The ABC of Student Jobs
Practically all students wouldn't mind making a few extra euros by getting a student job. It's a great opportunity to gain some work experience. To avoid any potential problems during your first student job, here's a practical and comprehensive ABC that we have put together.
A) Family Allowances
Until August of the year you turn 18, you will receive family allowances under
- If you are over 18 and have at least one more year of studies ahead of you, you can keep your family allowances if you work no more than 600 hours per year.
School dropouts lose their family allowances for all months (except for vacation periods) during their waiting period if they earn more than a certain amount.
B) Study Grant
Don't panic: a study grant is calculated based on your parents' income from two years ago. The student's income is not taken into account. So, you're still entitled to a grant, whether you have a job or not.
A student job is a regular job. It is, therefore, necessary to sign a contract between the employer and the student to avoid any potential problems later on.
You must be at least 15 years old to sign this contract.
More than 6 months of work = traditional employment contract
Three copies must be signed: one for the student, one for the employer, and one for the Social Laws.
A valid contract must contain:
- The identity (name, first name), date of birth, domicile, and, if applicable, the residence of both parties (employer and student)
- The start and end date of the contract
- The optional trial clause (minimum 7 days, maximum 14 days)
- The place of execution of the contract
- A concise description of the function(s) to be performed
- The agreed-upon remuneration in euros or, failing that, the basic mode of calculation, including any benefits granted in kind (housing, meals, etc.)
- The dates and method of payment of the remuneration
- The place where the student will live if the employer undertakes to provide accommodation
- The daily and weekly working hours
- The relevant joint committee
- The applicability of the law on the protection of workers' remuneration
- The working hours (start and end of the regular workday, duration and timing of rest intervals, regular days off)
- The location where the designated person for providing first aid can be reached and how they can be reached
- The location where the first aid box is kept
- The address and phone number of the company or inter-company medical service
- The address and phone number of the Social Laws Control of the district where the student is employed.
- What can a student worker never do?
- Drive a forklift truck.
- Use motorized vehicles and tools without formal permission.
- Drive lifting equipment, cranes, or bridge cranes.
- Work on ladders or a platform without support.
- Work on a press, with a shear, a sealing gun, a circular saw, or other dangerous machines.
- Work with toxic or flammable products.
- Work in a confined space, such as silos and tanks.
- Repair machines themselves or work on a faulty device.
During the year, you have the excuse of not having enough time to wash dishes or serve good pints. In the summer, there's no reason not to take on a student job. The number of days to work during the months of July, August, and September are no longer limited as in the past. Now, you can use your quota of 475 hours of student work as you wish over the year.
Can a student job be terminated? First of all, if you have not signed a written contract or certain mandatory provisions beforehand, you can terminate your contract without any problems, that is, without notice or compensation.
However, in case of a written contract, the procedures to be taken are slightly more complicated. If for some reason it is your employer who terminates your contract, the notice period you will have to work will be 3 days if your contract was for less than a month and 7 days if the duration of work was more than a month.
If you decide to leave, your notice period will be reduced to one day for a contract of less than a month and 3 days if your contract was valid for more than a month.
G) Department stores
Many students decide to become cashiers during their holidays. The only condition: being 18 years old and having previously filled out the form that you will find at the addresses below. It is even possible to work there during the year if you want to finance your studies. You can also choose whether you prefer to stay behind the cash register or restock the shelves.
You don't become a ski instructor overnight, so it's interesting to take a look at the regulations in force to exercise this unusual student job.
In Belgium, sports coaching is not regulated. Whether it's the fiscal and social status, there are no problems to encounter. Accompanying ski trips is almost always unpaid, except for some occasional companions. As an accompanist, you are entitled to rental equipment, a ski pass, and possibly ski equipment. Some organizations add pocket money, but it will quickly be spent after a few pints or glasses of schnapps.
In France, these contributions in kind can create problems. According to French law, all in-kind benefits constitute part of the salary. For example, your free ski jacket will be considered as salary. France considers this as unfair competition with (French) ski instructors who are paid 'normally'
I) Independent contractors
Given the strictness required by this status, few students choose this option. Once again, certain conditions apply:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have legal access to the profession
- Apply for a business registration number
- Apply for a VAT number
J) Public holidays
If you work with a valid student employment contract, you are in good shape. Each official public holiday that falls during the period of your job is valid for you and your colleagues who work there "for real". Your employer must therefore pay you a normal salary for that day.
If you terminate your contract due to incapacity for work, your employer must pay you compensation equal to the salary corresponding to the notice period. Your employer or you also have the option to terminate the contract for any serious misconduct found on either side.
We asked Randstad for the 10 highest-paying student jobs, divided by age range:
18 years old : assistant, production collaborator, worker
19 years old : worker assistant, assistant, administrative employee, metal worker
20 years old : salesperson, mechanic
21 years old production collaborator , administrative employee, call center agent
The maximum number of hours you can work in 2023 with a student work contract is 600. Keep track of your hours worked at https://www.studentatwork.be/
In theory, night work (from 8 PM to 6 AM) is prohibited for all young people under 18 years old. Only by exception for those over 16 years old employed in hotels, restaurants, cafes, and in the cultural sector, these restrictions are reduced to either 10 PM to 6 AM or 11 PM to 7 AM.
In companies where shift work takes place, night work corresponds to different standards depending on the regime and type of work and depending on the age and sex of the worker. If you have any questions regarding this aspect mentioned here, we advise you to contact the union delegation of your company.
Where to find a student job?
- At the job services of universities and higher education schools
Often, registration and a small fee for the year are required. It's definitely worth it because they receive targeted job ads in your field of study, which is a great advantage. Additionally, academic positions such as assistant or faculty secretary often become available in these organizations. Finally, it's also interesting to register at the end of your studies to receive job ads for "real" jobs this time!
Also, check out regional newspapers and free newspapers. Sometimes they are looking for students for various positions such as waiter/waitress, survey taker, babysitter, promo boy/girl ... So, don't neglect any opportunity to earn some extra cash!
Temp agencies are increasingly offering contracts to students, with Randstad and Temp-Team also handling student work (www.tempo-team.be, www.randstad.be). The main fields offered by such agencies are hospitality, cleaning, food, supermarkets and the metal industry.
P) Promo boy
If you have a good appearance and are outgoing, don't hesitate to apply to be a host/hostess or promo boy/girl at various events of all kinds. It's good to know that Guido also recruits for some student events.
To work as a student, you must have completed full-time education (not evening classes). You must be at least 18 years old, or 15 years old with parental consent.
What is deducted from your salary?
You work a maximum of 2 months in July, August, or September ? Only 2.5% of your gross salary is deducted. You are not entitled to social security benefits
You work more than 2 months outside of these months ? 13.7% of your gross salary is deducted . You are entitled to a vacation allowance (if you work for more than one month)
Regarding salary, other information can be very useful to you, such as the legal minimum wage (gross) that the employer must pay you. So, before signing your contract, check that this amount has been respected so as not to be ripped off.
How to calculate your net taxable income?
1. Take the amount you actually earned in one year.
2. Subtract the non-taxable threshold of 2,250 euros.
3. Subtract the 20% lump-sum costs (with a minimum of 380 euros).
4. Include (if applicable) 80% of the child support payment for what exceeds the 2,700 euros that one of your parents receives for you.
-> The amount that remains corresponds to your net taxable income for this year.
U) Use your contacts!
It is often by talking to friends or family that you find a student job without too much difficulty. Indeed, if you let all your Facebook contacts (for example) know in your profile that you are looking for a student job, you will surely have tempting offers.
Even for a student job, it is important to make a good impression from the job interview onwards. You don't have to show up in a suit on your first day, but make sure you dress appropriately for the job you are applying for. Wear a neat shirt for a job in the hospitality industry and don't forget to shave close on that day.
You have the right to receive your own copy of the student work contract, and this even before your first hour of work. Don't hesitate to ask for it and, if necessary, accompany your employer to the photocopy machine.
• If you want to pursue a job abroad, you must generally be at least 18 years old.
• Within the EEA (European Economic Area), the free movement of workers prevails, so you do not need a work permit and can register with the usual placement offices, such as the Forem in our country.
• Adventurers who want to try their luck outside European borders need a work permit or visa. For example, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have a special "working holiday" agreement for young people with Belgium. Conditions can be requested at the embassy in question. You will find the addresses of the embassies on https://diplomatie.belgium.be
3 golden rules for students who want to work during the academic year:
1. Do not work more than 600 hours If you do not work more than 600 hours as a student, you remain subject to the favorable student work regime and only 4.5% of social security contributions are deducted from your salary. From the 24th day onwards, you pay 13.07% of social security.
2. Make sure the taxman doesn't find you If you earn a good living as a student, the taxman will want a piece of the pie. Fortunately, the amount at which the tax inspector begins to take an interest is quite high. In 2007, a student worker could have up to 6,400 euros net of taxable income before having to pay taxes. In other words, don't work too hard.
3. Don't forget to study
Did you know that the law stipulates that you can only work as a student at times when you are not required to be present at school? Obviously, this is difficult to control: when are you required to be present at school and who will check it? In any case, be careful that your student job does not cause too many hours of partying and don't forget to study.