Meal vouchers: Anti-Inflation Measures

To help with soaring prices, the French government introduces new anti-inflation measures. Several affect the French payroll: raise of overtime exemption to €7500, renewal of PEPA bonus, anticipated release of funds of the company bonus plan ‘intéressement’ and new provisions regarding meal vouchers.

Meal vouchers: New Anti-Inflation Measures

Meal vouchers are one of the most common employee benefits in France. The employer participation is fully exempt from social contributions and payroll taxes if conditions are respected. To help struggling households cope with rising food prices, the government introduced the following measures.

Maximum exemption of meal voucher raised to €5.92

The maximum amount of the employer part is raised from €5.69 to €5.92. The new value will apply to tickets issued from 1st of September until 31 December 2022.
Besides respecting the maximum amount, meal voucher must respect a minimum employer participation of 50% and a maximum employer participation of 60%. For an employer participation of 60%, the new maximum exemption of € 5.92 applies to meal vouchers of a nominal value of €9.87.

Waiver of consumption restrictions

The use of meal vouchers is strigently regulated. Historically, meal vouchers were only to be used for food products that are directly consumable such as processed meals, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. Until 31 December 2023, meal vouchers can now be used for the purchase of all food products, directly consumable or not. This expands the usage of meal vouchers to products such as rice, pasta and flour.

Daily use limit to be raised to €25

It is expected that the daily limit of the use of meal vouchers will be raised from €19 to €25. This measure has yet to come into effect. The restriction to working days will apply.

Over the last years, several temporary alleviations applied to meal vouchers. During the Covid health crisis, the government promoted the use of meal vouchers in restaurants which were heavily impacted by the crisis. For the use in restaurants, until 30 June 2022 the daily limit of €19 was doubled to €38, the use was no longer restricted to working days.