What is time credit?

Time credit gives workers in the private sector the option to take a career break – in whole or in part – for a certain period of time for one of the reasons provided for in the regulations.

It is a possibility offered by the employer, not a right. The employee who wishes to benefit from time credit must obtain the agreement of his employer. The agreement must cover the principle of the time credit, but also the form of the break, its starting date and its duration.

If the conditions for access are met, the worker can benefit from a “interruption allowances” in order to compensate for the loss of salary. These allowances are flat-rate. The scales can be consulted on the National Employment Office website.


There are six justifications for time-credit, divided into two categories: time-credit for caring for a relative (reasons 1 to 5) and time-credit for training (reason 6).

  1. To look after a child under 8 years of age.
  2. Palliative care.
    This reason allows a worker to provide palliative care to a person at the end of life, suffering from an incurable disease in terminal phase.
  3. To look after of a seriously sick relative.
    This reason allows a worker to care for a member of his/her family or household who is suffering from a serious health problem.
  4. To look after a child under 21 years of age with a disability.
  5. To look after of a seriously sick child or a seriously ill minor child in his/her household.
  6. Following a recognised training course.

Forms of interruption

  1. Total suspension. It allows a worker to take a full time career break
    Who is it for? All workers, regardless of whether they work full-time or part-time.
  2. Reduction by 1/2.This allows a worker to temporarily reduce working hours with 50% .
    Who is it for? Only for workers who are employed at least ¾ time by the employer with whom they wish to reduce their benefits.
  3. Reduction by 1/5th. This allows a worker to temporarily reduce working hours with 20%.
    Who is it for? For all full-time workers.


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