Beginning 1 May 2023, employees who regularly cycle to work may claim an employer-paid allowance of EUR 0.27 per kilometer based on the recent conclusion of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA No. 164) by the National Labour Council on 24 January 2023.

Key details

General CBA No. 164 applies to all private employers operating in profit and non-profit sectors in Belgium. If an employer is subject to a company or sectoral CBA which includes a bicycle allowance, even if it is less than EUR 0.27 per kilometer, they are exempt from the new requirement. If a company provides a cycling allowance as part of their work rules or an isolated agreement, CBA No. 164 will apply.

To recognize and promote sustainable means of transport, all employees who regularly cycle to work may claim a bicycle allowance of EUR 0.27 per cycled kilometer, capped at 20 km per trip or 40 km per round trip, per day. Employees must cycle to work regularly to be entitled to the bicycle allowance. Regular cycling includes, for example, employees who consistently cycle to work once per week as a portion of their commute, or who cycle to work regularly only during the summer months.

The allowance is paid along with the employees’ wages and is exempt from personal income tax and social security contributions. Most employers are already required under CBAs to subsidize the cost of transit to and from work for employees who take public transportation. Employees are allowed to combine cycling with other means of transportation; however, the same distance entitles the employee only to one form of commuter benefit/allowance.

Employees must provide their employers with a signed, honorary declaration specifying the distance and the number of bike commutes per month. Employers will need to determine the frequency for completing such declarations and the methods for verifying information.

During the year 2024, the National Labour Council will assess the CBA application and the compensation measures intended to help employers compensate for the bicycle allowances, such as potentially allowing employers to deduct these costs from their taxes. The bicycle allowance rate is expected to be adjusted annually to different index figures.

Next steps

Prior to 1 May 2023, employers should ensure that their HR and payroll teams are adequately prepared for the change. As applicable, employers should also update their HR policies, payroll systems, employment contracts, and commuter benefits policies to ensure full compliance with the new rules.

CBA No. 164