Co-financed Holidays “under the pear tree” 2.0
Holidays under the pear tree, as Poles call them, is still a very popular form of spending funds from the Company Social Benefits Fund in Poland. A holiday trip is a huge burden for every household budget, and co-financing from the employer realistically increases the shopping possibilities of employees. Therefore, many of them ask for this form of benefits, and employers are happy to implement them.
Co-financed holidays – a favorite benefit of employees?
Let’s remind – the extra payment for a 14-day holiday can be used for self-organized holidays or by by external parties, provided that they are used by the employee or the family members. Importantly, this type of benefit is completely discharged from social security contributions, and from the PIT tax to PLN 1,000 (except for organized holidays for children, for which the subsidy is also completely exempt from income tax). The amount of co-financing depends on the value of income per person in the employee’s family and it is defined in detail by the regulations of the Company Social Benefits Fund for each employer.
Settlement of the subsidies for holidays
Although such holidays, used for many years, are not really comfortable either for the employee or for the employer. First, calculate the amount of support due to each employee. To increase the amount of funding, some employers decide to pay benefits every other year, but in the amount of two payments (e.g. instead of transferring PLN 500 in 2016 and 2017, the company pays John Smith PLN 1,000 in 2017. Another grant will be received by John Smith in 2019.).
If the ZFŚS regulations allow it, the funds will be transferred to the employee before leaving for vacation. In practice, this means that some employees will not use the money they receive for holiday travel and leisure, and spend their free time at home, for example by carrying out repairs. As a result, instead of rested and relaxed after the holidays, they will probably return to work tired and bored. Therefore, in most cases, employers require the presentation of an appropriate document, on the basis of which a payment will be made – a hotel bill, an invoice for organized holidays or proof of payment for a child’s summer camp.
In both cases, the implementation of the benefit requires the submission of an appropriate application by the employee, and the funds not used in a given calendar year do not pass into the following year. It is often problematic to settle the trip, which will take place next year, but it was planned and booked in the current one. This is a big limitation for an employee who would like to take advantage of first-minute offers or trips organized in the winter.
Co-financed Holidays “under the pear tree” 2.0
If a company decides to manage the Company Social Benefits Fund using a cafeteria, the distribution of these funds – their subsequent settlement and implementation by the employee – become much easier. As part of the Cafeteria, the employer allocates an appropriate pool of funds to employees – in accordance with internal regulations, income group or other rules that affect the amount of financing. An employee who has access to the Cafeteria independently uses these means and does not have to make an additional payment to the employer or provide accounting documents.
If an employee decides to stay in Poland, he or she can choose from over 1,700 different tourist facilities in the Cafeteria – from camping houses, holiday centers to four and five-star SPA hotels. Those interested in the offer of holidays or trips abroad can count on a wide range of three of the largest travel agencies in Poland. MyBenefit offers interesting thematic camps for children, run by proven organizers.
The funds collected in the Cafeteria can also be used for short – a few-day or weekend trips to the mountains or to another city, while taking advantage of other offers, which can be paid for with additional money from the employer. Recently, the so-called city break – cultural and entertainment trips to Krakow, Wroclaw, Warsaw and Poznan, have been very popular.
You can book your trip or stay, well in advance, paying all or only part of the costs. At any time, an employee can pay extra to the chosen form of private money – online, just like when shopping online.
Employee’s rest and the employer’s peace
The convenience of using the Cafeteria and the freedom to choose a place or form of holidays is a huge privilege for employees. Employers, on the other hand, guarantee that the funds provided to the employee with a view to his leisure will be used exactly. In addition, the Cafeteria meets all the requirements of the Social Fund Regulations – we can divide employees into appropriate groups and easily transfer them the appropriate pool of funds, depending on the amount of funding from their earnings, seniority or number of children. It also fulfills the requirement of fair and equitable access to the Fund for all employees. At the same time, it removes from labor or HR department the tedious work associated with receiving applications, calculating funding and accounting for documents provided by employees.
Find out how the Cafeteria works and give your employees refunded holidays in version 2.0!