Barely 1.6% of employers grant a teleworking allowance to employees working from home, HR specialist Securex reports on Monday based on a survey of nearly 24,000 companies.
Employers have been able to grant their workers a tax-free teleworking allowance of up to €129.48 per month since March 2020 to cover costs such as heating, electricity and internet.
Employees are entitled to such an allowance if they work from home for at least five working days a month, with a minimum frequency of one day a week or an average of eight hours a day, Securex explained.
Not all employers who paid a homework allowance during this period did so systematically every month.
August and September were the record months so far, with 1% of employers paying a teleworking allowance in each case during this month.
This allowance averaged €76 per worker per month, and 7.5% of employers paid their employees the maximum amount of €129.48.
"Some employers assumed until the second wave that the corona storm would pass, and are still pursuing their traditional expense policies," said Securex Consult partner Iris Tolpe, "in the belief that their employees would soon be able to return to the office, and it would not be worth changing the way they were paid."
"This reasoning is not without risks," Tolpe said. In case of a check by tax authorities or the National Social Security Office (NSSO), "reimbursements for unpaid commuting will, in principle, be reclassified as ordinary wages, on which both NSSO and withholding tax (without tax exemption) are due."
According to Securex, some of these employers already pay another allowance that covers the costs of teleworking (such as a flat-rate reimbursement of expenses) or already provide equipment (such as a laptop, telephone or headphones), which means that a teleworking allowance is less easily or even not applicable.
The Brussels Times