Leave to follow a course
If you work for a private organisation in the Brussels-Capital region or the Walloon Region, you are entitled to Paid Educational Leave (BEV) to follow an accredited course of education. If you are employed for at least 50% of the time in the private sector in the Flemish Region, you can apply for Flemish training leave (VOV).
These leave schemes enable you to take time off work for a given period to follow a course of education, while keeping your (capped) salary. Are you following your course in your free time? If so, you will receive extra hours’ leave. Are the lessons given during your work hours? If so, you can take time off to attend them.
Paid educational leave
Conditions and application procedure
The conditions for this vary according to your company’s location.
How do you request it?
- Before 31 October: you can apply for BEV during your (re-)enrolment.
- After 31 October: if you decide to apply for BEV during the academic year or if you are studying for an Educational Master's,you can make use of the form 'Working and Studying'. Send the completed and signed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For each programme component you will need to keep an attendance list. You will need to have this signed by the lecturer at the end of each contact lesson. The document shows how many contact lessons there were and how many lessons you attended or missed with or without authorisation. Online classes also count towards paid educational leave, video recordings do not. To prove your attendance during online classes, you may have your attendance certificate digitally signed by the teacher.
You send the lists along with any attendance certificates via e-mail to email@example.com. The deadlines for this are:
- Lists 1st trimester: submit before the beginning of the winter vacation
- Lists 2nd trimester: submit before the beginning of the spring vacation
- Lists 3rd trimester: submit before 30 June
They will have the documents signed by the rector, after which you will be given a certificate of attendance for the lessons* attended. This is intended for your employer.
*If you are absent without authorisation for more than 10% of the lessons in 1 trimester, you will forfeit the right to paid educational leave for a period of 6 months. Check the conditions and rules of your province on lesson attendance (Brussels-Capital Region, Walloon Region).
Flemish training leave
Everything you need to know about the Flemish training leave.
How to request it?
You apply for Flemish training leave by completing the ‘Work and study’ form and e-mailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is no longer possible to apply for training leave directly during your online enrolment or re-registration.
Did the number of study points you took change in the academic year and after you gave your employer a regular attendance certificate? If so, you will need to give your employer a new regular attendance certificate within 15 days of the change in the number of study points. To do so, please contact the the Student Administration.
You will receive the attestation you need to provide to your employer in the week following the course registration deadline.
Temporary change of work hours for study purposes
As an employee in the private sector, you have the option to apply for time credit on specific grounds. With this type of career break you can temporarily interrupt or reduce your work hours to follow an accredited course of study, while supported by a monthly replacement income from the National Employment Office (RVA).
To qualify for time credit you will have to fulfil a number of conditions relating to seniority and employment. Within 20 calendar days of the end of each quarter you will also need to provide your employer and the RVA with a certificate stating your regular attendance of your course. Without this certificate you will forfeit your time credit and payment for the following quarter.
On top of this career break payment you can apply to the Flemish government for an additional benefit: a study credit incentive bonus.
Financial assistance with your course
Check all the financial support you can get.
Do you work in Flanders or Brussels? Under some conditions the Flemish government can assist with the costs of your course through training vouchers.
SME portfolio grant
Do you live in the Flemish region, and do you wish to follow a course as a self-employed person or at your employer's suggestion? If you meet a number of conditions, you may be able to apply for an SME portfolio grant.
Scholarship from the Flemish Government
To qualify for a scholarship from the Flemish government, you will need to fulfil a number of nationality, study and financial conditions. Age is not important.