The matter of an employee’s vacation subsidy may be examined in terms of smaller and bigger companies. In the first case – in which less than 20 people are hired on full-time – the employer may create the Zakładowy Fundusz Świadczeń Socjalnych (ZFŚS), from which he is able to pay extra to workers’ holidays, or he can do it from the company’s budget. In bigger enterprises, the employee may obtain a holiday support only through the ZFŚS.
The main difference between the subsidy from own company funds and the Zakładowy Fundusz Świadczeń Socjalnych is that in this first case, every employee may obtain a support after meeting certain conditions. On the other hand, an additional payment from the ZFŚS (so-called self-arranged country side holidays) concerns only some people and is received in different amounts. It is worth to examine these two kinds of subsidies more closely.
A holiday benefit paid from a company’s budget is entitled to all the employees hired under a contract of employment and also to those workers who use their leaves during the period of notice (social and family situation of an employee does not matter). In such situations, a worker receives a benefit once a year, while he has to go on a leave in a period no longer than 14 calendar days (feasts and days off, which result from an employee’s work schedule, are also included). The benefit is not granted if a worker uses his 14-days vacation at the end of the year. What is the amount of a subsidy? The law determines the maximum of a payment, that is the value of a deduction on the fund of social benefits, adequate for the kind of a worker’s employment. The employer may set a lower amount, but he is obliged to inform the employees about it not later than the end of January this year, in which the benefits are going to be paid.
In the case of subsidies from a company’s budget as well as from the ZFŚS, it is the employer who makes a decision about the amount and conditions of payment, based on general terms included in the Act of the Zakładowy Fundusz Świadczeń Socjalnych.
With self-arranged country side holidays, the employer is obliged to take life situation, social, financial and family conditions of the worker into consideration. Not all employees, however, are entitled to obtain such subsidies. There are situations when some workers do not get them in a particular year because, for instance, they have too high incomes or too good financial and life situation. The amount of subsidy is also determined by employee’s situation. Generally, it should differ in respect of individual workers – explains Marta Kosakowska, legal trainee of TGC Corporate Lawyers.
In every partnership, the statute of payments from the ZFŚS should be obligatory. There should be included provisions treating of which person is obliged to such subsidy, which formalities should be satisfied, which documents should be submitted, what is the amount of this kind of subsidy and what happens when e.g. an employee ceases his vacation or dedicates a subsidy to different aims unrelated to leisure – explains Marta Kosakowska.
In both cases, the employer has a right to demand that the worker submits his vacation bills, in order to account for subsidies. As regards leave subsidies, in accordance with the requirements of the Act, the employer is obliged to pay the worker a leave subsidy not later than the last day before the beginning of the vacation. However, there are no such requirements in the case of self-arranged country side holidays, but it is common that these means are to be spent on the leave, so they should be paid on the moment before the leave will begin or shortly after its ending – informs Marta Kosakowska.
It is worth remembering that leave subsidies, in contradiction to self-arranged country side holidays (financing from ZFŚS), are taxable. Nevertheless, the employer may pay more than 380 zloty and only over this amount the tax is paid – adds expert of TGC Corporate Lawyers. Moreover, if a leave subsidy exceeds 1093,93 zloty, ZUS contribution must be paid. In the case of self-arranged country side holidays, contributions are not paid.