Who is eligible?

On the job seeker’s side

All young jobseekers under 30 years of age can obtain a CAE who have been registered for at least three months with the National Employment Agency (ADEM hereafter), regardless of their level of qualification. 

An exception to the registration period may be granted for young jobseekers who are oriented towards an apprenticeship, pending the conclusion of an apprenticeship contract. 

Employers' side

Only employers with the legal form of a trading company are excluded. 

All others are eligible, including municipalities, unions of municipalities, ministries, administrations, public institutions, public utility institutions, associations, foundations, etc. 

The National Employment Agency may refuse to make a young job seeker available to an employer under an employment support contract if the employer clearly abuses this measure. 

How to find an available position?

ADEM acts as an intermediary between job seekers and employers interested in hiring via a CAE. 

Employers send their request for young job seekers to the youth employment representative at the National Employment Agency. They attach a description of the tasks to be performed and a profile of the position to be filled. 

ATTENTION: A young jobseeker who refuses a job support contract without a valid reason is not eligible for full unemployment benefits. 

How is the contract concluded?

The CAE is concluded between the young person and ADEM. 

How long does it last?

The CAE is concluded for a period of 12 months. 

The Director of ADEM, on the advice of the Youth Employment Officer, may authorise a maximum extension of the contract of six months with the same employer, on a duly motivated request from the employer submitted at least one month before the end of the contract. It may also agree to the conclusion of a new CAE for six months with another employer. 


How long does the young person work?

The working time is 40 hours per week. 

During these 40 hours, the young person must be able to take part in training courses, whether approved and organised by ADEM or the employer. 

The employer must also allow young job seekers to meet their obligations to ADEM, particularly regarding job offers and summonses, during his working hours. 

Similarly, the young person must be able to participate in one or more job interviews. This participation must be the subject of a certificate of attendance signed by a potential employer (pre-printed form made available by ADEM). The young job seeker is required to give this certificate to an employer and to send a copy to the youth employment officer. 

How is the young person supervised?

The employer appoints a mentor to assist and supervise the young person during the CAE. 

The youth employment officer may invite the mentor to attend training and information sessions. 

Within one month of the conclusion of the CAE, the employer and the mentor draw up a training plan with the young person, which is sent to the ADEM. 

During the execution of the employment support contract, the mentor, with the participation of the young job seeker, informs ADEM of the skills and deficiencies noted, as well as the progress to be made by the person concerned. 

The youth employment officer is entitled to visit the workplace to ensure that the contract is being properly executed. 

How is a young person evaluated?

The National Employment Agency as well as the employer and the mentor carry out evaluations of the young job seeker under the employment support contract six months after the start of the contract and eight weeks before the end of the contract. 

At the end of the employment support contract the employer draws up a certificate of completion of the measure on the nature and duration of the occupation and on any training. 

What is the young person's remuneration?

Young jobseekers aged 18 or over receive an allowance equal to 100% of the minimum social wage that they would receive if employed as an unskilled worker (see Paramètres sociaux).

Young people under the age of 18 will only receive 80% of the unskilled minimum social wage. 

Persons with a higher technical diploma (BTS), bachelor’s degree or master’s degree are entitled to 130% of the minimum social wage for unskilled workers. 

The compensation is subject to the social security and tax charges provided for in the case of salaries. 

The sponsor may optionally pay the youth a merit bonus that is not reimbursable by the Employment Fund. 


What are the common law rules that apply?

Young people with a CAE are entitled to the leave applicable in the company where they work. 

In the event of night work, overtime work, work on public holidays and work on Sundays, the relevant legal, regulatory and collective bargaining provisions shall also apply. 

Periods of employment under a CAE are considered as periods of training entitling to full unemployment benefits. 


What are the young person's obligations?

Young persons must accept any suitable job offered to them by ADEM, even if it is under an Employment Initiation Contract. 

Young persons working under an employment support contract with training who enter into an employment contract, may complete their training with the agreement of the youth employment representative. 

What assistance is available to the employer?

The Employment Fund reimburses employers other than the State, which provides 100% reimbursement, 75% of the allowance received by young job seekers during the first 12 months of the employment support contract, as well as the employer’s share of social security charges. 

If the contract is extended, reimbursement is reduced to 50% of the allowance. 

In addition, employers benefit from a bonus if a young person is hired following the CAE (see next question). 

How is the employer encouraged to hire the young person at the end of the contract?

The hiring of a young person after a CAE must be done by means of a permanent contract without a trial period. 

In return, ADEM pays the employer’s share of the employer’s charges for the twelve months from the date of recruitment. 

This premium is paid on application by the employer to ADEM, but only 12 months after the young person has been hired on a permanent contract, provided that the young person is still in the company at the time of the application. 

How does the contract end?

The Director of ADEM, on the advice of the youth employment officer, may terminate the employment support contract via eight days’ notice by registered letter at the duly substantiated request of the employer and where the young job seeker fails to meet ADEM’s obligations without good reason. 

In case of serious reasons, the eight-day notice period is not applicable.  

Such terminations result in young jobseekers losing eligibility for full unemployment benefits. 

Young persons may terminate the employment support contract by giving eight days’ notice by registered letter, provided they can demonstrate valid and convincing reasons. 

At the end of the employment support contract, the employer must draw up a certificate of completion for the CAE measure detailing the type and duration of the job and any training. 

CSL Publication and Case law

CAE and CIE contracts 

Find more information in our publication downloadable HERE

Legal Info 

Download the N°1-2020 of this newsletter HERE