The German Social Security Act provides that remuneration for work is “all current or non-recurring income from employment, regardless of whether there is a legal entitlement to the income, under what name or in what form it is paid, and whether it is earned directly from or in connection with the employment”, and this is therefore subject to social security contributions. This is basically known and nothing new.
Bonus compensations are also considered remuneration
Until now, however, it was largely unknown that Sunday, public holiday and nighttime bonuses are also considered remuneration in this sense (and social security contributions must be paid for them), even if the employer did not actually pay the bonuses to his employees.
The Rhineland-Palatinate Regional Social Court recently ruled that if an employee did not actually work on Sundays, public holidays and at night due to public holidays or illness, but would nevertheless have been entitled to Sunday, public holiday and nighttime bonuses under German employment law, the employer must still pay social security contributions for these bonuses (which were not actually paid).
Principle of origin ensures social insurance obligation
This is justified by the principle of origin that applies in German social law. According to this principle of origin, social insurance contribution claims become due at the moment when the employee has a legal claim to any remuneration. This principle deliberately does not separate whether the employer fulfills the remuneration claim from the employee or whether the employee enforces this claim. Furthermore, it is irrelevant for the accrual of contribution claims whether the parties involved (employee and employer) were aware of any claims.
We would be happy to advise your organization on issues relating to pay and social security. Do not hesitate to contact us with your questions!