On 1 February 2020, the price of the SNCB railcard will increase by 2.87%. What impact does this increase have on the employer’s requirement to contribute to the commuting costs?
Collective bargaining agreement No. 19/9: a minimum requirement
The employer’s financial contribution to the price of the employees’ commuting journeys is provided for by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) No. 19/9 which was concluded in 2019. The employers are obliged to pay a contribution when their employees use the train and/or other means of public transport for their commuting journeys.
In the latter case, the contribution is only mandatory when the distance between their residence and their place of work is at least 5 kilometres. However, this condition only has to be met until 30 June 2020. After all, from 1 July 2020 onwards, employees will be entitled to a contribution from the 1st kilometre when they make use of public transport.
CBA No. 19/9 has drawn up a schedule of lump sums which determines the employer’s contribution. This schedule applies according to the distance travelled.
In 2019, these amounts corresponded to an average of 70% of the railcard's cost price. They remain unchanged.
Sectoral requirements often prevail
This agreement of the National Labour Council is supplementary, this means it establishes a minimum requirement. The majority of the sectors has concluded CBAs laying down more far-reaching requirements for the employers: higher amounts, contribution for the use of a private vehicle, bicycle allowance...
For the sectors referring to the amounts of CBA No.19/9, the contribution remains unchanged on 01 February 2020.
However, other sectors directly refer to the amounts of the railcard. In view of the increase of the fares, the amounts granted to the employees in these joint committees will go up on 1 February 2020. This is particularly the case for all employees who benefit from a third-party payer agreement (the employer pays a contribution of 80% of the price of the railcard, the state pays the remaining 20%).
The maximum exempted amount of the bicycle allowance will not increase on 1 January 2020. This amount remains 0.24 EUR per kilometre travelled. Attention: many sectors have recently introduced or increased the amount of the bicycle allowance. Check whether the amount you grant corresponds to the sector minimum.
The transport costs within my sector
Please refer to the sectoral documentation for detailed information on the amounts to be granted per joint committee. This documentation indicates the contribution to the commuting costs by means of transport used, regardless of whether this is based on the CBA No. 19/9, the amounts of the railcard or a sector-own scale.
Source: CBA No.19/9 of 23 April 2019 with regard to the employer’s financial contribution to the price of the employees’ commuting journeys (reg. No. 151.392 - RD 28.04.2019 - Belgian Official Gazette 08.05.2019).