Your salary is more than the amount of money you are paid each month. It also includes a range of bonuses offered by your employer. Some of these are part of a company’s standard package, others are only offered occasionally.
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Here is a brief summary:
Many employers pay staff an allowance for travel based on distance. This is considered a sort of veiled salary, and is therefore not tax-free. For this reason, it is entered on your salary sheet and must be declared for tax purposes.
If you cycle to work, you are entitled to some form of compensation. If you use your own car to commute your employer will, in some cases, have to pay for some of your costs as well. These reimbursements are exempt from social security contributions.
A luncheon voucher is a contribution that your employer makes towards your lunchtime meal. These were initially intended to compensate workers in offices without their own restaurant or canteen. Each voucher is for a specified amount. The largest is for €6. For every €6 the employee pays a contribution of €1.09. You can use them to pay for food in supermarkets, restaurants or cafés displaying the voucher sticker in their window. They are valid for three months, and you get a voucher for every workday you put in. The vouchers bear your individual name and are therefore meant for personal use only. They are exempt from social security contributions and are non-deductable for the employee.
Employees do not make payments on company cars. You can use it outside working hours and repairs, maintenance and insurance are not your responsibility. Sometimes you get a petrol card as well. A company car can therefore save you a considerable amount of money. Keep in mind that you are expected to pay taxes on the car as it is also used for private purposes.
Company telephones have become a common benefit for employees. Many GSM operators have even started marketing special packages for businesses.
Hospitalisation insurance policies reimburse the costs of any hospital stay that is not covered by an employee’s regular health insurance policy. Employees can often subscribe to these collective policies for free and can usually include their entire family for fairly low premiums.
This is a life insurance and pension policy that covers the employer’s entire staff. Any employee can increase their pension by making additional contributions. Pensions are paid on retirement, or in the unfortunate case of death, to their surviving dependants.
Many employers will subsidise private computers for their staff via a ‘Home PC-plan’. Through this system, an employer can reimburse up to 60% (or a maximum of €1660) to their employees tax-free. The employer must however set up a ‘Home PC-plan’ policy, specifying the qualifying PCs, printers, Internet connections and software.
PC and Internet connection
Your employer can give you a PC and/or Internet connection free of charge. This is considered to be a benefit in kind. The employer can claim this amount as a tax deduction. You have to pay €180 for the PC and €60 for the Internet subscription every year to the tax authorities and social security. For a free Internet connection, this works out at €5 per month, and will be adjusted on your monthly pay slip.
Increased child allowances
Many employers match the amount of child allowance provided by the Child Benefit Fund.
Fixed expenditure compensation
Any expenditure that enables you to work from home falls under the fixed expenditure compensation and should be reimbursed by your employer.
Marriage and birth premiums
On some occasions, employers will give their employees a small monetary gift. Think of marriages or birth.
These are paid to employees who are travelling on business and have to pay for their own food. There is a fixed amount of €10.92 per day for each employee. As it is a fixed amount, the costs do not have to be confirmed with a receipt.
Some employers pay for childcare for your children after school and even during work hours for the smallest ones. Many companies now offer these services within their own building, but it can also be given in the form of a monetary compensation.