The entrepreneur as Saint Nicholas or not?

Entrepeneur as St Nicholas

With St Nicholas (‘Sinterklaas’) back in the Netherlands and Christmas soon to follow, this is a great time for many employers to give something to employees. Will it be something nice or something they can keep warm with. What do the employees need and what is in the employer’s options?

Especially in a time of labour shortages, as an employer you don’t want to lose your staff and look for ways to retain them and make your company attractive to potential candidates.

High costs

Many business owners struggle with the fact ‘how do I retain my employees and show my appreciation, without putting the company in trouble’. What do they really need? In addition, many entrepreneurs have not improved financially after corona and they too face high energy prices.

Also, they also get higher costs passed on from suppliers. To then also increase employees’ wages to ensure they can pay their bills can be quite a difficult story for some. At the same time, these prices will also have to be passed on to customers and so we all push prices up. In some industries, raising prices will not be easy either and it is also important to take a good look at costs. What could be cheaper? Are solar panels on business premises an option? Are there subscriptions that are not actually needed? Are there costs incurred for travel (meetings) that can also be done via Teams?

Several surveys of employers show that price increases are compensated through wages in various ways:

  • One-off bonus; this could potentially be just what employees need to pay the expensive energy bill now before the energy cap takes effect in 2023;
  • Percentage increase for all staff. This does mean low-income earners get proportionally less than high-income earners;
  • Everyone fixed amount as salary increase. As a result, low-income earners get a relatively higher percentage of pay increase.

Which way is best of course depends on the employee and which industry the entrepreneur is in.

Working expenses scheme

Besides increasing the salary or a one-off payment, an employer can also think of reimbursing other items such as a bicycle plan, a nice Saint Nicholas or Christmas present or a heat pillow (especially for home workers). This can be done via the working expenses scheme, among others.

Offering training can also be important for an employee. Check whether the training qualifies for the STAP budget, in which case part of the training costs may also be reimbursed from that budget.

A piece of fringe benefit remains important for most employees, even in this day and age.

Still St Nicholas?

If you want to know what the possibilities and financial consequences are for your company, let us calculate your situation. Who knows, you might still be able to play St Nicholas…

Pauline Deelen-Aarts

P.J. (Pauline) Deelen-Aarts AA

Certified Public Accountant (present: mo.-tu.-th.)

+31 (0)15 820 00 35
+31 (0)6 51 24 98 87

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