Reimbursements

If an employer grants his worker leave during the latter’s employment in Germany, the employer has to pay the leave allowance directly to the worker concerned. SOKA-BAU will reimburse the employer for such leave allowance.

If the employer granted his worker more leave than he is entitled to according to the collectively agreed calculation method, this is deemed to be a voluntary service beyond the realms of the collective agreement which is not reimbursable.

SOKA-BAU may request employers to retroactively submit their reports and pay contributions. If an employer has verifiably granted leave and paid a leave allowance to his worker prior to participating in the leave scheme, SOKA-BAU will reimburse the employer for any leave allowance paid.

SOKA-BAU will reimburse employers if their accounts are balanced and if they have fully complied with their reporting duties.

SOKA-BAU can credit the employer’s account with any reimbursement balance the employer may have. However, this is subject to the following requirements:

  • all reports due must have been provided in full,
  • the reimbursements claimed by the employer must undoubtedly be legitimate, and
  • if the amount of contributions payable exceeded the amount to be reimbursed and if the balance plus interest in arrears was paid before.

The same applies to companies that were requested by SOKA-BAU to retroactively submit their reports and pay contributions.

To offset claims for reimbursements against contributions due is, however, excluded.

Claims for the reimbursement of leave allowances are generally forfeited if they are not lodged with SOKA-BAU by 30 September of the year following the year in which they were paid.

If employment in Germany was terminated, and in the case that a worker is no longer covered by the BRTV [Federal Framework Agreement for the Construction Industry], (e.g. after terminating the posting period) even though his employment relationship has not ended yet, claims for the reimbursement of leave allowances are already forfeited by the 15th of the second month following termination.

Say a commercial worker leaves Germany on 25 August 2016 as his posting has ended. Any claims by the employer for the reimbursement of leave allowances paid in August or before will be forfeited on 15 October 2016.  After that date, SOKA-BAU will generally reject any claims for reimbursement by the employer.

If a company participates retroactively in the leave fund scheme, reimbursements are forfeited after a two-year period. The time limit will start at the end of the year in which SOKA-BAU notified the employer that participation in this scheme is compulsory. In the event that SOKA-BAU and an employer are in litigation, the two-year time limit will start at the end of the year in which it was determined, either by a legally binding court ruling or by mutual consent, that the company of the employer is obliged to participate in the leave fund scheme.