Healthcare and education: more unrestricted employment of students during the 2nd quarter 2021

Author: Els Poelman (Legal Expert)

As a corona aid measure, the healthcare and education sectors were already able to avail of unlimited low-cost student work in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. That measure is extended for the second quarter of 2021.

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 at the expense of the employer and 2.71% at the expense of the student.

Exception for healthcare and education

In the second quarter of 2021, student work hours will continue to be neutralized for the annual quota.

Globally speaking, the exception in the care and education sectors already applies for three quarters: student work, carried out in the period between 1 October 2020 and 30 June 2021, is NOT taken into account for the calculation of the quota (475 hours) of respectively 2020 and 2021.

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 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 health care 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

NEW: 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.


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

For the education and healthcare sector, the dimona "STU" has been linked to a specific follow-up by the NSSO since the 4th quarter of 2020, which will continue during the 2nd quarter of 2021:

  • 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 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 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


Source: Draft law on temporary aid measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chamber doc. 1851/001



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