Student Work for alternating apprentices: the story is not over yet!

Author: Catherine Legardien

In its first quarter 2019 guidance to employers, the national social security office’s (NSSO) reintroduces the possibility for students in alternance training of concluding a student contract during the summer months.

What does the regulation say?

Reminder: since 1 July 2017, students in alternance training, which consists, on the one hand, of a theoretical training (either in an educational establishment or in a training organisation created, subsidised or acknowledged by the competent authority) and, on the other hand, of a practical training in the workplace, may conclude a student contract, provided that they meet all the following conditions:

  • they do not receive unemployment benefits or integration allowances;
  • employment only occurs when they do not have to follow an education course/theoretical training or be present at the workplace;
  • work is only carried out with a different employer than the one in whose workplace the practical training takes place.

What about the NSSO?

Instructions 2018/2

In its 2nd quarter 2018 guidance to employers, the NSSO has nuanced the last condition (see our Infoflash of 22 June 2018).

It specified that the condition that the student contract had to be concluded with a different employer than the employer with whom the young person was taking practical training in the workplace did not apply to the summer months (July and August). This meant that the young person could also be employed under a student contract with his training provider during the months of July and August.

What happens next?

In its 1st quarter 2019 guidance, the NSSO has abolished the last condition (see our Infoflash of 05 March 2019).

This meant that the NSSO no longer tolerated students concluding a student contract with the employer with whom they followed a practical training course at the workplace, including during the summer months (July and August). In other words, it was no longer possible for the young person to conclude a student contract with his or her training provider at any time of the year.


In the second quarter of 2019, the NSSO revokes this position and returns to its position of the 2nd quarter of 2018. Young people who are following alternance training can be employed as students with their training provider in July and August.

Sources: 2nd quarter 2019 administrative guidance to employers.