The meal vouchers (or luncheon vouchers) are undoubtedly one of the most widespread benefits in Belgium and the one employees appreciate best. Meal vouchers are advantageous for employers and employees alike. Also self employed persons can grant themselves meal vouchers. Meal vouchers are governed by a strict legal framework:
- the employer’s participation amounts to a maximum of € 6,91 and the employee’s contribution to a minimum of € 1,09
- the maximum face value is € 8,00/day worked (approximately € 160,00/month)
- 100 % exempt from social security charges
- not taxable for the employee
- the employer can deduct € 2,00 per voucher
- they are valid for 1 year
Eco vouchers (sometimes called eco-cheques) are intended to support the green economy by promoting the purchase of environmentally friendly, eco-designed and/or sustainable products.
They are exempt from social security charges for the employer and also offer advantages for the employee. Eco vouchers are valid for two years and create real net purchasing power (maximum € 250/year) for the employee. They can be used to make many daily purchases, ranging from organic foodstuffs to body care and hygiene products as well as low-energy electrical household goods and FSC or PEFC labelled wooden or derived products.
In the past, meal vouchers were typically in the form of paper tickets. Gradually they were replaced by electronic vouchers in the form of a special payment card. Today they are exclusively issued in electronic format that is combining the value of meal vouchers, eco vouchers and other vouchers.