Employee Benefits Glossary


The so-called 'Anrufungsauskunft' or wage tax call information describes the framework conditions under which employers wish to grant their employees salary extras such as employee benefits. This involves very specific and clearly formulated payroll tax issues and questions of doubt regarding the payroll tax deduction procedure. Employers and employees can thus have their payroll tax obligations clarified. Companies receive free and binding information from the relevant tax office.


Benefits are special fringe benefits that companies offer their employees in addition to their salary. With these additional benefits, employers can increase their attractiveness for employees on the labour market, improve employee retention and motivation or show that they recognise the performance of their employees. Benefits can be financial benefits in the form of reimbursements, vouchers or subsidies, material benefits such as technical equipment or a company bike or company car, but also training and further education programmes or team-building measures.

Bike leasing

For employees who enjoy cycling, companies can provide company bicycles or e-bikes via a bicycle leasing scheme. Employees can then use them for both work and private purposes, but they must contribute to the costs. In return, a monthly leasing instalment is deducted from their salary.
After a defined term, usually three years, the lease ends and employees can either return the bike or take it on at its residual value. Similar to a company car, maintenance and wearing parts are usually included. Whether and how much money can be saved when leasing a bike depends, among other things, on the price of the bike and the employee's tax class.
In most cases, company bike leasing is financed via salary conversion. For the duration of the lease, employees waive their cash salary in the amount of the usage instalment and, if applicable, insurance.

Business case

Employee turnover is costly for companies, but so are measures to retain employees. Employee benefits are an efficient way for HR managers to find solutions to this challenge, especially during budget negotiations at the end of the year. To demonstrate the budgetary benefits of employee benefits for the company, it helps to draw up a business case.

Company bike

Employers can offer employees who want to cycle to work a company bike as an employee benefit. This is usually done by leasing a company bike. In principle, the leased bike works in the same way as a company car: employers are usually the lessee and provide the employee with the bike. Employees can then use it for both work and private purposes, but they must contribute to the costs. In return, a monthly leasing instalment is deducted from their salary. The company bike lease is financed either via salary conversion or as a salary supplement.

Corporate Benefits

Corporate benefits is an alternative term for employee benefits. In the competition for promising talent and high potentials, companies can offer attractive additional benefits to show their appreciation to employees. These employer branding measures also help companies to stand out from the competition. This overview shows which corporate benefits are particularly worthwhile for companies and employees.


As a job ticket, the Deutschlandticket is the ideal benefit for employees who (want to) use public transport to get to work. It is a monthly ticket that includes unlimited access to regional and local public transport throughout Germany. As a "flat rate for local public transport", the ticket is valid throughout Germany on all buses, trams, underground trains, suburban trains and local and regional trains. The so-called 49-euro ticket is a digital ticket and will therefore only be offered as a mobile phone ticket via an app or on a chip card. The quickest and easiest way to introduce a Deutschlandticket for employees is with NAVIT. As a job ticket offer, companies can even get the ticket at a lower price.

Employer attractiveness

Employer attractiveness describes the appeal that companies have for applicants and potential future employees. But even if companies are attractive as employers, it is easier for them to retain existing employees - this is what employer attractiveness means. Companies can improve their attractiveness as an employer with the help of modern, flexible employee benefits.

Employer branding

Employer branding refers to the implementation of measures by a company to build and maintain its own brand. By creating an employer brand, companies aim to gain an advantage over their competitors on the labour market by increasing their attractiveness to potential applicants. Examples of employer branding include offering attractive employee benefits such as a mobility budget or company bike. Employer branding strategies are planned and realised by HR and marketing departments. These employer branding measures are comparable to other marketing measures to attract customers or partners.

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Flexible working

The work-life balance plays an important role in employee satisfaction. Companies can enable their employees to achieve a good balance between leisure and work by offering flexible working hours. In addition to flexitime, this also includes offers such as working from home or a workstation.

Fuel card

As an alternative to classic fuel vouchers, there are fuel cards (Tankkarten) from individual petrol station chains. A fuel card works in a similar way to a conventional credit card. Employees use them at the petrol station by inserting them at the card terminal or using them contactlessly. The costs are then debited directly from a predetermined account. This enables companies to manage their expenditure transparently.

Fuel voucher

The fuel voucher (Tankgutschein) is one of the most popular benefits, especially among employees who drive. Employees can refuel their car at company expense by handing in the fuel voucher. Depending on which petrol station operators the company has partnerships with, employees can use the fuel voucher at selected petrol stations or without restrictions. An alternative to fuel vouchers are petrol cards. Fuel vouchers are accounted for as non-cash benefits with a tax-free allowance of 50.00 euros per month.


Incentives are defined as certain benefits given to employees to encourage their motivation and willingness to perform or to recognise and appreciate them. In addition to a salary increase as a classic incentive, non-cash bonuses are particularly popular with employees as they are tax-deductible. In addition to financial bonuses, companies often use the following benefits to incentivise employees:

  • Company car or company bike
  • Company mobile phone / laptop
  • Staff discounts
  • Vouchers for food, shopping or refuelling
  • (Partial) assumption of the costs for sports courses or fitness centres
  • Subsidisation of childcare
  • Events or trips

Internet allowance

Internet access in the home office of employees can also be subsidised via the non-cash benefit. Employers can subsidise their employees with an amount of up to 50.00 euros per month. Subsidised applications include basic fees, costs for flat rates as well as necessary hardware and software. As the subsidy is settled as a benefit in kind, it is exempt from social security contributions and subject to a 25% flat-rate tax.

Job ticket

Job tickets are discounted monthly tickets for local public transport. Since 2019, they can be given to employees tax-free and thus make company mobility more climate-friendly. Since then, employees no longer have to pay a monetary benefit. This also means that employers can also give employees further financial allowances below the 50-euro exemption limit.

Kita-Zuschuss (Daycare subsidy)

An interesting employee benefit for employees with children is the daycare centre allowance. Employers can reimburse monthly costs incurred for the care, accommodation and meals of employees' children in full, free of tax and social security contributions and without any upper limit. The only requirement is proof of the actual costs incurred based on the original contract with the daycare centre.

Meal allowances

The meal allowance (Essenszuschuss) is an employee benefit or benefit in kind that may only be granted by employers for meals. This allowance is stipulated in the wage tax guidelines and is made up of the official non-cash benefit value (which can be paid either by the employee or the employer) and the tax-free employer allowance. In addition to a tax- and social security-free portion of EUR 3.10, the legislator grants an allowance of EUR 3.80, which is taxed at a flat rate of 25%. This means that the subsidy totals 6.90 euros per meal. Without taking holidays, illness or public holidays into account, a lump sum of 15 meals, i.e. 103.50 euros per month, can be granted. This form of employee catering may also be offered to employees as deferred compensation.

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Sachbezug (Non-cash benefits)

Employee benefits can be issued as non-cash benefits in addition to the salary. Various services and products can be offered to employees as benefits in kind. These include mobility budgets, gym or sports club memberships and daycare vouchers. The current tax-free limit for these additional company benefits is 50 euros per month. In addition, a flat-rate tax is payable.

Salary conversion

More net from gross - which employee wouldn't be happy about that? To motivate, reward and retain their employees, employers have the option of converting part of their employees' salary into a financially attractive employee benefit, such as a company bike or a mobility budget. This is referred to as deferred compensation or salary conversion. However, tax regulations must be observed.

Salary extra

Instead of a traditional salary increase, employers can offer their employees benefits as a salary extra. This is often more worthwhile for companies and employees than a salary increase, as a higher gross salary does not always mean more money in the bank account. Cold progression and the increase in the tax burden contribute to this. Employee benefits, on the other hand, can often be offered tax-free.

Training costs

Companies have the opportunity to support their employees with training programmes. Companies can also benefit from this, as employers who invest in the skills and abilities of their employees ensure satisfied employees and can keep them in the company for longer. In some cases, companies can also receive state subsidies if they offer their employees training programmes.

Travel allowance

The travel allowance (Fahrtkostenzuschuss) is a voluntary financial benefit provided by the employer to support the mobility of its employees. Companies grant this tax-free employer subsidy (journeys by public transport are generally tax-free) in addition to the salary. In this way, employees can save on travel costs and companies can improve their attractiveness as an employer.

Workplace health programmes

By law, employers have the option of granting their employees an annual allowance of 600 euros for health promotion measures free of (wage) tax. These are non-cash benefits that are earmarked for a specific purpose. The following health-promoting offers, for example from health insurance companies or private providers, are included:

  • Nutritional offers, such as nutrition courses or counselling
  • Stress management through relaxation or yoga courses
  • Exercise programmes such as back training or walking
  • Addiction prevention programmes such as smoking cessation or alcohol withdrawal

In addition or as an alternative, companies can promote the health of their employees by incentivising them to cycle to work. They can achieve this with a company bike leasing scheme, for example.

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Stefan Wendering
Stefan is a freelance author and editor at NAVIT. Previously, he worked for startups and in the mobility sphere. He is an expert in urban and sustainable mobility, employee benefits, and New Work. In addition to creating blog content, he also produces marketing materials, taglines, and website content, as well as case studies.
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