Facilities for working students – Private sector

For students who combine their studies with a job in the private sector, there are some facilities that make the combination feasible.

Paid Educational Leave

Fulltime (and sometimes parttime) employees in the private sector are entitled to be absent from work for educational purpose, while maintaining the normal (capped) wage, through the Paid Educational Leave system (in Dutch: Betaald Educatief Verlof: BEV). Paid Educational Leave is a right. Your employer can not refuse, though he has to agree with the planning. The number of hours of Paid Educational Leave you can use is equal to the number of contact hours you have during the academic year, with a maximum of 120  or 180 hours (if you are following a study programme that to obtain a degree which suffers from labour shortage).

Paid Educational Leave is no longer a federal authority. The region where your employer is located, is responsible for your application of Paid Educational Leave.

You can find more information about the conditions and principles on the website Centen voor Studenten 

Administrative formalities

You can apply for Paid Educational Leave during enrolling or re-enrolling. According to the legislation, you should apply at your employer’s office before October 31. If you apply at a later time, this should be within a period of 15 days after your enrollment or after your change of employer. If you decide to request Paid Eductional Leave after the official start of the academic year or if you enroll for the Teacher Education (SLO), you can use the form 'Enrolment Working and studying'. This form, completed and signed, needs to be handed in at the Education and Student administration.

When you are requesting Paid Educational Leave, you need to keep a separate Attendance List Working Students for each course you are following. Your lecturer needs to sign this attendance list after each contact hour you followed. With these lists you are giving a solemn declaration of the number of contact lecture hours that have actually been given and of the lessons you have attended, as well as all legitimate and unofficial absences.

The original attendance lists (photocopies or scans are not accepted), as well as any certificates of authorized absence, if applicable, need to be handed in at the front desk of the Education and Student administration or sent by post. Deadlines for handing in these attendance lists are: the last Friday before Winter holidays (22/12/2017 for the 1st trimester), the last Friday before Spring holidays (30/03/2018 for the 2nd trimester) and June 30 2018 (3rd trimester). After signature by the rector, you will receive a statement of punctuality of the lessons followed. This document is intended for your employer.

(Un)Authorized absence

When you are absent (unauthorized) for more than 10% of the lessons, you lose the right to Paid Educational Leave for a period of 6 months. This period comes into effect the term following the term in which you remained absent. You are authorised absence in the following cases:

  • illness of the student or a family member living under the same roof (medical attestation)
  • public transport strike (attestation public transport company)
  • absence due to professional reasons (attestation employer)
  • strike or illness of the teacher
  • exceptional weather conditions

Do not forget to proof your absence! 

Time credit (career break)

Time credit (career break) offers private-sector workers the possibility to temporarily put their career on hold. Bear in mind that you have to comply to certain seniority conditions.

Time credit with a motive (with a substitute income)

You can apply for time credit with motive if you enroll for a recognized study program (organized by the Flemish, French of German Community or the sector). You need the enroll for a program of at least 27 credits per year or 9 credits per trimester (3 months).

After every quarter of the year you need to hand in an attestation to your employer and the National Employment Office (in Dutch: Rijksdienst voor Arbeidsvoorziening, RVA) within 20 days, which certifies your attendance during the lessons. If you don’t hand in this attestation you will lose your right for time credit as well as your substitute income for the next quarter.

Until the 1st of April 2017, you could apply for time credit without a motive. This is no longer possible.

More information about the conditions and duration of time credit with motive can be found on the webpage of the National Employment Office (only in Dutch).

Under certain conditions you can also apply for an incentive payment (information in Dutch only) from the Flemish government.