TEMPORARY UNEMPLOYMENT FORCE MAJEURE
Just like last year, the periods of temporary unemployment due to force majeure corona until 31 December 2021 are equated for the calculation of the holiday entitlement in 2022. The same applies to the temporary unemployment due to force majeure flooding that took place in our country in July 2021.
SECTOR AGREEMENT LC200 2021-2022
The employer and employee organisations in Labour Committee 200 have reached a sector agreement of which the points below are useful to know.
1. Indexation salaries December 2021
Employers who fall under Labour Committee 200 must apply an indexation of 0.4% to their employees' salaries as of 1 December 2021. This also means that those who already pay out the end-of-year premium in November will have to recalculate it in December, as the end-of-year premium must be based on the salary of December.
If in the period 2021-2022, according to the modalities specific to the company, effective salary increases and/or other benefits in terms of purchasing power are granted that are equivalent, this obligation does not apply. Annual salary increases that automatically result from salary scales at company level based on professional experience and/or seniority are not included in the indexation.
This indexation does not replace the annual indexation on 1 January. As from 1 January 2022, you will have to index the salaries again. The current prognosis is 3.18%.
2. Corona premium in function of turnover increase
If your company has achieved a positive operating profit in 2019 and 2020 (code 9901 on the annual account), you will be obliged to grant a corona premium to your employees in service on 30 November 2021 and this before 31 December 2021 in the form of consumption vouchers:
- turnover increase (code 70) or if not available gross margin increase (code 9900) of at least 5%: 125,00 euro to be granted per employee;
- turnover increase (code 70) or if not available gross margin increase (code 9900) of at least 10%: 250,00 euro to be granted per employee.
For this purpose, the periods of temporary unemployment corona will be equated with actual performance. For part-time employees, the amount will be granted pro rata based on their employment regime on 30 November 2021.
By 15 December 2021 at the latest, the employer must send a written communication to the trade union delegation or, in its absence, to the employees.
Employers are free to grant a higher amount, with a maximum of 500,00 euro per employee.
3. Commuting allowance
As from 1 January 2022, the annual gross limit below which compensation for private transport is mandatory will be raised from 27.750,00 euro to 29.680,00 euro.
In addition, as from 1 July 2022, the bicycle allowance to be paid to a regular user of a bicycle for commuting purposes will increase from 0,10 euro to 0,20 euro per km actually travelled, with a maximum of 8 euro per working day (i.e. for a maximum of 40 km there and back). This allowance can only be combined with the public transport allowance.
4. Extension of training days
For the period 2022-2023, the number of training days is extended as follows:
- at least 20 employees: average of 6 days per FTE (now: 5);
- at least 10 employees: average of 4,5 days per FTE (now: 4);
- less than 10 employees: average of 4 days per FTE remains.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR DECEASE FOR DE FACTO COHABITANTS
Leave of absence for decease is now also applicable for de facto cohabitants. Until 24 July 2021, this right was only reserved for married couples and legal cohabitants.
MODIFICATIONS MOBILITY BUDGET
The federal mobility budget will become more accessible as from 1 January 2022. Employees who are eligible for a company car due to promotion are currently still subject to a 12-month waiting period. As from 1 January 2022 however, such employees will be able to access the mobility budget immediately.
The waiting period for employers remains unchanged. The mobility budget can only be introduced after a company car has been offered to employees for at least 36 months. The existing exception for start-up employers remains valid.
The limits of the mobility budget have also been adjusted:
- must amount to at least 3,000.00 euro per year;
- can amount to a maximum of 1/5th of the total gross annual salary of the employee, with a maximum of 16,000.00 euro.
Those who already grant a mobility budget must adapt the current plan to the new rules by 1 January 2022. After all, there is no transition period. There is an exception to this for mobility budgets granted prior to the publication of this law in the Belgian Official Gazette: these must only be within the minimum and maximum limits set out above by 1 January 2023.
MANDATORY TELEWORK AGAIN
In our country, the government has again imposed an obligation to telework since 20 November 2021 due to the rising corona figures. In positions where teleworking is possible, one may be present at work a maximum of 1 day per week in the context of a return moment. From 13 December 2021 onward (and initially until 28 January 2022), this will become a maximum of 2 days. The employees cannot be obliged to participate in such return moments.
There may be a maximum of 20% presence at work at all times, including freelancers etc. For micro-enterprises, the limit is 5 employees.
Just like in spring, a telework declaration must be submitted by the 6th calendar day of the month at the latest, which refers to the situation on the 1st working day of the month, containing the total number of persons working in the company and the number of persons of these who are in a position that is not teleworkable.
However, for the period up to and including 31 December 2021, it exceptionally concerns the situation on Wednesday 24 November 2021 and the declaration must be submitted by Tuesday 30 November 2021. If there are no changes in the following month, no new declaration needs to be submitted. The declaration obligation does not apply to SMEs where less than 5 persons are working (regardless of their employment relationship).
If you have any questions regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to contact our RSM Belgium | Tax team ([email protected]).