Food vouchers are a benefit offered by companies so that employees can buy food products in supermarkets, butcher shops and so on.
In this article we will address the importance of a good benefits policy to attract good professionals and retain talent. We will talk about the food voucher, which has become a great differentiator in the market. But do you know what food stamps are for? What are the employee’s rights in relation to this benefit? Find out everything in our article.
What is food voucher
The food voucher is a benefit offered by companies so that employees can buy food products. We can say that he is the successor of the basic food baskets, previously distributed by companies to their employees.
Through the food voucher the employee has the possibility to buy food and supplies for his own use or that of his family. It is accepted in establishments such as supermarkets, bakeries and butchers.
This value is an addition to the wage of the employee, because, in this way, he can save with expenses related to food.
If, on the one hand, this can be a good incentive for its employees, it also puts the company on another competitive level in the market.
This kind of benefit can attract new employees and mainly retain the talents, decreasing turnover and generating savings in the selection processes.
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This scenario happens mainly when HR is able to keep employees satisfied and a benefits policy always presents itself as a great differential.
Below you can see everything your company needs to know about food stamps.
Food vouchers are not mandatory
There are countless benefits that in the face of CLT Law Are mandatory. But, food vouchers and meal vouchers do not fit these requirements.
However, companies adhere to this benefit to keep their employees motivated and consequently build an attractive market differential.
Although under the law it is not a mandatory benefit, companies that have a connection with some type of union become obliged to give the food voucher to the team.
With that, everything depends on the contractual agreement that the company made with the employee or in the collective agreements. Depending on what has been defined, the company has the right to choose either to offer food stamps or food stamps, both or none of them.
How the food voucher is provided
In the current market, the most common way in which we see food stamps is through cards, such as credit cards, where companies deposit the amount on a monthly basis. They came as a replacement for tickets, which were used a long time ago.
With cards everything has become easier and more practical, offering numerous advantages to employees, such as:
- Balance in real time by applications;
- Possibility to use the value in several establishments;
- Savings in food expenses;
- Advance planning, as the employee will have access to the date on which the amount will be deposited.
However, some companies still pay this benefit in cash, incorporating the amount into the salary. However, whoever adheres to this type of benefit payment, has the tax burden in the payroll. Those who choose cards are exempt.
The law inside the food voucher
Under the law, food stamps, as well as food stamps, are not mandatory benefits, as detailed in Art. 458 of the Law of CLT.
Article 458 – In addition to the payment in cash, the salary, for all legal purposes, includes food, housing, clothing or other “in natura” benefits that the company, under the contract or custom, habitually provides to the employee. Under no circumstances will payment be allowed with alcoholic beverages or harmful drugs. (Wording given by the Decree-Law No. 229, 2.28.1967).
What is the difference between food vouchers and meal vouchers
Despite being benefits related to food, the two vouchers have differences and must be used differently.
The food voucher is intended for purchases of food in its natural state. That is, ingredients, inputs, meat and etc., in supermarkets, butchers and etc.
The meal voucher allows employees to buy their own food, ready for consumption, in restaurants, bakeries and so on. It is usually a value directed to expenses with food during the period of rest from work (either at lunch or dinner).
The value of the food voucher
Since it is not a mandatory benefit, the value of the food voucher can be defined by the company itself. As the article 458, in its article 3, the value of the benefits referring to the meal and food must not exceed the employee’s salary by 20%.
It is also noteworthy that the union conventions also define the amounts to be paid in the food voucher, according to the union that the company is part of. This value always takes into account the power values for the region.
Food vouchers and tax incentives
A great advantage for companies that pay for food for employees is the possibility of deducting the amount of income tax, up to 4%.
Companies that adhere to Worker Food Program (PAT), from the federal government, do not incorporate this expense into the salary and avoid taxes and charges.
Therefore, there is no impact on FGTS, social security contribution or severance pay, in cases of dismissal. at the moment more than 148 thousand companies have adopted the Worker Food Program, serving more than 14 million employees.
Registration in the program is done at the PAT website.
Article 1 of the Law No. 6,321 talks about the advantage that the company acquires when joining PAT in its benefits program directed to food:
Art. 1 The legal entity may deduct, from the Income Tax due, an amount equivalent to the application of the applicable Income Tax rate on the sum of the costing expenses incurred, in the base period, in Workers’ Food Programs, previously approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTPS), under the terms of this regulation.
Predict food voucher spending
The food voucher also provided companies with a possibility to forecast spending on benefits. Through it it is possible to stipulate a value to be deposited and thus control an employee’s costs.
In the 90s, it was common to give employees basic food baskets. However, at the present moment, with the change in inflation and high food prices, it would be impossible to predict the monthly value.
In addition, many foods that were in the basic basket did not please all employees. This problem has been eliminated with the food stamp. Employees are free to decide what to buy.
Hire a specialized company
Offering benefits to employees can overwhelm your financial and HR team. For this reason, many companies hire specialized people management and benefits.
Thus, it becomes simpler to avoid losses, unnecessary expenses and, above all, to respect the rules regarding these payments.
In addition, an outside company can relieve your HR from daily bureaucracies and consequently offer more time for him to dedicate himself to employee management.
Build a good benefits policy
Companies that usually adopt the benefits policy as one of the market attractions tend to not only motivate employees, but also manage to attract more talents.
Most professionals take into account not only the salary when accepting a vacancy. In addition to analyzing the salary proposal, the benefits offered make a big difference in attracting the best professionals.
The food voucher, without a doubt, is an extra motivation that allows the employee to save his salary in expenses with food, which can extend to his family.
This is because, they have available a value to spend in supermarkets, butchers and etc.
And to set up an attractive benefits policy, there is no secret, it is enough to plan financially so as not to suffer losses. It is also important to have professionals who understand the control and management of benefits to avoid any problems.
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