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    Title: 
    Paid educational leave
    Content: 
    Title: 
    Making time for studies
    Text: 

    The Paid Educational Leave system states that full-time (and some part-time) employees in the private sector are entitled to be absent from work for educational purposes, while maintaining their normal wage.

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    Introduction
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    How does the Paid Educational Leave work?
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    As an employee in the private sector you can apply for Paid Educational Leave. Your employer can not refuse, though he must  agree with the planning of your absences. For example, your employer may object to the simultaneous absence of more than 10% of his workforce.

    Employees may have up to 120 hours of Paid Educational Leave. This means a maximum of 120 contact hours during the academic year, in which you can be absent from work in order to follow a recognized study programme. If you are following a study programme to obtain a degree which suffers from labour shortage, the maximum is increased to 180 hours.

    You can find more information about the conditions and regulations of Paid Educational Leave on the website Centen voor Studenten.

    From 1 September 2019 Flemish Educational Leave

    From 1 September 2019 the system for employees in an organisation located in Flanders changes. For programmes starting September 1st, 2019 or later, the Flemish Educational Leave system will replace the Paid Educational Leave system. Until August 31st, 2019, the legislation of the Paid Educational Leave will be applicable for all students.

    Students working for an organisation which is located in the Brussels Capital Region or the Walloon Region, nothing changes in 2019-2020. In this case the legislation of Paid Educational Leave is still applicable as this was in 2018-2019. This system will change in the near future, but no changes are expected for academic year 2019-2020.

    As soon as we have more information about the details of this new Flemish Educational Leave system, this will be published on this webpage.

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    From 1 September 2019 changes for employees in an organisation located in Flanders
    Title: 
    Requesting paid leave
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    You can apply for Paid Educational Leave during enrolment and re-enrolment periods. 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 enrolment 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 enrol 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.

    Paid Educational Leave is no longer a federal authority. The region of your place of employment will foresee your application for Paid Educational Leave.

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    Proof of attendance
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    During their studies, employees need to keep an Attendance List for each course they are following. Your lecturer needs to sign this attendance list after each contact hour you attend. These lists are proof of the number of lecture hours and seminars you went to, as well as your motivated or non-motivated absences. You can download the Attendance List Working Students here.

    The original attendance lists, along with eventual certificates of authorized absence, need to be handed in at the front desk of the Education and Student Administration. It's also possible to send them by post.

    After receiving a signature from the rector, you will get a statement of punctuality on the classes you attended. This document is intended for your employer.

    The deadlines for handing in the attendance lists are as follows:

    • the last Friday before Winter holidays (1st trimester)
    • the last Friday before Spring holidays (2nd trimester)
    • June 30th (3rd trimester)
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    Title: 
    Absence from class
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    If you have unjustified absences for more than 10% of contact hours, you lose the right to Paid Educational Leave for a period of 6 months. This period comes into effect at the start of the term following the one in which you absented.

    Absences are considered to be well-motivated in the following cases:

    • illness of the student or a family member living under the same roof (requires medical attestation)
    • public transport strike (requires attestation from the public transport company)
    • absence due to professional reasons (requires attestation signed by employer)
    • strike or illness of the teacher
    • exceptional weather conditions
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    Time credit
    Content: 
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    Take a break from work... to study full-time
    Text: 

    Time credit, also known as a career break, offers private-sector workers the possibility to temporarily put their career on hold to study.

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    More information about the conditions and duration of time credit 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. 

    Workers in the private sector are only entitled to time credit with a motive (with a substitute income). Until the 1st of April 2017, private sector employees could apply for time credit without a motive, but this is no longer possible.

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    Registration and proof of attendance
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    You can apply for time credit with a motive if you enroll for a study program that's recognised  by the Flemish, French of German Community or sector. You need to enroll for a program with at least 27 credits per year or 9 credits per trimester.

    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.

    Be careful, since if you don’t hand in this attestation, you will lose your right to time credit as well as your substitute income for the next quarter.

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    English
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    Students working in the private sector