12 December, 2021

Cafeteria plan: a big hassle for a small SME?

Cafetariaplan een heel gedoe voor een kleine KMO 5

Alternative remuneration, and specifically the cafeteria plan, is on the rise. In the corridors, it is even called the HR trend of the coming years. And SMEs, too, want to get in on the popular trend of "pay packages à la carte". However, many are still put off by the apparently high workload associated with the introduction of a cafeteria plan. Payflip wants to take away this fear of SMEs and therefore explains in detail what the rollout of a cafeteria plan actually means for the personnel managers of SMEs.

The roll-out of a cafeteria plan within a company is generally divided into four phases: the onboarding phase, the configuration phase, the launch phase and the follow-up phase. Below, we explain all four very practically for you!

Phase 1: Onboarding

Estimated time spent in Payflip route: 2h

As with the roll-out of any project, large or small, within your company, a plan of action is needed. Scope of the project must be defined, tasks must be divided and deadlines must be decided. This is no different for the roll-out of a cafeteria plan.

In the very first meeting with the SME, the 'onboarding meeting', the customer success manager at Payflip explains the project tool 'Notion' that we use at Payflip to set up the cafeteria plan.

During this onboarding meeting, the calendars are also aligned. After all, it is very important to work together towards the important deadlines concerning the presentation of Payflip to employees and the actual date of launch of the cafeteria plan tool. In addition, the customer success manager at Payflip also reserves time to explain the 'payroll scan*'. Finally, other tasks (e.g. reviewing the legal documentation prepared by Payflip) also get a clear place on the SME's to-do list.

Via Notion's project tool, the whole process remains very clear and the personnel manager knows at any time what the next steps are and what is expected of him/her.

*The introduction of a cafeteria plan adds an extra layer to your company's wage policy. The foundation must therefore be sound. Therefore, Payflip performs a 'payroll scan'. During this scan, we take a close look at the current payroll policy of your company and detect any obstacles to the introduction of a cafeteria plan. We are of course happy to work with you to rectify these problems before the cafeteria plan is launched! As an employer, all you have to do is send us your company's payroll documents.

For this step, from the onboarding meeting with Payflip to uploading the payroll documents, allow around 2 hours.

Cafetariaplan een heel gedoe voor een kleine KMO 2

Phase 2: Configuration

Estimated time spent in Payflip route: 4h

Once the foundations of the existing pay packages have been checked and Payflip has seen that they are in order, a start can be made with the concrete design of the cafeteria plan. This is done via:

(1) Deciding on funding and spending in the cafeteria plan by the SME. This is done through a comprehensive, yet easy to understand explanation of each component in Notion.

(2) The subsequent drafting of the legal documents by Payflip. By 'legal documents', we mean: a policy, which lays down in detail the framework and rules for implementing and managing the cafeteria plan, and an appendix to the employment contract, which formalizes the change to the pay package.

(3) Putting the SME in touch with the benefits provider by Payflip (e.g. Alan for the digital health insurance and o2o for bicycle lease).

(4) Payflip's coordination with the social secretariat as to how the choices made and remaining budget(s) can be processed in the payroll.

In the configuration phase, the SME should count on the following time investments:

  • Deciding on benefits and budgets: 2h.
  • Going through the legal documentation during a meeting with Payflip's customer success manager (without preparing this meeting on the SME side): 1.5h.

Cafetariaplan een heel gedoe voor een kleine KMO 3

Phase 3: Launch

Estimated time spent in Payflip route: 2.5 hours

When the outline of the cafeteria plan has been worked out, the concrete launch of the cafeteria plan is prepared together. Also in this step, Payflip takes the majority of the work out of the hands of the personnel manager:

  • Payflip's customer success team configures and activates your list of budgets and benefits in Payflip's cafeteria plan tool.
  • Payflip's customer success team organises a webinar with the staff to explain the in's and out's of the cafeteria plan simply and clearly (so you don't have to!).
  • The personnel manager communicates the most recent wage data to Payflip in order to have Payflip calculate the budgets in the cafeteria plan according to the employee's needs.
  • Payflip's customer success team invites the person in charge to a demo of the tool from the admin side, so that everything is clear what needs to be done after the roll-out for the person in charge (see below).
  • The Payflip team launches the cafeteria plan tool on your chosen day by sending a personal e-mail to all employees with an access link to the tool.

At this stage, attending the webinar, passing on the wage data and demoing the admin side of the tool takes about 3.5h.

Cafetariaplan een heel gedoe voor een kleine KMO 4

Phase 4: Follow-up

Estimated time spent in Payflip trajectory: depending on number of employees and choices made - 10 employees/hour

Once the cafeteria plan tool has been launched, some follow-up tasks still need to be taken into account.

First of all, when entering the tool and subsequently simulating choices in the cafeteria plan, employees may have additional questions about how the plan works. The Payflip team caters for this in the first place by helping employees via the chat box in the tool. If any questions remain unanswered because they relate specifically to the employer-employee relationship, the personnel manager should intervene. As HR, you therefore do not need to spend any additional time on Q&A sessions concerning the cafeteria plan.

Benefits in the cafeteria plan (such as bike lease, insurance, multimedia,...) require no manual action thanks to thevarious IT integrations with providers in Payflip!

Finally, Payflip ensures the correct monthly processing of the cafeteria plan choices in payroll, together with your social secretariat. Unless you prefer to do this yourself ;).

Cafetariaplan een heel gedoe voor een kleine KMO 5


Yes, when introducing a cafeteria plan, a personnel manager should not be blind to the time investment required to process everything correctly. Like every choice in the workplace, the choice for a cafeteria plan should be a well-considered decision. 

But you are not alone. Payflip really goes to great lengths to automate the standardised processes as much as possible in our user-friendly cafeteria plan tool. In this way, Payflip tries to limit the administration to a minimum or, where possible, to eliminate it entirely.