WORKING WITH STUDENTS: SOME POINTS TO CONSIDER

Employment of students

The summer vacation has now started. This traditionally means that many students have a holiday job. Although the student agreement is an ordinary employment agreement for blue-collar workers, employees or sales representatives, the student agreement deviates from an ordinary employment agreement on certain points. Additional conditions apply.

A company that wants to appeal to job students must therefore realize that this form of employment is strictly regulated. If the legal provisions are not observed, sanctions may follow.

A few important aspects in the context of student work are explained below.

The student agreement

An employer who wishes to employ a student - who is at least 15 years old - is obliged to conclude a written student agreement of a definite term, at the latest at the time of commencement of employment. In contrast to an ordinary fixed-term employment contract, the student contract must contain a whole series of legally required information, such as the working hours, a (brief) job description, the place of employment, the salary, the competent joint committee, etc.

The student must also receive a copy of the applicable work regulations of the company upon commencement of employment.

Just as for regular employees, the employer must also file a Dimona declaration for a student, no later than the moment the student enters employment.

Sanctions for non-compliance with legal obligations

If the employer does not respect the legal obligations, the student is considered to be bound by an employment contract of indefinite duration. This means that if the employer wishes to terminate the student agreement, he will have to apply the normal termination rules instead of the reduced notice periods as provided for under the student agreement.

In addition, the employer exposes itself to criminal or administrative sanctions of level 2 of the social criminal code[1]. If the employer does not file a Dimona declaration, then it concerns a sanction of level 4[2].

In the event of non-compliance with the legal obligations by the employer, the student will be able to terminate the student agreement at any time without notice or termination compensation.

Student contingent: limited social security contributions

A student can work a maximum of 475 working hours per calendar year on which reduced social security contributions are due. For those hours, only a solidarity contribution of 8.13% is due. Of this, 5.42% is borne by the employer and 2.71% is borne by the student.

Corona support measure

Finally, it should be remembered that, within the framework of the corona support measures, the student quota will be neutralized for the third quarter of 2021. This means that the hours of student work performed in the period from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021 will not be charged on the quota of 475 hours per calendar year.

In contrast to the past three quarters, this neutralization applies to all students at all employers.


This newsletter only deals with a number of aspects of student work. If you have any questions about student work, or if you would like help drafting a student agreement, please do not hesitate to contact us (gael.vandersteene@vsadvocaten.be).


[1] Level 2: an administrative fine of EUR 200 to 2,000, or a criminal fine of EUR 400 to 4,000.
[2] Level 4: An administrative fine of EUR 2,400 to EUR 24,000, or a criminal fine of EUR 4,800 to 48,000 and/or a prison sentence of 6 months to 3 years.

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