Chèque emploi service universel - what is it?

The Chèque emploi service universel or Cesu is a means of payment used in personal services jobs in France.

The Chèque emploi service universel, commonly known by the acronym Cesu, is a simplified service offered by the Urssaf network for declaring the remuneration of home-based employees. It is also a means of payment used in personal services jobs in France. 

There are two types of Cesu:

  • The "declarative" Cesu is used by private employers who directly employ an employee at home;
  • The "pre-financed" Cesu is a method of payment used to pay for personal services or a home-based employee.

What are the differences between the declarative cesu and the pre-financed cesu?

What is a "declarative" Cesu and how does it work?

The "declarative" Cesu, a simplified service offered by the Urssaf network, enables a private employer to declare his or her employee employed at home. It concerns all private individuals who have recourse to full-time or part-time home workers to help them with their family and domestic activities (cleaning, tutoring, assistance to the elderly or disabled, etc.).

In order to use the Cesu declarative scheme, the individual employer must first fill in a membership application with the national Cesu centre (CNCesu). All the procedures can be carried out online on their website or by post at the following address: " Centre national du Chèque emploi service universel - 63, rue de la Montat - 42 961 Saint-Étienne Cedex 9 ".

When joining the national Cesu centre, the person concerned chooses the method of declaring wages, which can be done in two ways: 

  • by internet on the website of the national Cesu centre (CNCesu);
  • with a document called "social component" to be sent to the CNCesu.

What is a pre-financed Cesu and how does it work?

The Cesu préfinancé is a special payment voucher with a predefined amount (like a meal voucher) identified in the name of the beneficiary and reserved for the payment of salaries or personal services or childcare. It can be fully or partially paid up and thus provides access to services at a lower cost.

The pre-financed Cesu is paid in full or in part by companies, works councils or public employers for their staff. It can also be paid by local authorities, social organisations, pension funds, welfare and social action organisations, etc. to recipients of social benefits dedicated to personal services or childcare.

The Cesu prefinanced allows its beneficiary to pay : 

  • the services of approved personal services organisations;
  • the wages of a person employed by the individual in his or her own home;
  • an approved agent structure, entrusted by the individual employer with carrying out all social formalities;
  • out-of-home childcare provided by approved childminders, crèches, day nurseries, kindergartens, after-school care centres. 

If necessary, the beneficiary may supplement his or her payment in Cesu préfinancé with other means of payment.

In order to receive Cesu vouchers, it is essential to be registered, i.e. to have an Urssaf number at the Centre national du chèque emploi service universel (CNCesu). It is also compulsory to declare the employee's wages and hours worked through this same organisation.

The pre-financed Cesu is a payment voucher with a date stamped on it. If the date is not indicated on the payment voucher, the Cesu is valid until 31 January following the year of issue.
For example, a Cesu voucher issued in 2020 is valid until 31 January 2021

Worklife - a powerful digital alternative

The Worklife solution guarantees several advantages for the payment of personal services. The Worklife App and card allow you to manage and finance home services from A to Z.

The Worklife App allows you to book, pay and declare your homecare provider, while automating aid and tax credits. It is the tool that allows you to finance home services directly. 

Worklife has created an API with the Urssaf, which allows the deduction at source to be taken into account when paying the homecare provider. The Worklife credit also allows the financing of the childcare hours once the CAF aid has been deducted and thus multiplies by approximately 2.5 the number of hours financed with the same amount compared to the classic Cesu. Worklife also makes it possible to finance the totality of the costs, including employee and employer contributions. 

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