by Marie-Laure Dekeyzer
The relance overtime-hours system familiar for the last few years is being extended for the 2023-2025 period. This once again involves 120 overtime hours that are exempt from taxes and social security contributions.
Relance overtime hours can be used in the following periods:
From 01.07.2023 to 31.12.2023 inclusive: max. 120 relance hours
From 01.01.2024 to 31.12.2024 inclusive: max. 120 relance hours
From 01.01.2025 to 30.06.2025 inclusive: max. 120 relance hours
Note: it was not possible to use relance overtime hours in the period from 01.01.2023 to 30.06.2023.
The 120 relance overtime hours come on top of the allocation of 100 voluntary overtime hours.
Relance overtime hours benefit both employers and employees. Relance overtime hours provide an entitlement to time off in lieu, as with normal voluntary overtime. Moreover, no overtime supplement is owed. The employer pays only for the hourly wage, which is furthermore exempt from NSSO contributions and withholding tax. Unlike with normal overtime hours, gross=net applies to relance overtime hours.
Although both types of overtime hours can be combined, an absolute maximum of 220 overtime hours per employee and per calendar year applies. Moreover, the most logical choice is to first use up the maximum number of relance hours provided these are net (max. 120 hours), and only then to enter the balance as normal voluntary overtime hours (so a further max. 100 hours, unless the sector has potentially increased the number permitted).
The condition is that the employee signs a written agreement in which they consent to this type of overtime hours prior to working them, just like with normal overtime hours. The agreement can be concluded for a maximum period of six months – meaning renewing this agreement on time is important. An absolute maximum of 11 hours/day and 50 hours/week applies.
A government bill has now been put before the Chamber. This bill still needs to be passed by Parliament before being published in the Belgian State Gazette. This means that amendments are still possible. However, the NSSO administration has already published instructions to indicate that the relance overtime hours are exempt from NSSO contributions.
Employers are able to contact their payroll advisor to obtain a standard agreement for working relance overtime hours. Moreover, they will verify whether there is any sectoral agreement on the increase of the number of normal voluntary overtime hours, meaning the agreement should be adjusted.
For all other queries concerning relance overtime hours, please get in touch with your payroll advisor or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our opinions, we rely on current legislation, interpretations and legal doctrine. This does not prevent the administration from disputing them or from changing existing interpretations.
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