Covid-19: unlimited employment of students also during 2nd quarter 2022 for the healthcare and education sector

Author: Els Poelman (Legal Expert)
Date:

The healthcare and education sector can make unlimited use of low-cost student labour for one more quarter.   

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.

Covid measure in 2nd quarter 2022 limited to the healthcare and education sector

In the 1st quarter of 2022, student work hours were excluded from the quota of 475 hours for 2022, with no limit in the healthcare and education sector and for a maximum of 45 hours in all other sectors.  See also our Infoflash of 16 February 2022

The measure is extended for a quarter, but only for the healthcare and education sector.

In both sectors, the hours of student work performed in the 2nd quarter of 2022 are further neutralized i.e. 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

The quota is followed-up via the dimona declaration, which is specific to students.

For the education and healthcare sector, the dimona declaration "STU" is linked to a specific follow-up by the NSSO which is 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 make an ordinary Dimona "STU" with a statement of the hours to be worked.
  • When registering a Dimona STU, the Dimona database checks whether the submitter is an employer on the “healthcare/education” list
  • If YES, the hours are not deducted from the quota of 475 hours
  • In the on-line counter containing the available quota, the hours in the healthcare & education sector are neutralized
  • 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

In practice

The extension for the 2nd quarter was adopted late in the Chamber. Already submitted dimona declarations "STU" do not need to be made again, if they were registered without error message of exceeding quota 2022.

 

Source: Bill extending various labour law measures in favour of the healthcare and education sector adopted within the framework of the fight against the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, Chamber doc. 2610/001.

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