The government has reached a consensus on the terms of the wage negotiations and provided their mediation proposal to the unions and employer’s organisations. Besides confirming that the wages may increase up to 0,4 % in 2021 and 2022 on top of the expected indexation (2,8%), it provides that companies that have performed well in the past (corona) year, can give their employees a one-time Corona premium in 2021. The criteria based on which such premium can be paid have not been set by the government and are left for negotiation with the unions in each company.
The maximum amount of this corona premium is set to EUR 500 per employee and can be granted until 31 December of the current year. On this corona premium, companies will have to pay an employer’s contribution of 16,5%. In the hands of the employee, the corona premium is free of taxes.
Awaiting for the implementation and further details on the ‘how’ and ‘when’ of the corona premium, it became clear that the corona premium will be paid out as consumption cheques.
These consumption cheques were introduced last year and are fiscally beneficial. For more information on these consumption cheques, we would like to refer you to our newsflash of 26 October 2020.
Following this announcement, it is now up to the social partners to determine further modalities and details within the given framework of the government.