The Slovak Parliament again amends the Labour Code in respect of employees’ meal allowance
The amendment to the Labour Code allowed some employees to choose the form of meal allowance as of March 2021. The new alternative to meal vouchers in the form of a financial contribution for meals has met with the need for further legislative regulation. The amendment to the Labour Code is in the first reading at the current June Council’s meeting and modifies several disputed points.
The proposed Amendment brings several clarifications of the current legal status that we have covered in the previous article. At the same time, it modifies the unclear issues that have resulted from application practice.
What issues does the current amendment address?
According to the Explanatory Statement, the aim of the proposed legislation is to remove unclear issues and different tax and social security impacts of the chosen forms of meals. In addition, it responds to justifiable arguments about the disproportionate administrative burden.
The legislative changes are brought in the following questionable areas:
1. Change in the amount of the meal allowance - the employer will be able to provide instead of the current statutory 55% (i.e. a maximum of EUR 2.81) 100% of the amount of meal allowance during business trip lasting 5-12 hours. It applies to each of the legal meal forms.
2. Difference in the tax implications of the meal forms - an increased contribution up to the amount EUR 5.10 will be exempt from personal income tax and social security contributions for the employees and will be considered as a tax deductible expense for the employer.
3. Less bureaucracy – the practice has pointed out complications in the advance payment of meal allowance while maintaining the purpose of the contribution. In order to reduce the administrative burden, the amendment to the Act brings a simplification - the employer will be able to provide meal vouchers and financial contribution in arrears for the past calendar month. It should eliminate practical problems with the meal entitlement calculation (e.g. vacation, sick leave, termination of the employment).
4. New information for self-employed individuals („SEI“) and other SEI - the amendment will also affect self-employed individuals who will be able to apply the amount of EUR 5.10 for meals for each working day. In addition, the obligation to document meals expenses will be abolished.
Once the amendment to the Act is approved by the Parliament it will enter into force on 1 January 2022.
After the June first reading, the next meeting of the Parliament is scheduled on September after the summer break. We will continue to monitor the development of the legislative process in this respect.