Company Social Benefits Fund – who and how can use it?

Employees in the office

Employers of both small and large companies are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of creating friendly working conditions and the benefits of additional, often non-material, rewards for employees. Especially since employee benefits can be organized as part of the Social Benefits Fund. Therefore, it is worth knowing exactly what it is, when the establishment of a social fund is mandatory, and what can be accounted for within it.

What is the Company Social Benefits Fund?

The Company Social Benefits Fund, referred to as ZFŚS, is a financial resource that is collected by an employer in order to provide social assistance to eligible employees. Typically, the monetary resources for ZFŚS are set aside in a separate bank account, and their amount is dependent on the value of the deductions in force in a given calendar year.

When is it mandatory to create a social fund?

Not every business owner is required to create a social fund. According to current regulations, ZFŚS must be established in companies where there are at least 50 full-time employees. Therefore, if an employer employs less than 50 employees, they do not have to, although they may, create a company social benefits fund.

It is very important to be aware of changes in the regulations, because until recently, i.e. until December 31, 2016, ZFŚS (Company Social Benefits Found) had to be established in companies that employ at least 20 full-time employees. It is also important to know that the number of employees is always determined as of January 1 of a given year.

Small business owners often wonder if it is worth creating such a fund. And although everything depends on the organization of financial resources in the company, it is usually a beneficial solution. Especially since the money used within ZFŚS (CSBF) is used to satisfy employees’ non-work related needs, which positively affects their motivation and increases loyalty to the employer. And who in practice can benefit from establishing a company social benefits fund?

Who benefits from CSBF?

It is obvious that the funds collected within ZFŚS are used by employees of a given company. However, in practice, the employer, based on the Act of March 4, 1994, on the Company Social Benefits Fund, determines how to distribute the resources among employees.

The nature and amount of benefits, which are usually non-material, depend on the employees’ material, family, and health situation, which is why it cannot be the case that all employees are paid the same amount from the fund.

However, additional compensation cannot be dependent on the employment status, length of service, or work quality assessment.

Because payment from ZFŚS is dependent on many factors, it is very important to formulate clear and precise regulations, as otherwise, an employee may have reservations about the validity of the payment of the benefits. If they feel they have been treated unfairly, they have the right to contact the State Labor Inspectorate or the court. For this reason, it is worth having a labor law attorney prepare the appropriate regulations.

What can the funds be used for?

Although the aforementioned law clearly specifies how social fund resources can be used, in practice, proper interpretation of the regulations can pose many problems for employers. This is another reason to create a benefits granting policy with the help of an experienced lawyer.

For example, the funds can be used for:

  • subsidizing holidays;
  • subsidizing sports, recreational or cultural and educational benefits;
  • food packages for employees’ children or for special occasions;
  • creating company nurseries and centers;
  • grants.

Support from the Social Benefits Fund cannot be used for:

  • integration events and organizing company celebrations;
  • bonuses and rewards;
  • employee education;
  • organizing a company canteen;
  • private medical care for employees;
  • the purchase of fixed assets.

It is assumed that the benefits granted must have a social character. Therefore, as already mentioned, everything depends on the proper interpretation of the regulations and the creation of a legally compliant policy.

Using funds from the Social Benefits Fund with the example of the Motivizer cafeteria platform

Using a cafeteria system that enables the easy granting of attractive benefits for employees is also a great convenience for employers. With an intuitive platform, it is easy to settle funds granted under the Social Benefits Fund. To make it easier for our clients, we present a list of benefits that can come from the social fund:

  • Travellist gift card;
  • gift vouchers for SPA treatments;
  • vouchers;
  • cinema tickets;
  • theater and other cultural event tickets;
  • OK System sports card;
  • Sport and Culture Edenred card;
  • vouchers;
  • RTV Euro AGD, Saturn, Media Markt and Decathlon gift vouchers;
  • Edenred gift cards for employees.

The rules for granting some of these benefits, if they are to be realized under the fund, must be strictly defined in the policy. Therefore, we encourage cooperation with our team, who will explain everything in detail. There are also unusual Social Benefits Fund benefits that have appeared in recent years and have gained significance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, some benefits available in the Motivizer cafeteria system cannot be granted under the Social Benefits Fund:

  • Empik electronic cards;
  • Zalando and Douglas gift cards;
  • OpenCard discount cards;
  • Circle K prepaid fuel cards;
  • Edenred meal cards for employees;
  • Lingua Nova language course;
  • services: LUX-MED medical package, legal services, accounting services, personal concierge, quarterly subscription to CENSEI.

Although settling funds from the Social Benefits Fund may not seem difficult, in practice, it can pose many difficulties. However, by deciding to grant additional motivating benefits under the cafeteria system, these issues can be simplified. Thanks to a special module, it is enough to mark which benefits are to be granted from the fund and to register them easily.