It’s the end of the year, and for most that means an extra bonus! Find out if you are eligible for this end of year bonus, what you need to do to receive it, and what to do when things go wrong.
Turning the page on a year well worked with an end of year bonus to give you some breathing room whilst shopping for Christmas presents…it’s the most wonderful time of the year indeed! Lovingly nicknamed ‘the thirteenth month’ the end of year bonus is part of your yearly income, and thus it is subject to taxes. It is paid by the Social Funds for Temporary Workers, and here’s what you can expect.
The end of year bonus, before taxes, equals to 8.33% of the wages you earned in the reference year. After taxes, about 66% of the total amount remains, due to 13.07% social security and 23.22% taxes which are withheld.
When am I eligible?
The timeframe in which you build up your rights to be eligible for an end of year bonus runs from July 1st of the previous year, till June 30th of the present year. In that timeframe you need to have worked:
In a 5 workdays per week situation: 65 days or 494 hours
In a 6 workdays per week situation: 78 days or 494 hours
What about special circumstances?
- If during the reference year you were economically unemployed, up to 5 days are automatically assimilated.
- If you couldn’t work due to a workplace accident, then all days of your leave are assimilated. Do make sure you present the Social Funds with a medical report of your work absence. They are not automatically notified! The medical report needs to contain:
- The date of the accident
- The name of the temp agency you were working for at the time
- The duration of the unemployment
- The reference wage the insurance company used to calculate the payouts.
- If you get hired on a fixed contract with the same employer immediately after your temp position, up to 5 days can be assimilated. You still need to have worked 60 days as an interim employee to be eligible for the end of year bonus. However, in this case, you need to take action and present the Social Funds with:
- A copy of your last temp contract
- Your last wage sheet on a temporary position
- Your new fixed contract.
How do I get the right documentation?
If the number of workdays or work hours are met, and you have registered your home address, as is mandated within the first 3 months of your arrival in Belgium, you will receive a document during the month of December. In this case, you don’t need to undertake any special actions to receive this document.
However, if you haven’t registered your address or if you have recently moved places, Social Funds has no idea on how to reach you. In that case make sure you inform them of your address or relocation and provide them with your name, your national number, your old address and your new address.
You can contact them by telephone or through post: Havenlaan 86C bus 330, 1000 Brussel, tel 02/203.60.95. The office hours are between 9:00 and 12:00. You can also contact them via their website.
With the required document in hand, you can now receive your end of year bonus.
How to secure the payment?
If you are part of a union, hand in the original document to them. They will take care of the rest. Each union handles the payment in its own way, so do ask your union when and how you can expect to receive your money.
If you are not part of a union, you need to fill in the original document and send it back to the Social Funds. You can expect a payment on the account number you filled in on the document, onwards from the 3rd of January.
What if I lose my document?
If you lose your original document, you can ask for a duplicate in writing at the Social Funds. However, to make sure bonuses don’t get paid twice, these duplicates are only sent out onwards from March.
Don’t want to miss out on next year’s bonus? Make sure you have enough working hours!
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