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Considerable increase in student work during the first quarter of 2012 - - - 2012-06-29

The volume of student work in Belgium has sharply risen in the first quarter of the year 2012. This appears from the available figures of the National Social Security Office (NSSO) and the National Social Security Office of the provincial and local authorities (RSZPPO/ONSSAPL). The effects of the new legislation upon the student work now also show up in the statistics.

More student workers, working longer

During the first quarter of 2012 a total of 132668 students had a job, which is 19% more  than in the first quarter of 2011.

The number of jobs occupied by student workers amounted to 144534 (+22%).

Students have also worked more days. The student employment has represented during the first quarter of 2012 a total of 838556 worked days, which corresponds to an increase by 38% compared to the same period of last year.

Graph student work 2011/1 and 2012/1 persons, jobs and worked days

Employer’s declarations

These figures are borrowed from the information provided for by the DmfA, i.e. the declaration in which the employers communicate every quarterly period to the NSSO and the RSZPPO/ONSSAPL the wages and work hours data relating to their employees. Considering the time which is allowed for sending in the declarations and which is necessary to process them, a more or less complete picture of the quarterly situation only emerges at the earliest 2 months after the end of the quarter.

Influence of the new legislation

It goes without saying that the new legislation on student work, which has taken effect on January 1 2012, is at the origin of the rise in student employment. According to these new rules, students are now allowed to work 50 days at reduced social contributions or, in other words, four days more than under the previous system.

Moreover students can now choose freely their work days. This gives them more room to work outside the summer period than under the former system, which only allowed them to work outside the summer months on condition that by doing so they did not exceed the half of their quota of work days.

Impact of Student@work

The higher figures indicate that the new legislation was already widely known in 2012 at a rather early stage. This is good news, considering the fact that within the scope of the project Student@work the NSSO has realized considerable efforts to support the transition to the new legislation as smoothly as possible. Furthermore, by means of for example the website www.studentatwork.be, a television campaign and a strong presence in the social media, the NSSO has communicated largely about the new regulation.

The figures equally highlight the importance of the online counter ‘Student@work-50days’, which the NSSO has launched.  On this counter the students can read how many days of student work they are still entitled to. All those who are working many days surely want to be informed precisely where they stand. The application ‘Student@work – 50days’ fulfils this need. Consequently the new legislation and the counter are inextricably bound up with one another.

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