A crucial step in students' careers, the internship offers the opportunity to learn about a field that interests us, while obtaining new skills to add to the CV. When choosing an internship, it is normal to be interested in the remuneration of the latter, especially if you want to do your internship abroad ! Indeed, depending on the country, the remuneration of interns is different. Are internships in Belgium paid? In this article, we explain how internship remuneration works in Belgium !
Remuneration for internships in Belgium
There are many questions about the remuneration of trainees in Belgium. You yourself hear different versions. Your friend received a salary during his internship in Belgium, and yet, all the internships you apply for are unpaid... No more grey areas! You should know that in Belgium, the remuneration of the internship depends on the type of internship carried out, and therefore, on your internship contract!
The internship carried out as part of the studies
With an internship agreement
Students are often required to complete a mandatory internship as part of their studies or to obtain their degree. In this case, the young person has a dual status according to the federal public service. On the one hand, the student is enrolled in a full-time school. On the other hand, he/she is subject to school regulations. The company then signs a tripartite internship agreement that binds the young person and the educational institution.
So far, so good! Except that, for this type of internship in Belgium, the interns are not paid. According to Belgian law, if the internship in a company is carried out as part of a school course, it is considered above all as an apprenticeship. The intern is integrated into a professional environment and takes part in the missions but "does not receive any allowance or remuneration" for the work he or she performs.
And why? The vision in Belgium is somewhat different. An internship is an experience that aims to train a student and make him or her develop new skills. Subsequently, it is a great way to value the student. Thanks to this experience, he/she can enter the job market more easily. In Belgium, the internship is perceived as training, which requires time and investment for the employer. Since the company offers a learning and training environment , there is no need to pay interns, especially since an intern is not necessarily profitable for the company!
Exceptions to Internship Pay
However, certain advantages are sometimes granted to students who do their internship in Belgium. The National Social Security Office allows the company to reimburse, for example, expenses related to the completion of the internship, such as travel, meals or even accommodation. Of course, the goal is not for you to break the bank during your internship! Other employers will offer gratuities throughout or at the end of the internship to reward the intern for the work done (especially if it's done right!). You just have to be aware that a gratification is not systematic; It will depend on the structure and its means.
Remuneration for internships outside of studies
Once they have completed their studies, some young people want to do an internship in a company before entering the job market. This is an opportunity for them to have a new and rewarding professional experience. The application for an internship in Belgium is then initiated by the young person and not by an educational institution. The contract is a professional immersion contract. In this case, the internship in a company will have to be compensated according to age and according to a calculation made on the basis of the minimum monthly salary.
Other contract: The student employment contract
Another type of contract that allows the employer to offer remuneration to interns in Belgium is the student employment contract.
According to the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue , "the student employment contract is an employment contract concluded between a student and an employer, by which the student undertakes to perform, under the authority of an employer, work for remuneration."
In this case, the young person must have student status and the contract must be concluded for a fixed period. Foreign students can also benefit from it and have rules common to Belgian students if they come from a country of the European Economic Area or Switzerland. If you would like more information about this type of contract, please visit the website of the Federal Public Service.
How to find an internship in Belgium?
To choose an internship in Belgium, you can search on the Meet My Job recruitment platform. It only references companies that have a strong societal and/or environmental impact! You will find many internship offers in Brussels, Namur, Liège, Walloon Brabant and elsewhere in Belgium. Some companies pay interns; this is an element that is often mentioned in our internship offers in Belgium. If you send an unsolicited application, do not hesitate to indicate that you are looking for a paid internship in your application. Nothing ventured nothing gained!