Your payroll administration in Q2 – 2020
The Coronavirus strikes in Belgium and is considered a pandemic. There is a real chance that this will have an economic impact for you. The federal government has approved a number of measures to support companies affected by the effects of the coronavirus. For example, one can make use of temporary unemployment due to force majeure and methods are provided for spreading, postponing and exempting from payment of social security contributions, wage withholding tax and other social and fiscal taxes for companies. Would you like to receive more information on the support measures? We are happy to help you!
Follow our website for more information about the measures taken on Coronavirus.
2. Holiday pay
Because of the gloomy weather, our thoughts can sometimes wander off to holidays, even those of your employees. They can count on holiday pay to give them an unforgettable holiday, but when do you, as an employer, have to pay the holiday pay?
For white-collar workers the payment is in principle made at the time they take their main holiday, but in most cases the payment will take place in the course of May or June. The blue-collar workers usually receive the holiday pay from their holiday fund in May.
Does your employee have no or only a limited number of paid holidays? Then there is a range of non-binding alternatives, such as youth and senior holidays or European holidays. Would you like additional information about these alternatives? Please contact us.
3. Eco vouchers
An employer can voluntarily grant eco vouchers to his employees up to a value of 250 EUR each year. In a number of sectors this is compulsory. The conditions for granting these vouchers are laid down in a sectoral collective labour agreement.
Employees can use these vouchers to purchase certain ecological products and services. This is an extra-legal benefit on which, in principle, no taxes or social security contributions are due. These eco vouchers are not deductible as professional expenses for the employer.
Within various joint committees, eco vouchers must be (partially) paid out in the second quarter. This is among others the case for JC 112, 124, 149.04, 200 and 201.
4. Gross premium (JC 200)
The employers within JC 200 must also pay the annual gross premium in June. In 2020, this amounts to a maximum of 265.12 EUR. In case of part-time employment or an incomplete employment period, the aforementioned amount is prorated.
5. Annual report of the Internal Service for Prevention and Protection at Work
Each employer must draw up the annual report before 1 April each year. This report looks back at the business activities of the previous year (2019). It charts all data relating to the health and safety of the employees within the company.
The report must be signed by the director and the internal prevention advisor of the company. In companies with fewer than 20 employees, the director can be the internal prevention advisor. In other companies, an employee should hold this position. Please note: the internal prevention advisor enjoys special dismissal protection.
It is sufficient for the employer to keep this report at the disposal of the supervising officials of the General Directorate for Supervision of Well-being at Work. It no longer has to be sent to them. Failure to draw up this report may result in a criminal penalty.
The various types of forms for the 2019 annual report, with explanations, can be downloaded from the website of the FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue.
6. Socially insured in country of residence without substantial employment? Transitional measure expires as of 1/05/2020
The European Regulation 883/2004, which entered into force on 1 May 2010, replaces Regulation 1408/71 and regulates, among other things, the social security system applicable when people are employed in several member states of the territory of the EEA and Switzerland.
In order to prevent people from being disadvantaged as a result of the introduction of Regulation 883/2004, a transitional arrangement was provided for. This provides that people remain under the old Regulation as long as their situation of residence/work does not change or they have not explicitly requested the application of Regulation 883/2004. This transitional arrangement expires this year, i.e. on 30 April 2020.
For people who were socially insured in their country of residence under the old Regulation 1408/71, but who do not perform “substantial” activities there as required under the new Regulation 883/2004, there will be a change on 1 May 2020 regarding the country where they are socially insured and subject to social security contributions. This is of course only the case to the extent that their situation has not changed since 1 May 2010 and the application of the new Regulation 883/2004 has not previously been requested.
Would you like to know what the expiry of the transitional arrangement means for your situation? Van Havermaet is happy to help you!
7. House arrest in the hospitality industry (JC 302)
Hospitality workers who are ill and have an incapacity for work of at least five days, but who are still allowed to leave the house, are automatically placed under medical house arrest.
In concrete terms, this means that during the first three working days of the period of incapacity for work, the employees must remain available for a period of four hours for a possible visit of the control doctor. For part-time employees, the number of hours is prorated.
If the employee is not at home during the period of medical house arrest, the employer is not obliged to pay guaranteed wages and this even from the first day of the medical certificate.
8. Abolition of mobility allowance
The Constitutional Court has abolished the mobility allowance or ‘cash for cars’ scheme in a judgment of 23 January 2020. This scheme was introduced by an Act of 30 March 2018 to encourage employees to exchange their company car for a cash allowance. The allowance was seen as a ‘green’ alternative to the company car.
Why was this scheme abolished?
This scheme is abolished because it is in opposition to the constitutional principle of equality. According to the Court, there is an unequal treatment between, on the one hand, employees who receive a low taxed salary because they have exchanged their company car and, on the other hand, employees who did not have a company car and therefore do not receive a fiscally advantageous salary because their salary follows the normal parafiscal regime. However, there is no certainty that this scheme succeeds in achieving the objective pursued (reducing the number of cars on the road).
What about the people benefiting from a mobility allowance?
In its current version, the scheme will remain in place until 31 December 2020. The employers and employees who already make use of the mobility allowance can still receive this allowance until 31 December 2020 at the latest. However, no new mobility allowances can be added. After, an alternative benefit can be provided to replace the abolished mobility allowance, such as the mobility budget. The mobility budget is a budget that the employee receives from the employer as compensation for returning the company car that he had at his disposal or to which he was entitled. The employee is free to spend this budget on a sustainable alternative such as a more environmentally friendly car or a number of sustainable modes of transport (e.g. bicycle, public transport, …). The balance of the budget that remains after deduction of any spending is paid out in cash. The Act of 17 March 2019 on the mobility budget explicitly provides for the possibility of granting a mobility budget to replace a mobility allowance.
Publication date: 17 March 2020