Educational leave in the Brussels-Capital Region: what changes from September 2023?

Author: Catherine Mairy (Legal Expert)
Read time: 4min
Publication date: 19/09/2023 - 07:57
Latest update: 19/09/2023 - 07:59

In the Brussels-Capital Region, certain aspects of the paid educational leave system have been reformed, with effect from 1 September 2023.

Important note! For aspects not covered by the reform, we must continue to refer to the federal provisions on paid educational leave.

All information is available on the Brussels Economy and Employment website; here is a summary.

Beneficiaries of paid educational leave

The right to paid educational leave is granted to workers in the private sector employed in an establishment unit located in the Brussels-Capital Region.

Part-time workers are also entitled if their  contractual employment fraction represents at least 25% of a full-time employment during the month of September of the training year, or during the month in which the training begins.

Training courses qualifying for educational leave

The list of training courses qualifying for educational leave is extended to include the following (under certain conditions):

  • courses, either at university level or of the short, full-practice type, leading to an academic degree, including hours related to practical tests;
  • social promotion and adult education courses, including hours spent on courses and practical tests;
  • structured courses of at least 10 credits organized by a higher education establishment.

Important note! In principle, all training courses must include at least 32 hours of physical or digital contact per year.

Duration of paid educational leave

The duration of paid educational leave may not exceed, over the course of one year, ceilings that vary according to the type of training.

Some of these ceilings have been raised: for example, for training courses aimed at acquiring another national language, the annual ceiling is set at 130 hours.

Entitlement to paid educational leave is always calculated pro rata the employment fraction.

Request for paid educational leave

The employee submits his request for paid educational leave with regard to a normal school year to the employer, using the certificate of regular enrolment, by 31 October of each school year at the latest (unless otherwise specified).

This document can be delivered to the employer by hand (with acknowledgement of receipt), or sent by e-mail (with acknowledgement of receipt) or registered letter.

Remuneration for educational leave

The remuneration to which the worker is entitled for the hours and days of absence taken as part of the educational leave is limited to the ceiling provided for in the federal provisions on paid educational leave.

The ceiling in force from 1 September 2023 is not yet known.

Reimbursement of remuneration

The employer may obtain reimbursement of the remuneration and social security contributions relating to the days and hours of educational leave.

In the Brussels-Capital region, reimbursement has been limited, since the 2022-2023 school year, to a lump sum of €22.07 per hour of educational leave.

The request for reimbursement must be submitted via MyBEE by 31 December of the year in which the school year ended.

Important note! In the Brussels-Capital Region, from the 2023-2024 school year onwards, the total amount of reimbursement of remuneration and social security contributions relating to paid educational leave is limited to €700,000 per employer and per calendar year. If the €700,000 ceiling is exceeded, the worker retains the right to paid educational leave, with payment of his normal remuneration.

Source: Decree of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region of 29 June 2023 on the terms and conditions for granting paid educational leave, Belgian Official Gazette of 21.08.2023.

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