Up to and including the month in which you turn 18, you are unconditionally entitled to the Groeipakket if you live in Flanders. This means you do not need to meet any other requirements. You can work unlimited hours as a job student.
Between the ages of 18 and 25 you are allowed to work as a student and still keep your Groeipakket if you:
- work a maximum of 600 hours per year on a student contract (with reduced social security contributions);
- work a maximum of 80 hours per month on a regular employment contract. This means interims, flexi-jobs, fixed-term or open-ended contracts, student contracts without reduced social contributions or doctoral fellowships. Exception: if you work as a monitor or a childminder under sui generis status, these hours do not count.
- are self-employed for which no contributions are due when you are working in self-employed status as your primary occupation;
- are not on social benefits. If you are on social benefits, you are not entitled to the Groeipakket for that month. Exception: receiving a social benefit resulting from employment within the context of dual learning, an occupational accident or an occupational disease are allowed. A paid traineeship contract, a guaranteed minimum income benefit or an allowance for voluntary work are also allowed.
The amount of your salary is irrelevant. There is no income threshold for the Groeipakket. How much you earn does matter for taxes.
What if you exceed the permitted number of hours?
- If you have exceeded the 600 hours per year permitted on your student contract, the extra hours are factored in within the 80-hour limit you are allowed to work each month on a regular employment contract. You also pay the normal social security contributions from then on. To establish this, your payment fund goes by the data from the RSZ.
- If you have exceeded the 80 hours a month on a regular employment contract, you are not entitled to the Groeipakket for that particular month. This is assessed on a month-by-month basis.
You are free to work on a student contract and a regular employment contract at the same time. The requirements are verified separately.
These rules apply throughout the whole year, including the summer months.
Working as a job student: fresh out of school
Doing a student job while fresh out of school? This is possible under one condition: if you obtain your degree in June, you can work as a job student until 30 September of that year.
Attention: if you start working for the same employer immediately after your student job with a regular employment contract, the nature of your new job must be clearly different from your job as a student. This is because your employer may not use your student contract as a trial period for your regular contract.
If you are a student in part-time education, in a part-time training programme or in a dual learning system, you are also allowed to work as a job student if:
- you work on a student contract for an employer other than the employer at whose company you are taking your practical workplace training. In the summer months of July and August you are also allowed to work a holiday job with your traineeship provider.
- you work your student job hours outside of the hours of the theoretical or practical training.
- You are not on social benefits. Exception: receiving a social benefit resulting from employment within the context of dual learning or a paid traineeship contract is allowed.
Between 21 and 25 years of age, study and employment conditions apply to retain entitlement to the basic amount:
- You work a maximum of 600 hours per year with a student contract.
- You work a maximum of 80 hours per month with a regular employment contract.
- You are self-employed for which no contributions are due as a self-employed person in main occupation.
A child with a support need may be entitled to a care allowance, depending on the number of points. Up to the age of 18, there are no additional eligibility requirements for the care allowance.
Between 18 and 21 years of age, employment conditions do apply for the care allowance. The child retains the care allowance if it:
- works a maximum of 600 hours per year with a student contract.
- works a maximum of 80 hours per month with a regular employment contract.
- is self-employed for which no contributions are due as a self-employed person in main occupation.
- works in a social enterprise.
- has employment that falls under dual learning, a paid internship, an apprenticeship contract or practical on-the-job training.
- does not receive social benefits. Exception: a vocational integration benefit or social benefit resulting from an activity in a social enterprise, a work placement within dual learning, an apprenticeship contract or a paid traineeship are allowed.
If the teenager engages in a gainful activity that does not meet these conditions, the monthly care allowance for children with specific support needs will be suspended.
Did you know:
- Student@work helps you keep track of how many hours of student work you can still do at reduced social contributions (and thus prevents you from exceeding your 600 hours).
- with Student@work, you can make a certificate for your employer. This allows you to show an employer how many hours he can still employ you without exceeding 600 hours.
- Student@work gives you an overview of all the student jobs you have done and those for which you have a student contract.
- you can also use the free app Student@work, available for iOS and Android.