Can the in-house social benefits fund be used to finance school trips of employees’ children ? 

Operation of the in-house social benefits fund is regulated by the legislative Act of 4 March 1994, art 2.5 of which provides that use of the fund is open to employees and their families, pensioners and persons drawing disability benefits (former employees) and their families as well as other persons to whom the employer chooses to extend its fund. The Act does not set out a detailed enumeration of the types of benefits provided from the fund – it only delineates the general scope of social work by the employing establishment as comprising services contributing to various forms of recreation, cultural and educational activity, sports, various forms of pre-school care for children, financial assistance (pecuniary or in-kind), and assistance for residential purposes (loans, grants) subject to contract (art 2.1 of the Act). The exact terms of drawing on the fund and the means of earmarking its resources towards specific objectives or types of activity are defined by the given employer in the rules governing use of the in-house social benefits fund. In this regard, the employer enjoys a certain leeway as regards defining the exact forms of assistance – of course, within the general framework of the Act. Accordingly, subsidies towards school trips of employees’ children would be a perfectly legitimate use for in-house social benefits fund resources in that children of employees are covered by the catalogue of entitled persons and subsidising a school trip qualifies as a form of social assistance. As an important point, any assistance out of the in-house social benefits fund should take into account the personal, family, and financial situation of the entitled person.