The Act of 24 May 2023 and Royal Decree of 23 April 2023 offer companies that achieved (exceptionally) high profits in 2022, the possibility to grant a purchasing power premium to their employees. This premium aims to contribute to the economic recovery after the energy crisis.
Duration and use
This premium can be awarded form 1 June 2023 until 31 December 2023.
It must be granted in the form of a consumption voucher, so it cannot be allocated in cash. The voucher will be valid until 31 December 2024.
The premium can be used for various purposes, such as the payment of meals or for the purchase of prepared food, like is the case for meal vouchers. In addition, the premium can also be used to purchase ecological products and services included in the list annexed to collective agreement no. 98 regarding eco vouchers.
The granting of the purchasing power premium must, in principle, be regulated by a collective bargaining agreement concluded at sector or company level. In case a collective bargaining agreement is concluded at sector level, it must, in order to be legally valid, contain definitions of high profits and exceptionally high profits. In case of a collective bargaining agreement at company level, a justification must be added regarding the high profits achieved by the company during the crisis of 2022.
However, if such a collective bargaining agreement cannot be concluded due to lack of union representation or if it concerns a category of personnel to which such an agreement does not usually apply, the allocation may be regulated by an individual agreement.
In companies where the purchasing power premium is concluded at sector level, the maximum amount of the premium may not exceed 500 EUR for companies that generated "high profits" in 2022 and 750 EUR for companies that achieved "exceptionally high profits" in 2022.
For companies where the premium is outlined in a company collective bargaining agreement, the maximum amount is set at 750 EUR, with the sole criterion being the company's attainment of "high profits" in 2022.
Taxation and social security
The purchasing power premium will be non-taxable for the employee and 100% deductible for the employer provided that the above conditions are met.
The purchasing power premium is excluded from regular social security contributions, provided that it meets several conditions. The main condition is that the purchasing power premium may not be granted to replace or convert wages, premiums, benefits in kind or any other advantage. Nonetheless, a special employer social security contribution of 16.5% will be due.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.