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Since 1 May 2023, CBA 164 has established a bicycle allowance for joint committees that do not allocate a specific allowance to employees who cycle to work. Since this date, all employees in the private sector are now entitled to a bicycle allowance. Does this mean that all employees are entitled to the maximum allowance? No, and here's why.
CBA no. 164 applies only where there is no (sector or company) CBA providing for a specific allowance for employees who cycle to work. If no allowance is provided for in the sector, it is possible that the company has concluded a CBA providing for the allocation of a bicycle allowance. In this event, the company CBA will apply, including its amount (even if lower) and terms of application.
CBA no. 164 provides for a bicycle allowance currently equal to 0.27€/km. For the time being, this ceiling evolves in parallel with the tax and social security exemption ceiling.
This allowance is allocated for a maximum distance of 20 km between home and work, i.e. a maximum of 40 km per day. As it is also allocated to employees who use an electric bike or a speed pedelec, it is possible that some employees will travel a greater distance by bike. For kilometres over 40 km per day, the employer is not obliged to pay a bicycle allowance.
CBA no. 164 applies only to employees who regularly cycle to work. Employees who occasionally use their bicycles will therefore not be entitled to the bicycle allowance provided for in this CBA.
Over the past few years, with the boom in cycling and bicycle leasing, many joint committees have either introduced a bicycle allowance, or increased the amount of the allowance. For those joint committees that have not yet introduced a bicycle allowance, CBA no. 164 applies.
We can see that the amounts increase over the years, and that more and more sectors are allocating the maximum exempt allowance (0.27€/km in 2023).
The number of sectors allocating this maximum exempt amount has doubled from 22% to 44%, compared to the number granting it a year ago. Of course, CBA no. 164 has a lot to do with this, since in 17% of the cases it is the CBA that provides for the payment of this amount (in the absence of a company CBA).
Take the JC 200, for example. The auxiliary joint commission for non-manual workers is the largest joint committee in Belgium. It was not until 1 July 2020 that a bicycle allowance was introduced. At the time, this allowance amounted to 0.10€/km, with a maximum of 40 km per day. On 1 July 2022, the bicycle allowance was doubled. It was increased to 0.20€/km, still with a maximum of 40 km per day. Following the sector agreement, a CBA provides for an increase in this allowance to 0.27€/km on 1 July 2024 (capped at 40km/day).
This is not yet complete aligned with CBA no. 164, since this CBA allocates an amount indexed each year on 1January. The maximum bicycle allowance is likely to be higher in 2024, while in the Joint Committee 200, the bicycle allowance will be slightly lower.
For the non-manual workers in the chemicals sector (JC 207), there is no sector collective bargaining agreement providing for a bicycle allowance. In the absence of a company CBA, CBA no. 164 applies. In this event, non-manual workers in the sector are entitled to the maximum allowance (0.27€/km) if they meet the conditions set out in CBA no. 164.
During negotiations within the sector, some sectors decided to increase the amount of the bicycle allowance allocated. This is the case in the construction sector (JC 124), where the bicycle allowance was increased from 0.24€/km to 0.27€/km since 1 September. Some sectors are still negotiating their sector agreement for 2023-2024. Further increases in the bicycle allowance may yet come.
Would you like to check whether you are actually allocating the bicycle allowance laid down in your sector? You will find all the information you need on transport costs in our sector information.
Source: National Labour Council CBA no. 164 of 24 January 2023 concerning the employer's contribution to the cost of bicycle travel between home and work.
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