Working as a young person in Belgium

young woman working at a bar

As a young person, earning some extra pocket money comes in handy. Once you are no longer in full-time compulsory education, the doors to the job market are wide open.

Whether you are looking for a side job during your studies or ready to enter the professional world after completing your education, there are countless job opportunities. In this article, we explore the different opportunities and protective measures that apply to young people who want to work in Belgium.

Working as a Young Person: Protection and Restrictions

Belgian legislation recognises a special category of young workers, namely ‘youth workers’. This group includes underage workers who are at least 15 years old and are no longer subject to full-time compulsory education. Full-time compulsory education ends once you have completed the first two years of secondary education with a full curriculum (regardless of whether you have passed this) or once you turn 16.

While young workers are given the opportunity to participate in the workforce, strict measures and restrictions are in place to ensure their well-being and development.

Protective Measures for Young Workers

An employer who employs young people will have to carry out an annual risk assessment and take the necessary prevention measures to ensure that young people are adequately protected when carrying out their work.

Study and work

If you are still studying and this is your main objective, you can enter into a student contract, which has the advantage that you pay less social security contributions and thus see more money appear in your bank account.

As long as your income is below a certain limit, your student job will have little impact on your parents’ tax situation. 

You can find more information about working as a job student on the website Student@Work.

Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Through the specific status of self-employed student, you can already start working on your entrepreneurial idea during your studies. 

Want to know more about the possibilities of working during your studies? This article will give you an overview of the different options.

After Studies: Vocational Integration Time and Holidays

After completing your studies, you can register as a jobseeker and start your vocational integration period. During this period, you retain your right to child benefit if your income remains below a certain level. If you have not found a job after 310 days, you will be eligible for a job-integration benefit. 

Got your first real job and you are under 25? Then you should know that as a young person, you are entitled to youth holidays, which allow you to take up to four weeks of paid holidays in the year after you graduate.


Working as a young person in Belgium offers a range of opportunities for both students and recent graduates. The protective measures and restrictions that apply to young workers ensure that their safety and well-being are paramount. The Belgian system encourages young people to gain work experience and prepare for a successful future in the professional world.


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