Benefits in kind upon hiring: which ones can you negotiate?

Benefits in kind upon hiring: which ones can you negotiate?

Salary is the basis of the contract that binds an employee and an employer. But this sum can be supplemented by bonuses, commissions or benefits in kind. If the support of part of the meals is the most common, there are many others, such as a company car, a smartphone or even universal service employment checks (Cesu) to pay for childcare. These bonuses can lead to significant savings and are negotiated upon hiring. Find out everything you need to know about these in-kind benefits that can make the difference between two jobs.

Benefits in kind, what are we talking about?

Benefits in kind are salary supplements provided by the employer to save money for its employees. Unlike a bonus, they are not paid in cash. This is the case, for example, of the payment of meals, which is almost systematic. The employer pays part of his employee's ticket to the company restaurant or restaurant voucher. Some companies also offer to reimburse part of the cost of eating out in the form of expense reports. In the catering sector, you can even be fed on site.

Depending on the sector, you can also expect to obtain a company vehicle (if you have to travel a lot), a smartphone or a laptop. You can also obtain accommodation, this is particularly the case in the civil service. These supplements may be provided for by a collective agreement, by the employee's contract or by a unilateral decision of the employer. Some of these benefits may be subject to criteria such as seniority or a certain hierarchical level in the company.

What is the tax status of these benefits?

Benefits in kind upon hiring: which ones can you negotiate?

Benefits in kind must appear on the payslip. The employer therefore pays social contributions on it. The tax base corresponds to the assessment of the savings made by the employee who receives a benefit. If it bears part of the cost (this is the case for restaurant vouchers for example), only the part borne by the employer is subject to contributions.

As for the calculation of income tax, these bonuses are a component of the remuneration, so they are taken into account. They must also appear on the tax return. On the accounting side, the evaluation of the benefit in kind can be done either according to its real value, or by a lump sum, or by its cadastral rental value in the case of company accommodation. For the employer, the benefit is deductible from taxable income.

All these calculations should be studied carefully before agreeing to receive a vehicle, accommodation or even a smartphone. This can push you up a tax bracket and therefore cost you more than the savings you make on a daily basis.

What benefits can you request?

As soon as you are hired by a new company, it is legitimate to mention the benefits in kind to which you are entitled. If you are a salesperson and you have to travel a lot, a company vehicle seems ideal. Unlike the company vehicle which can only be used during working hours, it is the personal use of this car that constitutes an advantage.

You can also ask for a smartphone, laptop or tablet if you have to work outside your office, or even telecommute. If you are forced to change territory to perform your duties, the employer is required to provide you with accommodation, and this may involve company accommodation. Ambassadors always have one. But ministers, judges, mayors, teachers and other janitors can also have one. And this is not limited to civil servants. Senior executives can also expect to be accommodated.

Some companies also offer other lesser-known forms of benefits, such as universal service employment vouchers (renamed Cesu) to pay childcare costs, a free bank card, "city" clothes that you can wear outside your working hours (unlike a blouse or work overalls which are systematically provided), but also the products manufactured by the company offered at attractive prices. Remember to study your contract and the collective agreement before you commit to a company, to discover all the advantages to which you are entitled.

(By hREF editorial staff)