May 12, 2021 Florent Hainaut #HR

The guide to meal vouchers in Belgium in 2021

The meal voucher system is quite complex and involves four actors: issuers, employers, employees and restaurant owners. Each has a specific role in the transmission of these vouchers.

What are meal vouchers?

The meal voucher is an extra-legal benefit offered by employers to their employees. It is a lump-sum contribution from both parties so that the employee can buy food during the working day.

The issuers of meal vouchers

In Belgium the specialised companies that issue meal vouchers to employers are Sodexo, Edenred and Monizze. The issue is done in exchange for a fee. The card issuers are also responsible for reimbursing the meal vouchers to restaurants and retailers. They must therefore be able to reimburse them at any time.

The employers

After purchasing meal vouchers from specialised companies, they give them to their employees. The employer has to pay about 85% of the amount of the meal vouchers. The rest is paid by the employee. The employers' contribution is exempt from certain tax and social security charges.  

The employees

Employees receive their meal vouchers from their employer. They can then use it as they wish, for a meal in a restaurant or to buy food in a shop. Meal vouchers are not taxable for employees.

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Restaurants and retailers

They accept meal vouchers and then to be reimbursed for the full amount of the vouchers accepted, they will present them to the companies in question.

Regulations on meal vouchers in Belgium

In order to take advantage of the benefits offered by meal vouchers in Belgium, the following conditions must be respected:

- Minimum employee contribution: €1.09 per day

- Maximum employer's contribution: €6.91 per day

- Maximum of one meal voucher per day worked

- Mention in the CLA (collective labour agreement) or in the individual agreement

It is important to note that meal vouchers are an additional benefit and should not replace pay. Meal vouchers can be combined with expense accounts and must be displayed on the payslip with the total amount.

The 3 steps :  

1/ Determine the amount of meal vouchers you wish to allocate to your employees

2/ Make an invitation to tender. Find the list of service providers and customer reviews here

3/ Negotiate the best commission or ask us for advice

>>> TO READ: Cost reduction: How to motivate your employees in times of crisis?