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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many hours may I work as a student?
It’s actually entirely up to you how much you wish to work. However, you do need to take your so-called “contingency” into account. This is a limit of 475 hours annually, under which your social security contribution will be reduced. That makes working as a student quite an attractive source of income!
You are not intended to be working full-time alongside your studies, of course. Will you be exceeding those 475 hours of work? In that case you have lost the advantage of your status as a working student and your social security contribution goes back up.
Is it true that you're not allowed to work more than 475 hours a year as a student?
No, this is not right! In the sense that you are allowed to work more, but once you go above 475 hours, you are working as a “working student” (no longer as a student). If you work 475 hours or less, you pay lower social security contributions. This is also called your quota. You then decide whether or not you want to work more than 475 hours in a year.
But as of your 476th hour, your quota has expired. This means that you will have to pay higher social security contributions from then on. Think about this when you have a student job. Keep a good record of how many hours you work and take into account the (financial) consequences if you exceed the maximum of your quota.
Update 2020: work extra hours as a student this year!
Due to the corona crisis, the government has decided not to deduct your hours worked in the second quarter of 2020 (April, May and June) from the maximum 475 hours you can work as a student per year. Consequently, in 2020, you’ll be allowed to work an extra 475 hours next to the hours worked in April, May and June
Thanks to these "neutralised student hours" you will also continue to be entitled to a favourable social security contribution for the extra hours worked, which amounts to 2.71% of the gross salary instead of the normal contribution of 13.07%.
Where can I see how many more working hours I have left (while still qualifying for a reduced social security contribution as a student)?
That’s easily checked at Student@work. You can look up exactly how much more you can work without losing your eligibility for the reduced social security contribution.That way you know for sure that you won’t go over your 475-hour “contingency”.
Additionally, you will find an overview of all your current student jobs here, as well as any previous work you performed as a student.
The Student@work website also allows you to download a statement for your employer. This will show how many more hours they can continue to employ you without exceeding the 475-hour cap.
Are you allowed to work as a student outside the summer holidays?
Yes. Your student job is not tied to school holidays or seasons. However, that does not mean that you can work as a student just anywhere and anytime. There are three things to pay attention to:
1. As a student, you may not work during teaching moments or other school activities, which are expected to be attended as a student;
2. Within the status of student, you may work a maximum of 475 hours per year. The legislator calls this your "quota". Within the quota, as a student you pay less social security contributions than your professional colleagues. From the 476th working hour onwards, you will have a different status, your social security contribution will increase and you will therefore earn less on the same net salary.
3. In order to be able to work as a student, the NSSO requires that you are mainly working on your studies.
There are several handy (online) tools to keep track of your working hours. This way, you can always see how many hours you have already worked, what your status is and how much you contribute to the social welfare of the nation.
How much can I earn as a student?
It's complicated. When it comes to your money, you have to pay attention to four things:
1. Your social security contribution
As a student you have a quota of 475 working hours, as long as you work under your quota of 475 hours you pay a so-called solidarity contribution (2.71%) to the NSSO. This is a lower social security contribution. From your 476th working hour onwards, you pay more ordinary social security contributions (13.07%) like all other employees.
2. Your own taxes
As a student you may earn a maximum of €12,657.14 gross per year. This gross amount applies after deduction of your (reduced) social security contributions. This amount is called the tax-free amount. If you earn more, you will have to pay taxes.
3. The taxes of your parents
If your gross income exceeds certain limits, the tax authorities consider you to be an independent person. In that case, you will no longer be "at the expense" of your parents, who will have to pay more taxes as a result. There are 3 ceilings, depending on how your parents are taxed:
- Your parents are taxed together: € 6942.50;
- Your parents will be taxed separately: € 8792,50;
- Your parents are taxed separately and you have a handicap: € 10.417,50.
4. The child benefit
Since the 6th State reform of Belgium, child benefit has been a regional matter. Which arrangement concerns you, therefore, depends on where you live. Flemish and East Belgian students retain the right to child benefit as long as they work a maximum of 475 hours per year. Students from Wallonia and Brussels may work a maximum of 240 hours per quarter, unless it is summer. You will find all the details on these sites:
If you're going to work somewhere during your holiday, you'll of course want to know in advance how much you're going to earn. After all, students often take a summer job with a clear goal. To help pay for your studies, or to save for a trip, car, shop budget...
It's hard to say exactly how much you're going to earn because it's different in every sector. Within a sector sometimes collective agreements are concluded, so that every company within that sector pays the same. You can get information about this by contacting the joint committee, the number of which can be found in your student contract.
Normally, the vacancy will also mention your remuneration. Based on this, you can then calculate how much you will earn if you start working for a company for a certain number of hours.
What is the difference between gross and net?
Are you applying as a student? Or have you just been hired somewhere and are you about to start your first job? Then keep in mind that the salary you agree with your employer is not the amount you will eventually get your hands on. There is a difference between the gross salary and the net salary.
The gross salary is the salary that you are going to earn and that will be included in your contract. However, amounts are first deducted from this salary for social security purposes. What remains of this is called the taxable gross salary. Next, taxes are deducted from this amount. What ultimately remains is the net wage: this is the amount that you actually see in your bank account.
The difference between the gross and net amount is not the same for every student. Several factors play a role in this. For example, if you are a student with a student contract and you work less than 475 hours per year, you only have to pay a solidarity contribution. This amount is significantly lower than the regular social security contribution.
Because the net wage can differ per employee, the gross wage is also discussed during wage negotiations. Incidentally, in Belgium the difference between gross and net is greater than in most European countries.
Is a student allowed to work on a holiday? Do you get paid double?
When someone works on a Sunday or public holiday, then that person is in principle NOT paid twice. It is only in case of overtime that one is 'double paid'. In certain sectors, however, premiums or other benefits are granted to people who work on a Sunday or public holiday.
As a student, are you allowed to work on a Sunday or public holiday? In principle, working on a Sunday or public holiday is prohibited for everyone. However, there are certain exceptions. Students (+18 year) can work on Sundays under the same exceptions as ordinary employees. For underage students working on Sundays is a little stricter. If, for example, it concerns a sports event, a cultural or social gathering or if you work in a bakery or confectionery, exceptions are made.
There are still a few exceptions. However, it is true that as an underage student you are only allowed to work 1 in 2 Sundays and that you must have at least 36 hours of rest after working on Sundays.
What if I'm sick during my summer job?
It can always happen that you get sick during your holiday job. Annoying, because nobody likes to be sick, but it also has consequences for your job. Make sure that you inform your boss as soon as possible that you are ill. This will give him time to find a replacement for you in time.
If you are ill, this will have consequences for your pay. Are you employed by a company for less than a month? Then you won't get paid on the days you are sick. Are you employed for more than a month? Then your salary is guaranteed. You will continue to be paid, provided a number of conditions are met. One of the most important conditions is that you bring a doctor's note to your local Konvert office within 2 days. Be sure to take a look at the employment regulations of the temporary employment agency, where you will find the exact guidelines.
Can you combine your 475 hours with 50 catering days?
Are you going to work in the catering industry as a job student? Then it is possible to not only use up your 475 hours, but also add 50 catering days to it! As you know, as a job student you are allowed to work 475 hours at lower social contributions. You also have this advantage if you use catering days.
These 50 catering days are intended for everyone who does so-called occasional work. This means that you do your work for no more than two connected days. After a break, you may again work for your employer for 1 or 2 days. You also pay less social security contributions, although the amount is slightly higher than what you pay as a job student.
However, it is definitely worthwhile to use both your 475 hours and these 50 catering days, if you want to take full advantage of the benefits.
It is possible to first use your 475 hours and then start the catering days. But you can also combine them with each other. It is better to agree this in advance with your employer. Make sure that all agreements are clearly on paper, so that there is no uncertainty about this afterwards.
Do you have to study for your student job?
Whether you need to follow a course for your student job actually depends entirely on which job you are going to do and which company you are going to work for. Usually, you will get a short training to be able to do your job properly. Suppose you are going to work in a supermarket or other shop, then you will need to know how things are going in this shop. Often you will end up in several places in the shop so that they can see where you are best. As you have a job that is more difficult, or that requires more work, the demands will also increase. There are also student jobs where the explanation or training is a bit more extensive.
In general, a company that offers student jobs has few requirements in the area of the course you are following. It is more about how you are as a person. Are you diligent, enthusiastic and a hard worker? These are qualities that employers are often more than satisfied with.
Do you have to pay taxes as a student?
Like everyone subject to personal income tax, students are entitled to a "tax-free allowance". This means that part of the income is not taxed. In other words, if the taxable income does not exceed the amount of the tax-free sum, which corresponds to a gross amount of EUR 12,657.14 (income 2019), you do not have to pay tax as a student. The wage tax withheld by the temporary employment agency will be refunded to you.
If the taxable income does exceed the amount of the tax-free amount, the income is subject to tax. This tax is "progressive". The tax rate increases as the income increases.
It is always good to discuss this with your employer. For example, if your salary just exceeds the maximum amount, then it might be worth considering working fewer hours in a year. You will then have more net hours left than if you work more hours and exceed the maximum amount.
Do your parents have to pay more taxes if you do a holiday job?
A holiday job is a great way to earn an extra penny. If you work a lot of hours, this amount can even increase considerably. Just be careful how much you earn, at least if you don't want your parents to have to pay more taxes.
If you earn more than a certain amount, your parents will no longer be 'dependent' on you. Being a 'dependant' means that your parents take care of you financially and pay for you. As a result, they pay less taxes. However, if your wages exceed the maximum amount, then this rule will lapse and your parents will have to pay a higher amount of taxes.
This maximum amount changes every year. This year it is 6,942.50 euro gross for parents who care for a child together and 8,792.50 euro gross for a parent who only bears the financial responsibility.
Do you have a disability? Then the amount you can earn becomes even higher. In 2019 we are talking about 10,417.50 euros gross. Please note that these amounts are only valid if you have no other income than your salary from your student job, and that you do not mention any other professional expenses on your tax return.
In addition, you must also be part of the family and your wages may not constitute a professional expense for your parents.
Do I need a contract to work as a student?
Yeah, sure you do. Besides, you don't just sign any contract for this, but a student contract. Compared to a standard employment contract, this gives you a number of advantages. For example, no withholding tax and less social security contributions.
Your student contract is always a fixed-term contract. You can find out exactly what your student contract should contain on the website of the FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue. There you will find a model contract and a full data list. Your identity, workplace, working hours and job description, among other things, will find their place here.
As a student, aren't you going to work as an employee, but set up your own business? Then you can apply for the status of student-independent. This way you will enjoy similar benefits as a student student and your life as a starting entrepreneur will undoubtedly be a little easier.
As a student, can you stop your contract?
You have a student job, but you don't feel like you're in the right place, do you? Maybe the tasks don't quite suit you, or you don't feel at ease with the company where you work. Maybe you're wondering if you're still obliged to cancel your contract?
If it's the first time you do that job with that employer, you have a trial period of three days. This means that you can stop immediately within those three days without further action. Conversely, this also means that during those three days, the employer can decide that you do not have to come back.
If you are no longer in the so-called probationary period, you will in principle have to cancel the agreed period of your contract or you can still terminate it subject to a notice period.
Can your employer terminate your student contract?
You are active in a student job and try hard. However, your employer is not completely satisfied with the way you do your work and has indicated that he wants to terminate your contract. Can you do this just like that? As long as he abides by the rules, this is allowed. However, there are a number of conditions and deadlines.
If your employer wants to terminate your contract within your probationary period, he may do so immediately. This trial period lasts three days and generally gives both you and your employer a good impression of whether or not you like it. If you have already passed your trial period, your employer will have to give you notice.
Do you have to fill in a tax letter as a student?
You may be wondering whether you also have to fill in a tax letter as a student. The answer is actually very simple, you have to. Anyone who carries out work that is paid for, or has income in some other way, is obliged to file an annual tax return.
You as a student are not released from this obligation. It doesn't matter how much income you have. Even if you have only worked a single day and received salary for that, you still have to report it. It doesn't matter whether or not you stay below the tax-free amounts. Although you do not pay any taxes, the authorities would still like to know what you have earned. Make sure that you fill in your tax letter every year.
What is the difference between “jobstudent” and “working student”?
You will probably have noticed that vacancies talk about both jobstudents and working students. But what is the difference between these two types of students? Literally speaking, both words mean the same thing, yet there is a difference in meaning.
The term “jobstudent” is normally used when referring to a student who is working within his or her 475 hours. In other words, a student who has to pay lower social security contributions. A working student is someone who has already worked more than 475 hours. If you have worked more than 475 hours, you can continue to work, but then you will no longer have to pay the lower social security contributions.
This definition of work student should not be confused with the following meaning : working student can also stand for persons who combine work and study. The work is then part of the study and, in many cases, can also count towards the diploma.
When are you allowed to work as a student?
When you start working as a student, this means that you fall under the 475-hour rule. You will have to pay less social security contributions for the work you do within these 475 hours. But when are you officially a student? There are actually a number of criteria for that.
1. You must actually be a student and be enrolled at a college or university;
2. You have to be old enough to be allowed to work;
3. You may not work at times when you are expected to be in class.
4. And last but not least, you have to be mainly busy with your studies. Just being enrolled in a school is not enough, you have to dedicate most of your time to your studies.
If, for example, you are already fully engaged in the work process and you are also following an evening course, you will not be officially recognised as a student and you will not be able to work as a student. But beware, because officially you are no longer a student if you have a contract for 12 months or more, or if you are following a course with a limited curriculum. There are also specific rules for people who take part-time lessons, so be well informed!
You may start working as a student if you are at least 16 years old OR if you are at least 15 years old and have completed first and second secondary school.
If you are old enough, attend school all day and have a student job in the evening or at the weekend, you don't have to worry. You can then make full use of the benefits that the 475-hour plan has to offer.
Can I still work as a student after my studies?
Yes and no. When you graduate, you finish your school commitments. You won't be a student anymore, so you won't be able to work as a student.
But there is an exception to this rule. If you graduate in June, July, August or September, you may still work as a student until 30 September of the graduation year (after that date you may no longer work as a student). It does not matter whether or not you are already registered as a job-seeker in the meantime. However, your student job may not become a hidden trial period with a view to later employment with the same employer, in a similar position.
Did you not graduate, but stopped your studies? In that situation, you are no longer primarily engaged in your studies and therefore, in principle, you no longer meet the conditions to be able to work as a student. However, every situation is different, so be sure to check with your local Konvert office whether you really can't continue working as a student.
What if you get a permanent contract at the end of your holiday job?
Did you work for a company during your holiday and did you and your employer like it so much that you are now offered a permanent job? Then, of course, that's a nice reward for the hard work you've done. However, be careful, because you can't just start working full-time directly from your summer job. The point is that it can be seen that this period in 'holiday service' has been a kind of extra-long, cheap trial period.
You may continue to work for the company, but then there must be a clear difference between your work during the holidays and the work you are going to do now. In other words, you would have to take on another job, or there would have to be time between your holiday job and your permanent job. We admit, it's a bit of a grey area, so it's also good to discuss this with your employer.
Of course, you can always contact us if you have any specific questions on this subject. And enjoy the fact that you seem to have done your job so well that you have a full job!
As a student, are you allowed to have several employers?
Did you get the chance to work as a student at different companies? Of course, that's no problem at all. You may not be able to work as many hours as you would like at the company where you first started working. Then it's a good plan to fill in the remaining hours at another company. Or maybe you want a little variation in your working life and therefore enjoy working at two or more different companies. As long as all this is well written down on paper, it's no problem at all.
However, make sure that everything is written down well. After all, you can only officially work 475 hours as a student. It is therefore important that all your employers are aware of the fact that you work for several companies.
What is student work? What is a student job?
Are you about to do a holiday job and earn some extra money? Then as a student you have the possibility to do student work. But maybe you wonder what a student job exactly means. If you work as a student, you will be employed through a 'student employment contract'. Via this specific agreement, you fall under the advantageous NSSO regime, whereby you only have to pay a 'solidarity contribution' to Belgian social security.
This contract contains everything you can and cannot do, what you must be paid as a minimum and how many hours you can work. It is a document that has been completely drawn up to ensure that you, as a student, are protected as well as possible.
I'm not Belgian. Can I work as a student in Belgium?
Whether you can work as a non-Belgian student in Belgium depends on several factors. We make a distinction between persons from the EEA (+ Switzerland) and persons from a third country (= all countries outside the EEA + Switzerland).
1) Persons from the EEA + Switzerland
Persons from these countries can work under the same conditions as Belgian persons as work students. If you belong to this category, you do not even have to live in Belgium and you do not even have to study in a member state of the EEA/Switzerland.
2) Persons from a third country/non-member EEA/Switzerland
If you belong to this category, you can only work as a student in Belgium if the following conditions are met:
- You follow a full curriculum in Belgium and you can submit a certificate from the educational institution which can serve as proof of this.
- You have obtained a valid residence permit based on your studies.
- Outside the school holidays, you may be employed for a maximum of 20 hours a week.
I worked abroad as a student. Am I still allowed to work in Belgium as a student? 475 hours?
Have you worked abroad as a student and would you like to work in Belgium again? And would you like to work within your 475 hours? That may well be possible, but it depends on a number of things.
If you have worked abroad for a Belgian employer, all your hours are simply transferred to your home country. In other words, if you have worked 300 hours in this capacity, you still have 175 hours left. The hours have been passed on by your Belgian employer, these hours can also be found in your student@work counter. Of course, it is also possible that you have used up your 475 hours. In that case, it is no longer possible to work as a student in your own country.
Have you worked abroad for a foreign company? Then different rules apply. These hours have not been passed on or deducted from your 475 hours. You still have these hours left. However, it is the case that you have worked abroad according to the rules that apply in that country. If you want to know more about this, it is good to contact a trade union in the country concerned.
Can I work overtime as a student?
No. There are very few situations in which it is allowed to work overtime as a student.
After all, the basic principle is that overtime is forbidden. Overtime is only allowed in specific cases. +18 year working students follow the same rules as regular employees. However, this is somewhat more difficult for minors. For minors, overtime is only possible in very exceptional cases. So be well informed when you are asked by your employer to work overtime in a specific situation.
If you are going to work a number of overtime hours in this way, you should also pay special attention to the correct remuneration for your extra work. If you work overtime on a weekday or on a Saturday, you are entitled to a supplement of 50%. If you work overtime on a Sunday or public holiday, you are entitled to a surcharge of 100%.
Why does Konvert need proof of my student status?
As your employer, Konvert recently became required to be able to prove that you are truly a student. To that end we ask that you provide us with official confirmation of your enrolment for the current academic year as soon as possible. Only then will we be able to draw up your contract.
How do I obtain proof of my student status?
Usually you can simply download an enrolment certificate from your school’s intranet. Some schools will even provide this automatically at the beginning of each academic year. Can’t find your enrolment certificate? Contact your school’s administration department. They are sure to know what to do!
Hoe kan ik mijn inschrijvingsbewijs indienen bij Konvert?
It’s very simple!Just go to your personal profile at jobstudent.be and upload your certificate under “Enrolment Certificate”. Please note that only PDFs or Word documents will be accepted.
Don’t have an account yet? Use the “Registration” button to register now and stay informed of all the latest student jobs.