The purchasing power bonus: frequently asked questions

Author: Annelies Verplancke (Legal Expert)
Read time: 6min
Publication date: 02/11/2023 - 11:40
Latest update: 13/12/2023 - 10:01

The purchasing power bonus: frequently asked questions

The tool of the purchasing power bonus continues to appeal to the imagination. There are already several sectors and employers that will award this bonus. We discuss below some of the most frequently asked questions about this purchasing power bonus.

  1. Is the purchasing power bonus mandatory?

If you belong to a joint committee that awards a purchasing power bonus by CBA and your company meets the profit criteria, as an employer you are obliged to award a purchasing power bonus.

Currently, there are already some 85 sectors that have announced to award a purchasing power bonus, provided the profit criteria are met. You can check this in the sector information.

  1. I do not meet the conditions imposed by my sector. Can I still award a purchasing power bonus?

Yes, you can. You will then have to use a company CBA or an individual agreement. Please see our previous Infoflash on the purchasing power bonus.

  1. Can I award more than what my sector provides?

Yes, you can. Here, too, you will have to use a company CBA or an individual agreement. This then comes on top of the sector-wide bonus. In any case, the amount of the purchasing power bonus is limited to 750€, for both bonuses together.

  1. Under what form must a purchasing power bonus be awarded? On what can it be spent?

The purchasing power bonus must be awarded in the form of paper or electronic consumption vouchers. If the sector-wide CBA purchasing power bonus does not provide for this or leaves the choice open, this will be electronic consumption vouchers by default, unless the employer deviates from this via company CBA or individual agreement and opts for paper vouchers. The spending options are the same as luncheon vouchers or eco vouchers.

  1. I am a self-employed company manager. Can I award a purchasing power bonus to myself?

No. The purchasing power bonus is reserved for employees.

  1. My company has only been in existence since 2023. The legislation refers to profits in 2022. Can or must I award a purchasing power bonus?

No. The profit criteria cannot be met, so no purchasing power bonus can be awarded by sector-wide CBA either. For awarding at company level, there is a requirement of 'good results' 'during the crisis'. Again, this will be difficult to prove for a new start-up company.

If the bonus is awarded by individual agreement, although no justification has to be given, you still have to meet the legal condition that there must have been good results during the crisis (= 2022), which will not be possible.

  1. My company has only been in existence since 2022. Can or must I award a purchasing power bonus?

This situation is less straightforward. When a sector-wide CBA has been concluded, one will have to examine the conditions of application carefully. Sometimes only the profit in 2022 is considered (where, in principle, the annual accounts financial year 2022 would suffice), but sometimes comparisons must also be made with previous years (e.g. 2019, 2020, 2021). This is obviously not possible if the company did not yet exist in those years. It has to be considered sector by sector whether the purchasing power bonus must be awarded or not.

In any case, it does seem possible to provide for a purchasing power bonus at company level (see previous question).

  1. Can I differentiate between my employees when elaborating an arrangement at company level?

It is assumed that the purchasing power bonus must be awarded collectively: to all employees, or to a specific group of employees determined on the basis of objective criteria. No arbitrary distinction should be made between employees.

By analogy with what applies to luncheon vouchers and what was adopted for the corona bonus, we apply the same principles to the purchasing power bonus:

  • In principle, the purchasing power bonus must be awarded to all employees or to a well-defined 'objective' category of employees.
  • The employer may determine the criterion on the basis of which a purchasing power bonus is or is not awarded or on the basis of which the amount of the purchasing power bonus varies, as long as the criterion is objectively justified and does not constitute unlawful discrimination.
  • This allows the employer to differentiate according to the employee's status (e.g., job students). The employer may also subject the award of the purchasing power bonus to certain conditions: having a certain length of service, being employed at a certain time...
  1. Can NPOs avail of the purchasing power bonus?

In principle, NPOs are not excluded from the purchasing power bonus. Obviously, it will not be possible to meet the profit criteria, given that a NPO pursues a non-profit goal and in principle does not aspire to making a profit. However, a company-level CBA is one of the possibilities. After all, in that event, it is the NPO itself that must justify the good results achieved during the crisis, e.g. increase in the number of members, increase in turnover, etc.

  1. Will former employees who left employment also receive a purchasing power bonus this year?

This is possible. However, some sectors require that the employee must still be employed at the time of payment or on a specific date. This must always be specifically checked in the CBA or individual agreement governing the award.

  1. Until when can I award a purchasing power bonus?

The decision to award the purchasing power bonus must be taken before 1 January 2024 and must be included in a collective or individual agreement concluded no later than 31 December 2023. The purchasing power bonus may also only be awarded from 1 June 2023 to 31 December 2023.

Attention: since consumption vouchers have to be ordered with the issuing companies (Sodexo, Edenred, Monizze, etc.), and this date is a Sunday, in practice it is best to take into account a realistic final order date a few days before.

UPDATE! There are plans to extend the final payment date of the purchasing power bonus in the form of consumption vouchers by 3 months to 31 March 2024. There is no change to the deadline for the decision to award a purchasing power bonus (arising of the entitlement), which remains 31 December 2023. For more info see our Infoflash on this topic.

More information

More information on the purchasing power bonus can be found in our Infoflash on this topic.


Need a template of individual agreement or CBA regarding the purchasing power bonus? Our Legal Partners are at your disposal at


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