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ARBO provisions and chair massage
Information regarding Arbo provisions

Question:
Is it a free ARBO provision (as referred to in article 43, second paragraph, of the performance regulation income tax 2001), if employees are given the opportunity to experience a chair massage by a, to this end certified, company? This is a chair massage that revolves around pressure point massage that boosts the physical condition and prevents work-related illnesses, like stress and RSI.

Answer:

An employer is obliged to (on the grounds of article 3, first paragraph, exordium and division B, of the working conditions law 1998) operate an, as good as possible, working conditions policy, limiting the danger and risks for the employee's health as much as possible. Under article 4, first paragraph, of that same law, an employer is also obliged to operate a sickness absence policy, which includes the prevention of sickness among employees. It is possible that the employer draws up an ARBO (health & safety) plan that includes a chair massage in a reasonable manner, focusing on reducing the possibilities of work related sickness, like stress, burn-out and RSI, among employees. For that matter, an ARBO (health & safety) plan is much more than just offering an employee a chair massage. Facilitating a good working space, offering information on the necessity of preventing work related sickness and giving the employee sufficient possibilities to rest, are all first priorities. From such a plan, the necessity of a chair massage for certain employees, due to their particular jobs, can logically ensue. With respect to those employees, the employer is subsequently obliged to provide a chair massage, due to industrial law. Intrinsic to this obligation is that the chair massage is performed during working hours and that no additional contribution from the employee is demanded (in accordance with article 44 of the working conditions law 1998). Observing the preceding and article 43, second paragraph, of the performance regulation income tax 2001 as well, a chair massage is a free provision, in case:

  1. the employer possesses an ARBO (health & safety) plan
  2. the chair massage is reasonably included in that plan
  3. the chair massage occurs during working hours
  4. the employee doesn't owe an additional contribution
  5. no substantial private saving by the employee occurs

If these conditions are not met, the worth of the chair massage in economic traffic reduced by a possible employee contribution, is part of the wage (in accordance with article 13, first and third paragraph, law on income tax 1964).

Source: ministry of finance