Part of the new system involves employers filling in a quarterly electronic declaration for any students they have employed, detailing their working days. The database will be open to bosses and students alike to consult, to enable them to keep track of how many days they have used up, and how many remain.
Opposition Open VLD, however, maintain their demand for the limit to be transformed into one of 400 hours instead of 50 days. Despite the two measures being roughly equivalent, supporters including Nele Lijnen, member of the federal parliament for Open VLD, consider a limit based on hours would permit more flexibility for students and employers alike, since at present even a day worked at half-time is considered towards the limit of 50.
• Meanwhile employers have until 15 August to nominate a job-student of their choice for this year's Job Student of the Year award, organised by Unizo, the organisation for the self-employed. This year for the first time, an award goes not only to the national winner, but winners of provincial heats will also receive a smartphone and an honourable mention.
During a survey conducted in the last period of student employment in the Easter holidays, Unizo discovered that 37% of employers thought job-students were as good as permanent staff, while 51% thought it worth time and money to invest in training for them. Unizo welcomed the agreement on the new day-limits. “The new rules are more in keeping with the reality of job-students,” the organisation said, “and respond to their more flexible efforts.”