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New duty on employers to report applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements

New Year brings new resolutions and also some new requirements for employers to report applicable collective bargaining agreements.

On 1 January 2023, a new form for calculating tax deductions (REK-O) has come into use. The new REK-O form was published just before the end of last year and must be used for income payments from 1 January 2023 onwards. One of the 128 fields in the new REK-O form requires that the employers select the collective bargaining agreement applicable to the employment of the recipient of the income for wages and salaries paid and wage allowances. It is listed under the code “S02” and requires the employer to enter a 3-digit code of the applicable collective bargaining agreement at the branch level (the full list is available here).

This leaves some employers in a tough spot as they might be unsure about the branch collective bargaining agreement that applies – if any. There are some branches that do not have a collective bargaining agreement. Whereas, thanks to the new form, some employers may only now realise that they are actually obliged to comply with the provisions of a branch collective bargaining agreement.

To explain briefly, the collective bargaining agreements regulate in more detail the rights and obligations of workers and employers arising out of the employment relationship. Branch collective bargaining agreements are generally concluded between trade unions or trade union associations and employers or employers’ associations. As a general rule, collective bargaining agreements apply to the parties to the collective agreement or to their members, but if the collective bargaining agreement of an activity is concluded by one or more representative trade unions and one or more representative employers’ associations, its validity may be extended by a decision of the Minister of Labour to all employers in the branch for which the collective bargaining agreement is concluded. This means that a collective bargaining agreement at the branch level may also apply to employers who are not members of a representative employers’ association and even if they do not have an organised trade union.

When filling out the new form, it is also important to note that some branch collective bargaining agreements that generally apply to the employer, may not apply to a specific employee, either because the employment contract specifies otherwise or by virtue of the collective bargaining agreement itself, which may not apply to the employee in question.

Notably, if the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement applicable to the employer do not apply to the person employed (for instance, directors in specific branches), the digits “000” should be entered. However, not all questions of the applicability of collective bargaining agreements can be solved so easily and an assessment of each employee may be required.

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