Agreement purchasing power premium for white-collar workers is finalised!
04 August 2023
From 1 June 2023, the legislator again envisaged the possibility for employers to grant a one-off purchasing power premium to their employees in the form of a consumption voucher. The Royal Decree of 23 April 2023 laid down the outline, but the modalities remained to be further negotiated by the sectors.
Meanwhile, the decision is made by Belgium’s largest joint committee, Joint Committee 200 for white-collar workers. Joint Committee 200 obliges employers with (exceptionally) high profits in 2022 to issue a purchasing power premium of EUR 125 to EUR 375 to their employees.
High and exceptionally high profits in 2022
Only employers with high or exceptionally high profits in financial year 2022 are obliged to grant the purchasing power premium to their employees. Joint Committee 200 now defines this using a dual, cumulative, condition:
- The ratio of operating profit (code 9901 financial statements) to total assets in 2022 must be at least 1.25 times the average for the same ratio for the years 2019-2021, in case of high profits. In case of exceptionally high profits, a minimum of 2 times the average is required;
- The operating profit should be at least 5% of total assets in 2022.
The profit condition is evaluated at legal entity level, abstracting from special events such as a merger or acquisition.
Amount of purchasing power premium
Employees employed by employers in Joint Committee 200 with (exceptionally) high profits are entitled to the following purchasing power premium:
- EUR 125 at high profit (with ratio of operating profit to balance sheet total 1.25 times the average over the years 2019-2021);
- EUR 250 at high profit (with ratio of operating profit to balance sheet total 1.50 times the average over the years 2019-2021);
- EUR 375 at exceptionally high profit.
It still remains possible to provide a higher amount at company level, subject to conditions and as long as the maximum limit of EUR 750 is not exceeded.
In addition to the conditions for employers, the new collective labour agreement also lays down rules for employees: only white-collar workers who are in service on 31 October 2023, and have at least 1 month of seniority within the company at that time, are eligible for the purchasing power premium.
Moreover, the premium is prorated according to the employee's effective performance (or equivalent performance) between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023, as well as according to any part-time working hours.
Employers who meet the conditions must issue the purchasing power premium by 31 December 2023 at the latest. No later than 15 November 2023, they must inform the union delegation, or in the absence of the union delegation, the white-collar workers, by written communication.