JC 200: COVID-19 and the year-end bonus and annual premium

Author: Leen Lafourt (Legal Expert)
Date:

Perhaps the coronavirus crisis also forced you to make (part of) your employees temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 (force majeure). This decision may lead to a reduction in the amount of certain sector benefits.

In a previous Infoflash, we already extensively discussed the influence of temporary unemployment due to COVID-19 on sector benefits in general. We will now elaborate on the impact on the year-end bonus and the annual premium granted in JC 200 (Auxiliary Joint Committee for non-manual workers).

Since the annual premium is already paid in June, we will deal with it first.

Annual premium

If you have not converted the annual premium into an equivalent benefit, your full-time workers with a full reference period (June previous year to May current year) will receive an annual premium of EUR 265.12 (indexed amount) this month.

This amount is prorated for:

  • part-time workers;
  • workers with an incomplete reference period (departure during the reference period, days not treated as actual days worked).

Impact of temporary unemployment COVID-19

To calculate the annual premium, the actual days worked and days treated as such during the reference period are taken into account. These are the suspensions of the employment contract for which wages have been paid and the periods of paternity and maternity leave.

For the time being, the periods of temporary unemployment due to COVID-19 are not explicitly included in the CBA as periods treated as actual days worked and will therefore reduce the amount of the annual premium.

Example: A worker employed since 02.06.2015 (full reference period) is made temporarily unemployed from 01.04.2020 to 31.05.2020. There are no other absences not treated as actual days worked during the reference period.

For this worker, the amount of the annual premium is reduced by the months of April and May, this means that he is only entitled to an annual premium of EUR 265.12 x 10/12 = EUR 221.

Remark

Temporary unemployment due to COVID-19 may also have an impact on the amount of the Temporary Annual Premium granted in implementation of the CBA of 1 July 2019 relating to purchasing power.

End-of-year bonus

Your non-manual workers are also entitled to a year-end bonus (= gross monthly wage and/or possibly the monthly average of the variable gross wages regularly paid during the last 12 months).
Remark: For sales representatives, the sector provides for a specific calculation method.

The amount of the year-end bonus may be reduced:

  • in proportion to the absences not treated as actual days worked during the year;
  • for non-manual workers who have joined or left the company (under certain conditions) and who have a 6-month length of service;
  • for non-manual workers hired under a fixed-term contract of at least 6 months or for clearly defined work with a duration of at least 6 months.

Impact of temporary unemployment COVID-19

To calculate the amount of the year-end bonus, only the following absences are treated as actual days worked:

  • annual leave, paid holidays, leave of absence;
  • occupational disease and work-related accident, 15 weeks of maternity leave;
  • the first 60 calendar days of incapacity for work per calendar year after an illness or accident under common law;
  • paternity leave, paid educational leave and time off for trade union duties.

Here, too, the periods of temporary unemployment due to COVID-19 will not be treated as actual days worked for the time being and the year-end bonus will therefore be reduced.

Example: A worker employed since 02.06.2015 (full reference period) is made temporarily unemployed from 01.04.2020 to 31.05.2020. There are no other absences not treated as days worked during the reference period.

For this worker, the amount of the year-end bonus will be reduced by the months of April and May, this means that he will only be entitled to 10/12th of his normal year-end bonus.

Minimum provisions

However, the above sectoral provisions are only minimum provisions. This implies that you can deviate from this to the benefit of your worker and still treat the period of temporary unemployment as actual days worked for the calculation of the annual premium and the year-end bonus.

Partena Professional can help you with this. Feel free to contact your payroll consultant for more information.

Note

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that, following the coronavirus crisis, several JCs have decided to conclude new CBAs, which will allow temporary unemployment to be treated as actual days worked (possibly temporarily) for the calculation of certain benefits.

In order to have the latest and accurate information, we recommend that you always first consult our sector documentation, which contains a detailed overview of the method of calculating the benefits granted by your sector (sector document JC 200 - year-end bonus).
You can also subscribe to the sector mailing list via our website. In that case, you will be immediately informed of any changes that are important to your company.

 

Source:

  • CBA of 9 July 2016 concluded in the additional joint committee for non-manual workers within the framework of the Act of 28 April 2015 serving to fix a maximum margin by which wage costs can increase for the years 2015 and 2016 relating, more specifically, to purchasing power, the annual premium (reg. no. 128.828), in force since 01.01.2016 for an indefinite period;
  • CBA of 1 July 2019 relating to purchasing power within the framework of the RD of 19 April 2019 on the implementation of art. 7, §1 of the Act of 26 July 1996 on the promotion of employment and the preventive protection of competitiveness (reg. no. 152.849)), in force since 01.01.2019 for an indefinite period.
  • CBA of 9 June 2016 relating to the year-end bonus (reg. no. 134.421), in force since 01.07.2016 for an indefinite period.

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