The objective of the sustainable mobility allowance is to reduce the negative impacts of commuting on the environment. By encouraging employers to participate to the costs of eco-friendly means of transport, it aims to promote the use of environmentally friendly infrastructure for commuting between home and work.
What is the French sustainable mobility allowance?
The eco-friendly transport allowance is an optional employee benefit in France. It allows employers to fully or partially cover commuting expenses under the condition that the employee chooses an eco-friendly means of transport. The employer participation to the commuting expenses is tax-free and exempt from contributions within an annual limit. Eligible expenses include both public transport means (e.g. public rental cars, public rental bicycles) as well as private transport (bicycles, ride-sharing, etc.).
Maximum amount of the mobility package
Since 2021, the maximum amount for the sustainable mobility allowance is €500 per year. There are further rules and limits that apply if the employer already refunds other transport related expenses (e.g. a mandatory public transport refund of 50%, or refunds of petrol expenses up to €200 per year).
In order to be exempt from contributions, the employer must obtain a proof that the allowance is used in accordance with its purpose: This can come in the form of a sworn statement by the employee for each calendar year, or a receipt proofing the nature of the expense.
Payment of the allowance: vouchers or direct payment
The sustainable mobility allowance can be paid in two ways: either as a direct payment via the French payslip or in the form of a mobility voucher.
The mobility voucher takes the form of a dematerialized payment card. The employee can use this card as a means of payment with certain authorized service providers.
The cards are issued by specialized companies which take a small fee for their service.
Which expenses are covered by the sustainable mobility allowance?
The following goods and services are eligible for the eco-friendly transport allowance (non-exhaustive list)
– bicycles (manual or electric): purchase, rental, maintenance and parking services, insurances
– Carpooling services;
– Rental of self-service electric, rechargeable hybrid cars accessible on public roads;
– Sale of power supply or charging for electric cars.
How to set up the sustainable mobility allowance?
The sustainable mobility allowance is an optional benefit. It can be set up by agreement (e.g. company or branch) or by unilateral decision of the employer. If a work council exists in the company, it must be consulted prior.
Which employees are eligible?
When the employer decides to set up the eco-friendly commuting allowance, all employees of the company who meet the conditions must get access to the package, based on the same terms and conditions.
Optimizing labor costs in France
Employer contributions can be very high in France, even about 45% in some cases. Together with other optional benefits like meal vouchers and French CESU vouchers, the sustainable mobility allowance can help to optimize labor costs in France.