Which fringe benefits do your employees take for granted, and which ones make them truly happy?
As an employer, you have the opportunity to reward your employees with a number of fringe benefits. The benefits you offer make your company attractive to future employees and ensure that your current workforce remains in the company. But which extra-legal benefits exist in our country, which benefits do your employees expect and which ones will make them most satisfied? Here, you can read all about it!
Fringe benefits in Belgium
Are you an employer? Then you probably know what fringe benefits are, why they exist and which ones there are. However, we are happy to freshen up your knowledge.
An extra-legal or fringe benefit is a reward for your employees on top of their fixed salary. For both you and your employees, an extra-legal benefit is fiscally more interesting than an increase in gross salary. Your employee will be left with a relatively larger net amount than if you were to pay an increased gross amount as salary. For you as an employer, it is profitable since you pay less in social contributions and taxes. Plus, most extra-legal benefits can be deducted entirely as tax-deductible expenses.
Common extra-legal benefits in our country
In our country, there are numerous fringe benefits. Here is a list of some common extra-legal benefits:
- Company car
- Travel allowance
- Meal vouchers
- Eco vouchers
- Group insurance
- Hospitalization or health insurance
- Telephone and internet subscription
- Birth and marriage allowances
- Salary bonus
- Profit premium
The most valuable fringe benefits for your employees
There is no doubt that your current and future employees expect some fringe benefits in addition to their salary. In our country, an employee receives on average four extra-legal benefits. Although, there exists a wide range of fringe benefits, there are a few that will make your employees twice as satisfied.
Almost all employees in our country love vouchers, and especially the popular meal vouchers. Their purchasing power increases by no less than 40% and besides, meal vouchers are convenient for you. They are not expensive, tax-deductible, and exempt from social contributions.
In addition to meal vouchers, you can make your workforce more than happy with a year-end bonus. December is an expensive month for many, which makes employees appreciate this premium greatly. As an employer, you might be a little less crazy about it, since the year-end bonus or ‘thirteenth month’ is paid out in money, resulting in extra social contributions and taxes.
Most employees are grateful to have a health or hospitalization insurance. Although they hope they will never need it, they do not have to worry about possible hospital bills in the future. Hospitalization insurance is an interesting extra-legal benefit for both sides: it is exempt from social contributions and your employee does not pay any taxes on it.
Trends in fringe benefits
Times change and employees attach importance to different matters. As an employer, it is important to keep a close eye on the latest trends in fringe benefits and to meet the needs of your workforce. After all, a pleased employee makes a greater contribution to your company.
In the past, employees were happy with a mobile phone and an internet subscription, but today they are generally more satisfied with sustainable fringe benefits. For instance, they gladly receive subscriptions for mobility services. Think of a subscription to a shared bicycle or a train pass. In recent years, employees also increasingly appreciate a membership to a sports club and culture vouchers.
Eco-friendly means of transport
Nowadays, eco-friendly means of transport are in great demand among employees. Take an electric or hybrid company car, for example: it lasts a long time, and it is fairly friendly to the environment. For companies, it is cheaper to offer a car like that than to pay an equivalent wage. It also shows that your business has a clear interest in a greener and healthier environment.
Company bicycles are also becoming a beloved benefit, especially among young people. They use the bike to go to and from work, and as an employer, you do not pay any social contributions or taxes. Plus, a bicycle allowance is fully deductible as an expense.
Another great example of a sustainable fringe benefit are eco vouchers. You encourage your workforce to consume ecological products, and at the same time you show your company’s commitment to sustainable development. Besides, this extra-legal benefit is also exempt from social contributions.
Working from home allowance: a benefit or a given?
During the Covid crisis, many people were fortunately able to continue their jobs from home. For many, working from home turned out to be a luxury. For this reason, they now greatly appreciate when their employer still allows them to work from home. As an employer, you can enlarge that luxury even further by offering your staff a working from home allowance.
The working from home allowance is an expense allowance that your employees receive for, let’s say, a desk in their home, the office equipment they need at home and the extra electricity they pay. The fringe benefit has a positive impact on the mental health of your employees, and you do not have to pay any social contributions or taxes for this either.
After reading this article, you know which extra-legal benefits your employees greatly appreciate, but which fringe benefits do you, as an employer, consider valuable? Let us know in a comment below!