Payroll Newsletter Q1 2022

Indexations January 2022

As from January 1st , 2022 an adjustment will take place for the wages of the joint labour committee 200 based on the consumer price index.

The most recent prognosis (one month before application) for the index increase on wages in JLC 200, is 3.56%.

Consequently, we inform you that the December 2021 salary of the employees of your company (as processed on the December payroll) will need to be increased as from January 2022 onwards with 3,56%.
Unless you instruct us otherwise, we will take this into account for the January payroll of 2022.

Telework declaration

Since the end of November, it has been decided that all employees must work from home for four days a week if they have the possibility to do so.
The obligation remains in force until 20 December 2021 (unless otherwise decided by the Belgian government).
From 20 December 2021 onwards, employees may return to the office for maximum 2 days per week. This measure is provisionally applicable for an indefinite period.

The employer is obliged to indicate how many employees are present in the office and how many employees are unable to work from home. Do not forget that for the latter, the employer must provide a certificate confirming the necessity of the employee’s presence in the company.

Sector agreement

  • JLC 207

After social consultation, a draft sector agreement was reached within JLC 207 for the years 2021 and 2022. Below you will find an overview of the main decisions for 2021 and 2022 (this list is not exhaustive).
Please note that the elements below may still change in the final agreement.

1) Wages

The actual salaries paid will be increased by 0,4% on 01/01/2022.

The increase of the wages according to the index mechanism provided in the sector or according to the fixed company scales remains applicable in addition to this 0,4% wage increase.

2) Year-end premium

The maximum amount for the year-end bonus for sales representatives is increased by 0,4% to €2,161.50 (current amount €2,152.89).

3) Mobility

In addition to the employer’s contribution to a train pass, the employer will also contribute to the cost of a monthly pass to the SNCB car park at a cost of € 10 per month.

4) Seniority leave

From 01/01/2021, an additional day of leave will be granted if the employee has at least 15 years of seniority in the company (instead of 20 years).

5) Short leave

A short leave is introduced for legal cohabitation.
An employee is allowed to be absent with pay for 3 consecutive working days if he or she is going to legally cohabit.

  • JLC 220

After social consultation, a draft sector agreement was reached within JLC 220 for the years 2021 and 2022. Below you will find an overview of the main decisions for 2021 and 2022 (this list is not exhaustive).
Please note that the elements below may still change in the final agreement.

1) Wages

The actual salaries paid will be increased by 0.4% on 01/01/2022.

2) Single premium

In the absence of a timely negotiated company CLA with equivalent alternative benefits, a one-off gross bonus of EUR 150 will be granted in January 2022.

3) Mobility

From 01.02.2022 there will be an increase in the employer’s contribution for private transport to 70% of the 2nd class train ticket.

4) Clothing allowance

Employers must provide and maintain the work clothes. The cost for the company can be estimated as from 01/01/202, per week:

  • € 4.13 for making the work clothes available;
  • € 4.88 for the maintenance.

Overview public holidays 2022

Below is an overview of the Belgian public holidays for 2022:

New Year’s Day

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Easter Monday

Monday, April 18, 2022

Labour Day

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Ascension Day

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Whit Monday

Monday, June 6, 2022

Belgian National Holiday

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Assumption Day

Monday, August 15, 2022

All Saints’ Day

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Armistice

Friday, November 11, 2022

Christmas

Sunday, December 25, 2022

The employer must pay the normal salary for these public holidays.

When a public holiday falls on a Sunday on another day which is normally a non-working day, it must be replaced by a replacement day on a normal working day.

Limited target group reduction for the 1st recruitment

Until now, there was a target group reduction for the 1st recruitment. This reduction consisted of a total exemption from basic social security contributions for an indefinite period if a first employee is hired in Belgium.
From 01/01/2022 the target group reduction for the 1st recruitment will be adjusted and organised as follows:

  • A social security reduction of maximum 4.000 EUR per quarter (instead of a full exemption from basic social security contributions);
  • Still unlimited in time.

The reduction for the 2nd to 6th recruitment does not change.

Self-Assessment Testing Tool

This is a tool developed by the Belgian government. The tool will exist temporarily, from November 19, 2021 until February 28, 2022 to ease the burden on doctors, as persons with mild symptoms no longer have to contact them.

The tool aims to indicate, based on a questionnaire, whether the employee should take a Covid test.

A new CLA provides for a guaranteed salary for employees who take a Covid test based on the result in the Self-Assessment Testing Tool and who are therefore absent from work. There are exceptions on this rule.

The employee submits the issued certificate of absence to the employer.

The employee who can telework receives salary during the absence for taking the covid test.
The employee who cannot telework receives salary during the absence from the moment the absence certificate is created in the tool until the moment the employee receives the test result (maximum 36 hours).

Company cars – solidarity contribution 2022

As from 01/01/2022 the solidarity contribution for company cars based on CO2 emission will be calculated according to a different formula:

Fuel

Formula

Petrol

CO2 emission known: [(Y x 9 EUR) - 768] / 12 x 154.29/114.08
CO2 emission unknown: [(182 x 9 EUR) - 768] / 12 x 154.29/114.08 = 98.05

Diesel

CO2 emission known: [(Y x 9 EUR) - 600] / 12 x 154.29/114.08
CO2 emission unknown: [(165 x 9 EUR) - 600] / 12 x 154,29/114,08 = 99,74

LPG/CNG

[(Y x 9 EUR) - 990] / 12 x 154.29/114.08

Electric

28,17 EUR per month (= minimum contribution)

Abolition of the “December advance payment” of Belgian wage withholding tax

In principle the wage withholding tax must be paid monthly within fifteen days after the end of the month for which a salary is being paid. There is a special provision for December for certain categories of companies; an earlier payment of the wage withholding tax.

The “December advance payment” will be abolished from the income year 2021.

Temporary unemployment due to force majeure “Covid-19”

An employee can be absent from work without pay when a minor child with whom he is cohabitating:

  • Is unable to go to school because the school/class is closed due to Covid-19 measures (e.g. additional week of Christmas holiday);
  • is obliged to follow distance learning;
  • is in quarantine/isolation due to covid-19.

If the employee is cohabiting with the other parent of the child, only one parent may exercise this right for the same period.
For this period, the employee will be temporarily unemployed due to force majeure Covid-19 and will thus receive a temporary unemployment benefit from the ONEm/RVA corresponding to 70 % of the limited wage (2,840.84 EUR per month) plus 5.74 EUR per day.

The social balance

Many companies will have to submit their social balance to the National Bank of Belgium after the closing date of the financial year.

The social balance sheet is an instrument for companies to report on their employment situation and on training activities followed by their workers.
An employer who does not comply with this social balance obligation could be punished with a criminal fine or an administrative fine.
The social balance sheet contains the following information:

  • a statement of the employed staff;
  • a table of personnel movements during the financial year;
  • a state with information about the training activities followed by the employees, the cost of which is borne by the employer.

The social balance will be provided to you together with the annual employment documents of 2021. 

Please contact us, in case you would like more information related to the social balance obligation in Belgium.

Different types of vacation

As a general rule, Belgian law provides that full-time employees are entitled to 20 legal vacation days each year.

Each employee subject to the Belgian social security regime builds up vacation rights for these days during the 'holiday service year' (2021). Only in the following calendar year, the so-called 'holiday year' (2022), the employee may actually take his/her leave days. Whether you get the full amount or only part of it depends on the number of days you worked in the previous year.

Certain sectors also work with working time reduction days: e.g. an employee working 40 hours in a sector where the 38-hour week is in force, saves two extra hours of leave every week worked. On an annual basis, the employee is then entitled to 12 extra working time reduction days.

The big difference between legal vacation days and working time reduction days is that the latter are calculated on the basis of the performance in the current year of service (2022), while the legal vacation days are calculated on the basis of the holiday service year (2021).

In addition, an employer may decide to grant his personnel additional (extra-legal) vacation days on top of the legal vacation. The rules to grant these are entirely up to the employer. These holidays are often granted for unofficial holidays (such as second Christmas or bridging days).

The main advantage of these extra-legal vacation days is that the employer can decide whether the employee can carry these holidays over to the following year or whether or not this is limited to a certain period. This carry-over is not possible for the 20 legal vacation days and the working time reduction days.

If your payroll is already processed by Mazars, we are setting up the vacation counters for 2022. If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact one of our payroll consultants.

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Payroll Newsletter Q1 2022
Payroll Newsletter Q1 2022