04 November, 2021

Payflip's salary policy: how do we handle it?

Payflips salarisbeleid hoe pakken we het zelf aan

Last year I shared via LinkedIn Payflip's salary policy. This hit me like a bomb! Why? Because in line with our company culture, I did this in full transparency, down to the euro cent. Indeed, employees have full access to Payflip's pay vision at all times. And they know how much their colleagues earn. 

Because Payflip's mission is to give all companies, large and small, the same reflexes around 'smart pay', we would like to share our pay policy with the world. We would therefore like to share our pay policy with the world. In this blog, I will explain how Payflip approached this.

Wage policy?

In an HR era dominated by the war for talent, many companies have realised that attracting and retaining their team is a priority . No expense is spared to make the employees happy: a cool office, sufficient internal and external training, extra holidays, fun gadgets, fancy team buildings,...

In terms of investment in employer branding, this all adds up. But often one delicate pillar is missing from the employer story: the vision around remuneration.

Why? Very simply - because remuneration costs a lot of money.

And that is precisely why it is so absurd that no vision is developed around remuneration. The lack of such a vision results in a proliferation of salaries à la tête de l'employé: some employees are paid on the basis of the gross or net salary they had with a previous employer, others on the basis of their (good or less good) negotiating skills at the time of recruitment or evaluation, and still others simply put their seniority in the balance.

In this way, there is no consistency in the employer's salary packages and each application or evaluation interview feels like a financial battle. Whereas it should be about the competences and the attitude of the employee, right?

A well thought-out pay policy tells a story and can win people over to join an employer.

But how do you start developing a clear pay policy in the maze of pay packages that already exists?

One of the possible paths is to draw up a salary grid - an objective framework within which salaries are determined on the basis of certain parameters. Read here how to how to draw up a proper salary grid.

Payflips salarisbeleid hoe pakken we het zelf aan 2

Example: remuneration at Payflip

A picture says more than a thousand words. What if we try to put all the 'pay puzzle pieces' together? How then does a company like Payflip put together such a smart, transparent pay vision?


To ensure that every employee knows what their responsibilities are, what we expect of them, and how they can grow to the next stage of their career, we have created 10 'levels' within Payflip.

These levels do not depend on the number of years of experience of an employee, but indicate what their current professional skills are and what salary level corresponds to them.

Within our employee population, there are several communities:

  • the engineering community
  • the customer success community
  • the sales community
  • ...

For each community, the competences The competencies that an employee must have in order to advance to the next level (and the corresponding salary level) are clearly indicated for each community.

Reviews & promotions

Every 6 months we organise performance reviews at Payflip. In these performance reviews, 3 reviews are done for each employee (and founder):

  • Self-review
  • Peer review
  • Coach review

In concrete terms, employees (and founders) will therefore review themselves by answering the following questions (among others):

  • What important milestones have I reached since the last review?
  • On which projects was my impact less than expected?
  • What are my key strengths?
  • What are my working points?
  • What personal goals do I want to focus on in the coming months?

This review is also done by a peer (someone the employee works closely with) and a coach (someone who supports the employee to achieve his personal goals). The review is then discussed in a meeting with 3.

Every 6 months, the employee also gets the chance to indicate whether and why he/she deserves to grow to the next level. This question is also put to the coach/peer.

If the answer is positive, the question is submitted to the founding team, who makes a final decision on whether or not an employee jumps to the next level.

Payflips salarisbeleid hoe pakken we het zelf aan 3

Salary & benefit grid

Our calculation for the gross salary of each employee is simple:

Payflips salarisbeleid hoe pakken we het zelf aan 4 Payflips salarisbeleid hoe pakken we het zelf aan 5

Never forget the extra-legal benefits!

Since working from home is the norm for Payflip employees, everyone receives a tax-free home working allowance of €137.40 (indexed amount as of April 2022) per month to cover home working costs such as electricity, internet, a good desk, etc.

By default, every employee receives the maximum amount of meal vouchers & eco vouchers. For this, we rely on Monizze. Monizze is a Belgian company that offers an excellent service in the field of electronic cheques to SMEs.

As far as mobility is concerned, for the novice levels we offer a refund of all home to work and professional journeys. For the levels above we offer the choice between a company car and a mobility budget. We make use of Lizy for the lease of the company cars and the free (!) platform of Mbrella for the management of the mobility budget.

In order to optimise our bonus policy as a young start-up, we decided to introduce a wage bonus in the company. The wage bonus is linked to the company's turnover and amounts to a maximum of €3,558 gross per year per employee (€3,093 net).

In addition, the software developers, the 'creative' team members, within Payflip also receive a remuneration in copyright. We have applied for a ruling for this.

Every employee receives an all-in care package that covers the costs of hospitalisation and outpatient medical expenses. We have taken out this care package with Alan.

Of course, employees also receive the necessary IT tools such as a laptop and mouse to carry out their tasks and each employee is entitled to a mobile phone subscription with Orange.

Finally, employees are entitled to a number of days of holiday, depending on their level. Here we deliberately go beyond the threshold of the legal minimum of 20 days of holiday.

As icing on the cake, we at Payflip have also introduced a cafeteria plan introduced. Through the cafeteria plan, employees can compose their own salary package. Within the framework of such a cafeteria plan, employees are given the opportunity to exchange parts of their 'traditional salary' (percentage of monthly gross salary, bonus, end-of-year bonus, etc.) for another benefit that gives them more satisfaction. Payflip has chosen to use only the end-of-year bonus (employer's cost) as a budget in the cafeteria plan.

At Payflip, employees can therefore concretely exchange their thirteenth month ('year-end bonus') for:

  • Extra healthcare for spouses and children
  • Bicycle lease
  • Smartphone, tablet or other IT equipment
  • Repayment of individual pension savings
  • Additional office equipment
  • 5 extra holidays

To manage this cafeteria plan smoothly, we obviously use our own software. This allows us to let employees make their choices and automatically communicate them to our payroll provider.

Finally, these benefits also give employees stock options on Payflip's capital. To implement this, we called on the expertise of our colleagues at Cambrian.

Lessons learned!

  • For start-ups, transparency is an enormous added value for employees.
  • Managing and evolving the objective measures behind the levels is labour intensive, but gives structure and perspective to both employee and employer.
  • With a cafeteria plan, you pay the employee within the limits that you set as an employer, without creating a mishmash of extra-legal benefits within the company.
  • A green mobility policy will remain a challenge for start-ups as long as the government takes no steps to expand the legal mobility budget.