• November 23, 2022




Image source: Martinns

by Ann-Kathrin Katz

The inflation compensation bonus is an allowance that benefits employees even if a sum higher than EUR 3,000 is paid. The amount exceeding the allowance is fully liable to tax and social security contributions.

Due to the energy crisis and rising consumer prices worldwide, all employers have the opportunity to make a bonus payment of up to EUR 3,000 to their employees, which are free of tax and social security contributions.

The bonus can also be granted in the form of a non-cash benefit (for example, a voucher, bicycle, smartphone, tablet).

The scheme is comparable to the Corona bonus, it does not have to be paid in full and at once, but can also be paid in several instalments, for example over 24 months á 125 EUR.

As the payment of the inflation compensation bonus is voluntary for employers, it must be marked as such in the payroll. Companies are completely free to decide whether to pay the inflation compensation bonus - employees are not entitled to pay the bonus. It is merely a preferential treatment under tax law in the event that this bonus is paid. Companies should be prepared for the fact that employees, works councils and trade unions will nevertheless demand the inflation compensation bonus.

The benefit is effective from 26 October 2022 till the 31 December 2024 and the payments must have actually been paid to the employee during this period.

These payments may be received by:

  • Any instruction-based employee (whether part-time and temporary is irrelevant),
  • Mini-jobbers/low-income employees/working students,
  • apprentices and dual students,
  • executive employees,
  • and in any case also the third-party managing director of a partnership.

Caution: Individual employees or certain groups may not be arbitrarily excluded from the benefit.

The benefit must be a genuine additional benefit (not a conversion or rededication) that is granted "on top".

Thus, the benefit does NOT apply if:

  • a bonus is paid and in return the monthly salary or other bonuses or special payments are reduced, or
  • bonuses, special payments or other salary components already owed are to be fulfilled "as a substitute" by the bonus.
  • The salary is temporarily reduced and then increased again after the inflation compensation premium has ceased to exist.

Practically all benefits already agreed in the employment contract, company agreements or collective agreements are excluded as inflation compensation bonus.