Supplement unemployment benefits: What about wage increases?

Author: Yves Stox (Managing Consultant)

An employer can grant supplementary compensations to temporarily unemployed workers. This supplementary compensation is then paid in addition to the unemployment benefits. Can this supplement also take into account planned wage adjustments such as (scaled) wage increases or indexations?

The unemployment benefit of the ONEm/RVA does not take into account planned wage increases. The calculation base of the unemployment benefit is the average daily wage to which the worker was normally entitled prior to the (temporary) unemployment.

The NSSO confirmed that the employer may take the hypothetical increased wage into account for the calculation of the supplement to the unemployment benefit.

In this way, the employer can avoid unfairness between workers who are temporarily unemployed and those who are not. This approach is also in accordance with the idea of insurance which forms the basis of the exemption from social security contributions for extra-legal supplements to social security benefits. After all, it is about maintaining the income that the worker would have had if he had worked normally.

A condition is, however, that the employer applies this calculation method for all workers concerned to whom a supplement is granted. The wage increase or adjustment must also be fixed prior to the temporary unemployment.

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