It is not too late to pay the ‘Macron’-Bonus. You still have until 31/03/2022!
So why not pay it for Christmas ?
What is the ‘Macron’-Bonus ?
The ‘Macron’-Bonus, also referred to as ‘exceptional purchasing power bonus’, was first introduced in 2019. It was since extended until 2020 and then until 31/03/2022.
It is a payment of up to 1000 € (or up to 2000 € in certain cases) that is exempted from contributions and taxes. Meaning it is a net payment for the employee and without additional social charges for the employer.
It is up to the discretion of the employer to pay it or not. There is no legal obligation.
Why should I pay a ‘Macron’-Bonus instead of a regular Bonus ?
Payroll Taxes in France are significant expenses. Let’s take an example of an employee earning 3000 € per month for a 35 hours week. In order to pay a regular bonus of 1000 € net before tax to this employee the employer would have to pay about 1290 € gross (to cover the employee’s contributions of about 22,50 %). On top of this, the employer would have to pay 35 % employer’s contributions on the gross: 450 €. On total this adds up to 1740 € for a regular bonus instead of 1000 € for the ‘Macron’-Bonus. So when paying the ‘Macron’-Bonus 740 € can be saved. This amount will be even higher if the employer also covers the employee’s taxes on the regular bonus.
How to qualify for the ‘Macron’-Bonus ?
The payment of the bonus is strictly defined by law and all the conditions have to be met.
Which employees can qualify for the ‘Macron’-Bonus ?
Private sector employees with a salary level not exceeding 3 times the French minimum salary also referred to as SMIC (based on the average salary of the last 12 months preceding the payment). Following the increase of the minimum salary in October 2021 employees earning a maximum of € 4768,41 € gross per month on average are now eligible.
If set up the ‘Macron’-Bonus must be paid to all employees bound by an employment contract at a certain date (for instance the date of payment of the bonus).
Can the ‘Macron’-Bonus vary from employee to employee ?
The bonus may vary according to several “objective” criteria : salary, job classification (collective bargaining agreement), working time (part-time / full-time), actual presence over the past year.
It is not possible to exclude an employee based on the seniority in the company or the nature of the employment contract (it is forbidden to exclude employees with a fixed-term contract for example).
What else needs to be respected?
The ‘Macron’-Bonus must not replace another salary element such as a salary raise or a bonus already provided for by the employment contract for instance.
What are the formal requirements ?
The criteria for granting and paying the bonus must be formally fixed either by a unilateral decision (D.U.E.) or a company agreement.
What is the maximum amount of the ‘Macron’-Bonus ? 1000 € or 2000 € ?
For employers to qualify for the bonus of up to 2000 € they have to meet one of the following conditions:
– Staffheadcount of less than 50 employees
– Existance of a company profit-sharing agreement based on the company performance
– Engagement in initiatives to support 2nd line workers
The bonus is limited to € 1000 if none of these criteria are met.
It remains the employer’s decision to fix the amount within these limits.
What are the declaration obligations ?
The bonus must be mentioned on the French Payslip and has to be declared to the social security body URSSAF with the monthly data transmission ‘DSN’.