In April 2020, the constitutional court of Belgium has destroyed the law that allows ‘verenigingswerk’ or ‘bijklussen’.
You can still work with verenigingswerk in 2020. It is still unsure whether there will be an alternative for 2021, and if so, what it would look like.
What is it and who is it for?
Does your organisation work with a teacher who gives dance lessons as well as having a permanent job? Or are you a pensioner who helps to run a dance group? In that case, you can apply the scheme for extra work with clubs and associations, known as ‘verenigingswerk’ or ‘work for an association’.
You can earn extra money without paying tax on it under certain conditions. You can do odd jobs for private individuals, which is called ‘citizen-to-citizen services’. But it is also possible to do the same for a club or association, as an ‘association worker’.
To be able to do odd jobs without paying tax on these earnings, you need to have a main job that provides a source of income and gives you social security rights. Odd jobs are allowed for people whose main status is:
- an employee (working at least 4/5ths of a full-time job)
- self-employed as their main activity (doing tasks different from those they do as odd jobs)
- a pensioner.
Students, unemployed people and homemakers cannot use this option. Neither may the association replace a permanent employee with an odd-job person.
Find out more about who is eligible for work for an association at the site bijklussen.be.
Association worker status can only be used in the non-profit sector (by non-profit organisations or de facto associations) and only for specifically defined tasks. The tasks you can do as an association worker include:
- artistic or technical-artistic coach in the amateur arts sector, arts sector and cultural education sector;
- a person active in socio-cultural projects for adults, organisations to protect (…) cultural heritage and heritage buildings (…), cultural and artistic organisations.
Giving dance lessons is permitted, as is helping with administration and communication in amateur arts associations. Consult the full list of tasks here.
Work for an association (sometimes also called ‘leisure time work’) should not be confused with voluntary work! Voluntary work is free, with few obligations. A volunteer’s allowance is purely a reimbursement of expenses, not payment for work done. Find out more here about the difference between voluntary work and work for an association.
Payment, limits and maximums
Maximum amounts for 2020:
- Maximum 528,33 euros per month per person
- Maximum 6.340 euros per calendar year per person
For sports activities (numbers 1 and 2 on the list of allowed activities) there is a raised ceiling of 1.056,66 euros per month. The yearly limit stays the same.
Be careful! That amount includes any travel costs and expenses.
The maximum monthly and annual amount is adjusted each year.
Paperwork and obligations
Draw up an ‘odd jobs contract’ between the association and the person who does the work. It can state the duration, payment and so on. You will find an example of an odd-job contract here.
If your association wants to work with odd-job people – whether it is a de facto association or a non-profit organisation – you need to register at www.verenigingswerk.be. You need to indicate on this platform who is providing services to you, for what period they are providing that service (maximum 1 year) and what amount that person receives per month. You can also check declarations you have made in the past on the platform.
Allow sufficient time and patience to register your association on this website for the first time. You might have to go through different steps before you can represent your association digitally on this social security portal. Make sure you have all the official documents at hand (e.g. your business registration number for a non-profit organisation or the national ID numbers of at least 2 members of a de facto association), as well as your e-ID and card reader.
If you are an association worker yourself, you can see a list of all the odd jobs or association work declared for you at www.verenigingswerk.be. You will see how much you have already earned per month and per year. That shows you how much you are still allowed to earn.
Can you combine it with other payments and statuses?
As is the case with most other employment statuses: you are not allowed to combine or alternate different forms of payment for the same task done for the same organiser.
You cannot combine work for an association with unemployment benefits or a student contract.
If you are self-employed as your main activity, you cannot do odd jobs for an association if they are the same kind of task you do for your main activity.
You are not allowed to do voluntary work and paid odd jobs for the same association, unless you do not get any reimbursement of expenses whatsoever for your voluntary work.
You cannot do odd jobs for an association if you have worked for the association within the last year as a (temporary) worker from an employment agency or an employee. So if you left employment with the association a year ago, you can do odd jobs there. This does not apply to student contracts and pensioners. They can start doing odd jobs for the same association as soon as their employment contract ends.
It is also possible to transition directly to an employment contract with the same organisation as soon as you stop doing ‘work for an association’ for them.
Taxes and social security
If the conditions are met and you stay below the maximum amounts, you don’t have to pay any tax or social security contributions on these earnings.
Consequently working under this scheme will not allow you to build up any social security rights. That is logical, because you are building them up through your main activity or profession.