Legislation - companies and freelancers

Issued on 9 November 2016, the Regulation of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic on Meal Allowance Amounts No. 309/2016 Coll. changed the amounts of meal allowance provided during business trips.

The Regulation of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic on Meal Allowance Amounts states that, as of 1 December 2016, the meal allowance provided during trips lasting 5 to 12 hours shall be €4.50.

According to the Labour Code, the value of a meal voucher shall be at least 75% of meal allowance provided during a business trip with the above duration. The minimum amount of allowance is €3.38 (75% of €4.50). This means that the minimum value of a meal voucher must be €3.38.

FOR FREELANCERS

Save on taxes!

According to the valid Act on Income Tax and the new Regulation of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic on Meal Allowance Amounts, freelancers/self-employed professionals can reduce their tax base by up to €4.50  per day worked. However, they must not be simultaneously entitled to meal allowance in connection with a dependent activity, and must not claim catering expenses otherwise. A service fee is also considered a tax expense, even if the entrepreneur is a VAT payer, since he/she is not entitled to VAT deduction.

The easiest way to take advantage of this legal option is to buy Ticket Restaurant® meal vouchers or a meal card. Currently, the most beneficial option for self-employed professionals are vouchers with a nominal value of €4.50 .

FOR EMPLOYERS

Give your employees more benefits, and save money at the same time!

Under the current legislation, the employer has the following obligations regarding staff catering:

• To provide meals to employees at the workplace or nearby;
• To financially contribute to catering:

- at the employer’s own catering facility
- at a catering facility of another employer
- through a legal entity authorised to provide catering services
- through a natural person authorised to provide catering services.

With Ticket Restaurant® meal vouchers/meal cards, you will:
• get tax and financial benefits*
• avoid the trouble of setting up your own canteen
• give your employees the possibility to
get the food they like in the largest network of acceptance points, which is constantly expanding.

Since as of 1 December 2016, the Regulation of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic on Meal Allowance Amounts No. 309/2016 Coll. increased the meal allowance for business trips lasting 5 to 12 hours from €4.20 to €4.50, employers can claim tax benefits from the higher nominal value of the meal voucher (55% of €4.50).

Moreover, increasing the nominal value of meal vouchers is an effective tool for motivating employees, and your company can save considerable funds.

If you increase wages, you must count with higher social security and health insurance deductions*. Increasing the nominal value of provided Ticket Restaurant® meal vouchers or meal cards is not subject to the above deductions (assuming that it is a matter of providing catering according to the Labour Code), while in the employees’ eyes, it is a wage increase. If you provide your employees with Ticket Restaurant® meal vouchers or meal cards with a higher nominal value, you will pay only 20% income tax from the amount exceeding the statutory maximum meal allowance (as a non-tax catering expenditure). In addition, according to the Act on Income Tax, such income is tax exempt for the employee.

This simple application will let you know how much you will save if you increase your employee’s meal allowance in comparison to a wage increase » » »

* In accordance with the relevant provisions of the:
Act No. 580/2004 Coll. on Health Insurance, as amended
Act No. 461/2003 Coll. on Social Insurance, as amended

Labour Code

Art. 152, valid since 1 September 2011, provides the following regulation of employee catering:

(1) The employer shall provide employees in all working shifts with catering corresponding to the principles of good nutrition directly at their workplaces or in their vicinity. This obligation shall not apply to employees who are sent on a business trip, unless they have worked more than four hours at their regular workplace. The obligation of employers stipulated in the first sentence shall not apply to employees performing work in the public interest abroad.

(2) According to par. 1, the employer shall provide catering to employees during the working shift particularly by providing one hot main meal, including a suitable beverage at the employer’s own catering facility, or at another employer’s catering facility; alternatively, the employer may ensure the provision of catering to the employees through a legal entity or a natural person authorised to arrange catering services, as long as the legal entity or natural person arranges the provision of catering services at a legal entity or a natural person authorised to provide such services. Meals shall be provided to all employees who work for more than four hours within a working shift. If the working shift is longer than 11 hours, the employer can arrange for the provision of another hot main meal.

(3) According to par. 2, the employer’s contribution to catering shall be at least 55 % of the price of the meal, but not more than 55 % of the meal allowance provided during a business trip lasting 5 to 12 hours according to a special regulation. In addition, the employer shall provide a contribution according to a special regulation.

(4) When providing employee catering through a legal entity or a natural person authorised to arrange catering services, the price of a meal shall mean the value of a meal voucher. The value of a meal voucher shall be at least 75 % of the meal allowance provided during business trips lasting 5 to 12 hours according to a special regulation.

(5) When providing employee catering through a legal entity or a natural person authorised to arrange catering services by means of meal vouchers, the maximum fee for the arranged catering services shall be 3 % of the amount specified on the meal voucher.

(6) The employer shall provide an employee with a financial contribution in the amount specified in par. 3 only if the employer cannot meet the obligation to provide for employee catering due to the working conditions at the workplace, or if the employer cannot provide for catering according to par. 2, or if the employee due to medical reasons and on the basis of a medical certificate from a specialised doctor cannot use any method of catering provided by the employer.

(7) The employer shall also provide a financial catering contribution according to par. 6 to work-at-home/telecommuting employees if the employer does not provide for catering according to par. 2, or if catering according to par. 2 would contravene the nature of the work performed by the work-at-home/telecommuting employee.

(8) After consultation with employee representatives, the employer may
(a) modify the conditions of providing employees with catering during a holiday, work hindrance, or another excused absence of the employee,
(b) enable employees who work outside of regular working shifts to take meals under the same conditions as apply to other employees,
(c) extend the range of individuals whom the employer will provide with catering, and who will receive catering contributions according to par. 3.

Meal allowance amount

The Regulation of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic on Meal Allowance Amounts No. 309/2016 Coll. from 9 November 2016 states that as of 1 December 2016, the amount of the meal allowance provided for business trips lasting 5 to 12 hours shall be €4.50.

Act on Social Fund

Art. 7 of the Act No. 152/1994 Coll. on Social Fund states the following:

(1) In the context of the employer’s social policy, the employer may use the social fund to contribute towards the following employee benefits:
a) employee catering beyond the scope stipulated by special regulations,
b) transportation to and from work,
c) participation in cultural and sporting events,
d) recreation and services used by the employees for regeneration,
e) health care,
f) social assistance and loans,
g) supplementary pension saving, in addition to the contribution to supplementary pension saving that the employer is required to pay according to a special regulation,
h) implementation of other corporate social policies.

(2) A social fund contribution may also be granted to an employee’s family member and recipient of old-age pension, early old-age pension, invalidity pension, pension for years of service, or invalidity pension for years of service, who was employed by, or was in a similar working relationship with the employer as of the day of going into old-age retirement, early old-age retirement, invalidity retirement, retirement for years of service, or invalidity retirement for years of service; for the purpose of this Act, family members shall be the employee’s spouse and dependent children.

(3) The collective agreement may include a stipulation of a social fund contribution to cover the trade union’s costs of conducting analyses and expert examinations, or other services necessary to perform collective bargaining between the respective trade union body and the employer; the total amount of the fund’s resources used for such purposes shall not exceed 0.05 % of the basis stipulated in Art. 4, par. 1. If the agreed amount of the social fund’s resources stipulated in the collective agreement for the purpose of the first sentence is not used in the current year, the unused portion of the resources may be used in the following calendar year.

(4) The creation of the fund, the amount of the fund, the use of the fund, the conditions of providing the fund’s contributions to employees, and the method of declaring the disbursements to employees shall be stipulated by the employer and the trade union body in the collective agreement, or in an internal regulation in case the employer’s company has no trade union. The use and the amount of the fund’s contribution according to par. 3 may be stipulated only in a collective agreement.

(5) If the collective agreement does not stipulate a further allocation according to the first indent of Art. 3 par. 1 (b), the employer shall provide a contribution from the further fund allocation in a maximum amount according to the second indent of Art. 3 par. 1 (b) to compensate the expenses on transportation to and from work to an employee who commutes to work by public transport, and whose average monthly income does not exceed 50 % of the average monthly income in the economy of the Slovak Republic established by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic for the calendar year preceding the calendar year for which the fund is created by two years. The average monthly income of part-time employees shall be calculated on the basis of the weekly working time established at the employee’s workplace. Providing a contribution according to the first sentence shall not exclude providing a contribution to transportation to and from work also from the mandatory fund allocation.

(6) The employer shall provide the contribution which is referred to in par. 5 not later than on the day appointed for wage or salary payment after proving the employee is eligible to the contribution, and shall keep record of the provided contributions according to par. 5.

(7) The employer shall provide the fund contribution in accordance with the principle of equal treatment as laid down by a special regulation of employment relations or similar labour relations.

(8) The employer shall not provide the fund contribution for the purpose of remuneration for work.

Act on Income Tax

Billing of meal vouchers:

purchase of meal vouchers 213/321
remuneration for arrangement 518/321
VAT on remuneration for arrangement 343/321
catering contribution (55 %)  527/213
contribution from the social fund 472/213
voucher price paid by employees 335/213
income from employee’s vouchers 211/335
payment of invoice for arrangement 321/221