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Wage margin 2021-2022: what's in the agreement?

06 May 2021 Employers
Tom Dirix

The government has reached an agreement on the wage margin for 2021-2022. The social partners had already thrown in the towel, leaving the ball in the government's court. This article will give you an overview of what exactly the agreement entails.

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Maximum wage margin of 0.4%

The maximum wage margin of 0.4% has been set for this year and the next. Combined with automatic indexation, which is estimated at 2.8%, wages could then rise to 3.2% (estimated).

Corona premium of up to €500 for companies that performed well

Companies with good figures can grant their employees a corona bonus of up to 500 euros net per employee, in the form of a consumption voucher. An employer's contribution of 16.5% will have to be paid on the corona premium. The corona premium is in addition to the 0.4% wage increase.

 No criteria have been formulated to determine which companies can award the corona premium. This will therefore depend on consultation within the companies.

As there are not many possibilities to use the consumption voucher yet, the government will take the initiative to make sure the consumption voucher can be used in more places.

Next steps

Sectors and companies decide on the wage margin and corona premium

The exact percentage of the wage margin is still a matter of discussion at sectoral level. The corona premium value will be negotiated at company level.

Negotiations between social partners on other dossiers

In addition to the minimum wage dossier, the social partners will also be discussing overtime, supplementary pensions and end-of-career schemes. They will be negotiating this in the coming weeks.

Reviewing minimum wage?

The federal government has asked the social partners to work out a route (over several negotiation periods) for raising minimum wages. To avoid that an agreement on the increase of the minimum wage would create problems for companies (through higher taxes), the government would work on accompanying fiscal and parafiscal measures.

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Written by Tom Dirix

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