A special rule was introduced for one-off innovation premiums aimed at stimulating the capacity for innovation of companies engaged in research and development. The measure, which always has a limited validity, has been extended and will apply until 31 December 2020.
Innovation bonuses allow the employer to reward workers for creative and innovative ideas.
The employer does not pay social contributions on this bonus. The employee does not pay social contributions either, and they are not imposed by this incentive. The bonus is 100% net.
Any company subject to the law of 5 December 1968 on collective agreements and joint commissions to grant innovation bonuses.
Any worker bound by an employment contract with one of the aforementioned companies can receive this bonus, regardless of the type of employment contract.
Innovation in this context
Innovation is a novelty which provides real added value to the company's normal activities. This added value may relate to various areas:
- well-being at work;
The innovation concerns:
- production processes;
- other work processes;
- the working environment.
The innovation is:
- radical or incremental (in other words, it may be a completely new concept or an improvement of an existing concept).
- developed or proposed by one or more workers within the company, and not by a third party.
- realised within the company or currently being realised so as to eventually provide added value to the company’s normal activities.
Under no circumstances may the bonus replace wages. It is only granted to workers bound by an employment contract.
The amount per worker may not excess their gross monthly remuneration. The total amount of bonuses paid may not exceed 1% of the company’s wage bill.
It is granted to a maximum of 10 workers for the same project.
The bonus applies to a maximum of 10% of workers. However, in companies with fewer than 30 people, this maximum is 3 people.
How to benefit from this exemption
The procedure implemented is versatile and devoid of administrative burdens. It comprises three phases:
Firstly, the employer informs workers within his company of the criteria and procedures. Then, each time an innovation project is rewarded, he informs all workers at the company that a bonus has been awarded for this project.
Communication to FPS Economy
The employer communicates information concerning the innovation to FPS Economy using a standardised form (FR). FPS Economy analyses the validity of the request in terms of innovation. It requests additional information if necessary, and usually makes a decision within 10 working days.
- Communication to the National Social Security Office (ONSS)
The employer informs the ONSS, on its own initiative, of the amounts and names of the recipients of this bonus, in the month following the granting of the latter, to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch these videos on YouTube (FR) to find out what other companies think of it and to get more information.