The so-called relax lump sum or relax allowance (relax benefit) is an allowance that employers can grant their employees once a year in addition to their regular salary in a tax-optimized manner. For employees, this benefit is exempt from both tax and social security contributions. It is meant to subsidize a vacation trip or any other form of recreation with the help of the relax allowance.

How much is the relax allowance?

With the relax allowance employees are offered an annual allowance in the amount of:

  • 156 € for each employee

  • 104 € additional for spouse

  • 52 € additional for each child

What type of recreation can the relax allowance be used for?

The allowance may apply to quite different forms of recreation:

  • Travel: If employees take a trip to recover from the efforts of a long project, a tax-free employer allowance is available. Day trips can also be subsidized in case the day trip took place in a 5-days-in-a-row vacation.

  • Cures or rehab: If employees are recovering after a long illness at a cure or rehab stay, the employer can subsidize this measure.

  • Recovery days and treatments: Wellness stays, massages or other forms of recuperation can be subsidized by the company with the relax allowance. This also includes visits to the swimming pool or an amusement park.

💡 In order to receive relax allowance, the respective measure must basically fulfill the purpose of recreation so that it can be subsidized by the employer. Employees have 3 months following their recovery to submit it via the Circula app.

❗️Note: In order to be eligible for the recreational allowance, a submitted "vacation" must last at least one week, i.e. at least 5 working days, for example from Sunday to Saturday.

Which employees can be granted the relax allowance?

All employees can receive an allowance for their relaxation costs. This benefit is not only available to full-time employees, but also to part-time employees and working students. In principle, employees are not entitled to the lump-sum relax allowance. This benefit is a voluntary measure on the part of the employer.

❗️Note: Employees can claim the recovery allowance in the Circula App only after they have been back from vacation for at least 7 days.

How do I use Circula's Relax Benefit?

Submit vacation days:

  1. Go to the "Benefits" tab in your mobile app

  2. Tap the yellow Plus Button to submit your vacation days

  3. Select "Relax"

  4. Read through the information.

  5. Now select the month in which you took the vacation days.

  6. Select the vacation days taken (min. 5 consecutive working days).

  7. Tab on the yellow arrow at the bottom right to submit your vacation days.

  8. Now you can add possible spouses and/or children.

  9. Now check that you have entered all the information correctly and tab "Submit".

  10. Now your submission will be reviewed by Circula.

  11. In the Benefits tab, you can review your submissions. (Each submission has a status.

  12. If the review is successful, you will be reimbursed for your relax allowance with your next paycheck.

Possible Errors

❗️Note:

  • The relax benefit can only be applied for vacations that took a minimum of 5 consecutive working days.

  • It can only be applied for vacations that took place less than 3 months ago.

  • It can only be applied for vacations that have already ended at least 7 days ago (not for future vacations).

Frequently asked questions

What age may my child be in order to be able to use the relax allowance?

Children include all descendants who have not yet reached the age of 18 and dependent children up to the age of 25.

Do employees also pay tax on the relax allowance?

No, this benefit is taxed at a flat rate of 25% for employers and is exempt from tax and social security contributions for employees.

How much is the relax allowance?

  • 156 € for each employee

  • 104 € additional for spouse

  • 52 € additional for each child

Example: Mr. Zukowski is married and has three children. He goes on vacation with his family for two weeks. A week after his return, he claims his relax allowance via the Circula app. In the following month, Mr. Zukowski receives a one-time reimbursement of €416 from his employer.

How often can the relax allowance be used?

The amount can be paid once per calendar year. The entitlement includes the entire amount once. There can be no division of the amount over the year.

How long should the minimum leave be in order to be eligible for the relax allowance?

At least one week (5 working days), for example from Sunday to Saturday. If an employee has taken fewer days of leave at a time, no rest allowance can be reimbursed.

Do employees have to have traveled on vacation to be able to use the relax allowance?

No, the relax allowance can be used both as an allowance for an all-inclusive trip and for a vacation at home.

Which recreational activities can be subsidized?

  • Trips and day trips,

  • Cures or rehabilitation,

  • recreation days and treatments (wellness stays, massages, swimming pool, amusement park, etc.)

The condition is that a "vacation" was taken at least 5 working days in a row.

When do employees receive the relax allowance?

Employees can claim their relax allowance only after they have returned from vacation. So, at least 7 days after the end of their leave, they submit it in the Circula App (leave for at least 5 consecutive days) and then receive a one-time repayment per year.

Help, I receive an error message

If an employee wants to claim the recreation allowance that is in the future, was taken more than 3 months ago or a vacation is shorter than 5 business days at a time, the recreation allowance cannot be claimed and an error message is displayed in the Circula app.


Do you still have questions?

💬 Chat Support
📞 +49 30 588 491 01
✉️️ support@circula.com

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