Trainees' rights

Social protection for trainees

1 - Ordinary internships

1.1 - Compulsory periods of training during studies

Certain study programmes require students to take a period of training in order to qualify. If the period of training is unpaid, the trainee does not have to be registered with the « Office national de la sécurité sociale » and no payments have to be made. In addition, it's worth noting that in Belgium, students can benefit from dependant persons health insurance until the age of 25 so long as they regularly due classes in the secondary, higher or professional education system. Students who don't benefit from the above health insurance can benefit from compulsory insurance against illness and invalidity for students. If the training period is paid, complete social security payments are due.

1.2 - Non-compulsory training periods

Certain students or recently qualified students choose to participate in training with a view to gaining practical experience. In order to determine whether they are subject to social security payments, their situation will be analysed in the same way as for compulsory training periods. In other words depending on whether the training period is paid or unpaid.

2 - Training periods for certain liberal professions

The requirement to register with the « Office national de la sécurité sociale » for work similar to that accomplished under a work contract is not applicable to these training periods. Consequently, these trainees must be registered with the « Office national de la sécurité sociale » only if the training period is accomplished within the framework of a work contract. If that is the case, the general employees scheme is applicable, however it is relatively rare for the training period to fall into this category. When the training period is not accomplished under contract, which is generally the case, trainees undertaking compulsory training to acquire access to their profession (for example, lawyers, bailiffs, architects etc.) are covered by the same social security system as the self-employed people.

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