In the present newsletter, we will discuss a new and one-off type of remuneration for employees that can be granted free from social security contributions and taxes, i.e. the consumption voucher. The Belgian government introduced this voucher in order to support some sectors of industry that were hit hard by the crisis.
As you undoubtedly know, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has a severe impact on the hospitality-, culture- and sport sector as well as small businesses that had to close longer than one month. In order to support these sectors, the Belgian government introduces a new voucher that can be granted only once, until 31 December 2020, for use in the aforementioned sectors.
The voucher can be granted free of social security contributions and taxes provided that the following conditions are met:
- The voucher cannot be given in order to replace or convert salary, premiums or other benefits, whether or not subject to social security contributions;
- The granting of the voucher must be included in a collective labour agreement on sector or company level or for the companies without a trade union delegation, in an individual agreement with the employees;
- The maximum value of a voucher is € 10 and the employer can grant a maximum of € 300 in these vouchers.
- The voucher can never be (completely or partially) exchanged for money;
- The voucher is issued in the name of the employee.
- The voucher is valid until 7 June 2021.
The consumption voucher can be issued through one of the accredited providers that already issue other types of vouchers (such as meal vouchers) but can also be issued by the employer. At this moment, it is not yet possible to grant the voucher electronically, but further legislation about this could be in the making.
Points of attention
If you wish to grant the consumption voucher to your employees, take into account the conditions above so that you can grant the voucher free of social security contributions and taxes. Pro-Pay can provide you with a template agreement that includes the modalities of the granting of the consumption voucher.