… unless you’re employed in Portugal where it is customary for employers to offer meal allowances while employees are working. In many cases, the amount is paid via pre-paid cards and, via this method, 7.63 Euros per qualifying day would have been handed over to each employee in 2018.

And that’s just one of many cultural payroll nuances to be encountered when employing in Europe.

Whether it’s an accepted norm or a mandatory provision, not providing access to schemes which are expected could be detrimental to attracting and retaining the best possible talent.

In Belgium…

Another example is where employers in certain sectors should offer eco vouchers to their employees.

These vouchers can be used to purchase all manner of goods and services of a “green” nature. If your prospective employee has a strong ecological moral compass, they may well see more benefit to the gesture behind the provision of eco vouchers than then face value of 250 Euros per period may suggest.

As with Portugal’s meal vouchers, there is a financial saving for the employer and employee in offering these benefits versus an equivalent cash sum. Neither tax nor social security contributions are chargeable on the amounts hence an employer can offer a more attractive looking total package if an element of the remuneration is covered by meal vouchers.

And Romania…

… shows us where a “13th-month” salary is often paid to employees.

However, this is merely a common practice option, unlike Spain and Italy where such payments are compulsory!

This means that if you are employing in Romania but unaware of the cultural norm, nobody will pull you up on it but you may not be getting interest from the highest calibre employees.

In summary, every country does things differently when it comes to payroll.

Don’t let it affect your business

Whether it’s a compulsory part of payrolling an employee or a supplementary benefit, not joining in is likely to have a negative impact on businesses employing in Europe.

Our team of global payroll superstars is here to help you navigate the complexities of global payroll as part of our fully compliant PEO offer.

Call Sam the superstar on (+44) (0)203 1370217 or email sam@topsourceworldwide.com.

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Published On: June 1st, 2019Last Updated: March 10th, 2022

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About the Author: Paul Sleath

Paul is responsible for global marketing and communications including brand, advertising, digital marketing, and demand generation. Paul has a wealth of experience previously co-founding PEO Worldwide and was also the former managing director of CPM People/Stipenda.