New wage standard means new opportunities - AG Employee Benefits

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Published on 13/07/2017


New wage standard means new opportunities

The wage standard for 2017-2018 has been set at 1.1%. More gross pay or a bonus might seem logical, but did you know there are alternatives that are a lot more favourable for your employees?

​Collective labour agreement No. 119 of the National Labour Council of 21 March 2017 set the maximum margin for the development of wage costs at 1.1% for 2017 and 2018. It means that the total average wage cost per employee may rise by up to 1.1% annually in that period.

Within this margin, sectors and companies are free to negotiate about exactly how this extra scope will be implemented. Although higher gross pay might seem the obvious choice, it is not always the best choice for your employees.

More pay? Or something else instead?

Were you thinking about paying out the wage margin to employees in their take-home pay or as a bonus? If so, you undoubtedly realise that your employees will be left with less than half of what you pay out. Fortunately, there are a few very attractive alternatives:

Spend this extra budget on a new complementary pension plan or an increase in an existing plan. This will ensure that when the time comes your employees will keep in net terms a lot more of this increase.

Or what about extending hospitalisation insurance? Introducing an outpatient plan for your employees can easily save them hundreds of euros each year.

Unified employment status

Under the arrangements for unified employment status (for blue-collar and white-collar workers), you have yet another way of using the wage margin to good effect. Complementary pension plans for blue-collar workers are usually less generous than those for white-collar workers. If you use the 1.1% to increase deposits in the pension plan for your blue-collar workers, you will narrow the gap between blue and white collar workers.

Your commercial contact person will be pleased to help you firm up your plans.