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Every year, when summer vacations are approaching, employers ask us about the conditions that must be met to employ students.
As from the 2022-2023 academic year, the end date of the school year differs between Flanders and the Walloon and Brussels regions: in Flanders, the year ends on 30 June, while in Wallonia and Brussels, the summer vacation officially begins on Saturday, 8 July 2023.
We take this opportunity to repeat the rules for the employment of students.
In this first Infoflash dealing with this subject, we will go further into the specific formalities which have to be fulfilled when hiring a student.
For the years 2023 and 2024, the student has a counter of 600 working hours per calendar year (600 hours in 2023 and 600 hours in 2024). The remuneration for these 600 working hours will not be subject to ordinary social security contributions, but only to a solidarity contribution. This counter is reset each year: in 2024, the student will again benefit from 600 working hours exempt from ordinary social security contributions.
This quota is kept up to date through a counter that is fed on the basis of the specific DIMONA declarations 'STU' that any employer who hires a student must submit (see below) and on the basis of the quarterly declarations of employment (DmfA) submitted to the National Social Security Office (NSSO). In the DIMONA declarations, the number of work days per quarter must be stated as mentioned in the student employment contract. Gradually, as the DIMONA declarations are submitted, the number of hours worked will be deducted from the 600-hour quota.
This 600-hour quota will be put into a counter which the student can consult via the online application "student@work" on the website https://www.studentatwork.be.
Practically, the student can log in using his electronic identity card or a civil token. Using the application, the student can check the remaining number of hours of the 600-hour quota, view the periods worked as provided for in the student contract or contracts concluded with one or more employers and see the balance of the working hours.
The employer may also be informed of how many hours remain in the 600-hours quota as the student can use this application to retrieve a certificate for a potential employer stating how many hours remain in the 600-hour quota on a specific date. The certificate also contains a code (3 months valid) which enables the employer to log into the student's counter and see how many hours are left in it at the time of consultation.
We would strongly recommend that all employers ask the student to provide this certificate before entering into a contract and that, in order to be fully aware of the state of affairs upon hiring.
1. For the employer to be able to make a declaration to the NSSO with the application of the solidarity contribution, the person hired must actually be a student. The employer can use various means to verify student status, but a simple declaration on the student's honor or the production of a (copy of a) student card will not be accepted as sufficient proof by the NSSO. A (copy of) proof/attestation of registration at a (high) school or university for the current school or academic year is, however, sufficient. This proof of student employment does not have to be provided spontaneously to the NSSO, but in the event of discussion, the employer must be able to demonstrate that the employee is indeed a student.
More information? Solidarity contribution: student statute must be proven!
2. The 600-hour quota is currently planned only for 2023 and 2024. Unless extended, it will fall back to 475 hours per calendar year from 2025.
The student will be hired under a student employment contract. This contract will be drawn up in writing for each student individually at the latest when he starts work.
The employment contract for students is a fixed-term contract. The contract can be concluded for a maximum duration of 12 months.
The employment contract for students must contain certain obligatory statements and must be drawn up in duplicate (1 copy for the student, 1 copy for the employer).
A copy of the employment regulations that apply within the company must be presented to the student, just like to any other regular worker. On the presentation of the employment regulations, the employer must have the student sign an acknowledgement of receipt.
After the student contract has been concluded and no later than at the commencement of the student's employment, the employer must submit an immediate declaration of employment (DIMONA). In addition to the normal information (in service date, information on the registration number of the employer with the NSSO, the worker's identification number with the social security (NISS), the social identity card number (SIS) and the number of the joint committee under which the worker comes), the DIMONA declaration must include the following data:
The legislation on work accidents applies to employers and the students they employ, including those whose activities do not have to be declared to the NSSO.
An employer who employs students will have to conclude an insurance against 'accidents at work' for the duration of the employment contract.
Some students must undergo a medical assessment with the prevention advisor-company doctor before they are employed. It regards students who:
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