Restaurant vouchers - how does it work?

Luncheon vouchers are a specific means of payment, a company benefit that allows employees to pay for their meals.

What is a meal voucher?

Luncheon vouchers are specific means of payment, purchased by employers from specialised organisations and distributed to employees who co-finance them and use them to pay for their meals at an affiliated merchant.

Who benefits from meal vouchers?

The potential beneficiaries are : 

  • Employees (permanent, fixed-term, full-time, part-time)
  • Temporary workers
  • The trainees

Good to know: the company can allocate meal vouchers to its managers and officers:

  • subject to the application of the texts governed by the URSSAF
  • the meal vouchers must also be allocated to the company's employees 

Financing of the meal voucher

Restaurant vouchers are financed in part by the employer and in part by the beneficiary employee.

To be exempt from social security contributions, the employer's contribution to the financing of the acquisition of meal vouchers must respect two limits: 

  • be between 50 and 60% of the face value of the meal voucher
  • the exempted share must not exceed 6.50 € (in 2023)

Thus, to benefit from the exemption of charges, if the employer pays 50% of the meal voucher, the maximum amount of the voucher will be 13 € and if the employer pays 60% of the voucher, the amount will be 10.83 €.

What are the rules for using meal vouchers?

📅 When?

The meal vouchers can be used from Monday to Saturday, at any time! If your employees work on Sundays and public holidays, they can use their Worklife card on those days too. 

💳 How much? 

Your employees can use up to €25 of meal vouchers per day. Unlike paper, there's no minimum amount (except for the shopkeeper's), and they pay for their purchases to the nearest cent! So it's perfectly possible to pay for a croissant at the bakery with the Worklife card.

🥡 Where?

Worklife vouchers are accepted everywhere: in more than 220,000 restaurants, bakeries and even supermarkets.

Good to know: The increase in the payment ceiling for meal vouchers has been extended until December 31, 2023. Until December 31, 2023, meal vouchers can be used by employees to pay all or part of the cost of any food product, whether or not directly consumable, up to a limit of 25 euros per day. Since the end of June 2022, the temporary measure allowing meal vouchers to be used on weekends and public holidays has been repealed. The rule is therefore the same as before: meal vouchers can only be used on working days (except in cases where employees work outside working days).

Benefits of meal vouchers

Restaurant vouchers have been so successful because they offer many benefits - for employers, employees and restaurant owners:

  • As anemployer, you meet your legal obligation to provide employee catering at a lower cost. You reward and motivate your employees by making substantial savings compared to a salary increase, thanks to the possibility of an exemption from social security charges on the vouchers and their non-taxation.

  • The employee or collaborator concerned increases his purchasing power thanks to a non-taxed salary supplement. In addition, he or she can choose the meal he or she wants from a huge selection of traders, rather than being obliged to follow the imposed menu of a collective catering structure,

  • The restaurant owner gains an additional and regular clientele, necessarily solvent. The Worklife solution is part of a social and solidarity-based approach. It is the only issuer of restaurant vouchers that does not charge restaurant owners any commission.

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