01 August, 2022

How is the end-of-year bonus calculated in 2022?

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In this blog post you learned more about the 'end-of-year bonus' or 'thirteenth month'. But how exactly is this calculated? You won't find much about this in the law, because the calculation of the end-of-year bonus is in principle regulated at sector level. Most joint committees have laid down the rules in a collective labor agreement, while others have chosen not to concern themselves with the end-of-year bonus and its calculation. In any case, a number of aspects need to be taken into account. First things first: are you an employee or a worker? Then the end-of-year bonus will look different for you!

The calculation of the end-of-year bonus for white-collar workers

For white-collar employees, the end-of-year bonus is usually equal to the gross monthly salary for the month of December. This is the case for half a million white-collar employees who fall under Joint Committee 200 (the largest Joint Committee in our country). In 2022, these white-collar employees will thus receive a gross end-of-year bonus that will be equal to their gross monthly salary for the month of December.

Important fact! 🧠 Your net year-end bonus will be lower than your net monthly salary! Since the end-of-year bonus or thirteenth month is considered a 'bonus' or extraordinary compensation, it will also be taxed extra. In addition to the NSSO employee contribution (13.07%), an exceptional withholding tax (up to 53.5%) will also be deducted from the gross end-of-year bonus. Finally, a special social security contribution will also be withheld from the year-end bonus.

But no worries, we got you covered! Do you want to get the most out of your end-of-year bonus? Then the cafeteria plan might be the solution for you! Be sure to read our blog post about the cafeteria plan!

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The calculation of the end-of-year bonus for workers

For blue-collar workers, this is different: after all, the end-of-year bonus is calculated on the basis of the hourly wage. In most joint committees, the hourly wage is converted to the monthly wage, but some joint committees have chosen to pay the hourly wage several times or to pay a certain percentage of the hourly wage during a "reference period" (from December 1 to November 30, for example).

The payment of the end-of-year bonus to workers is done either through the employer itself or through a fund. For example, there is the Social Fund for Temporary Workers.

Workers, like white-collar workers, are also taxed more heavily on their year-end bonus than on their gross (hourly) wages!

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What is the calculation of the end-of-year bonus if you work more or less, and what if you are fired?

In principle, you only receive an end-of-year bonus for the days on which you actually worked. If you have worked a full year, you are entitled to a full year-end bonus. If you only start working for your employer during the year or if you leave your employer during the year, you are in principle entitled to less year-end bonus. This is then paid in proportion to your employment throughout the year. Note: this regulation is - again - determined at sector level and certain joint committees can deviate from this.

Thus, whether or not you are entitled to an end-of-year premium if you resign or if you are laid off yourself and/or if you were not employed by your employer for a full year depends exclusively on your sector.

Let us take the concrete example of Joint Committee 200:

  • Employees who have an effective presence of at least 6 months receive an end-of-year bonus in proportion to the number of effective months performed;
  • Employees who resign themselves are only entitled to an end-of-year bonus if they have seniority of at least 5 years;
  • Employees who are dismissed by their employer - except for urgent reasons - are entitled to an end-of-year bonus to the extent that they have a seniority of at least 6 months on the day of their departure.