maximum is calculated at the student's level. He can work these 45 hours with one or more employers.

Dimona in practice, for all employers

The specific Dimona application integrating the neutralisation (full or limited to 45 hours) will come into production in phases on the portal of the Social Security, during February 2022.

For all employers, already submitted dimona declarations "STU" do not need to be submitted again, if they were registered without the error message that the 2022 quota is exceeded (which is likely for bookings at the beginning of the year).

Source: Draft laws on temporary aid measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chamber doc.  2455 and 2456


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