Increase of the price of the railcard: what are the consequences?

Author: Laurence Philippe (Legal Expert)
Read time: 2min
Publication date: 16/01/2023 - 13:16
Latest update: 16/01/2023 - 13:17

On 1 February 2023, the price of the SNCB railcard will increase by 9.73%. 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 2009. 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.

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 2023.

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 2023. 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%). 

Furthermore, the maximum exempted amount of the bicycle allowance had increased on 1 January 2023. This amount is now set at 0.27 EUR per kilometre travelled.

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).


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