7 Out Of 10 Czech Companies Tired of ‘Stravenky’ Lunch Voucher Red Tape. Ministry Proposes Alternative

Seven out of ten companies across all sectors and company sizes agree with introducing fixed payments for meals, an alternative to the long-standing Czech working benefit of paper lunch vouchers known as “stravenky”. Employees would be paid money instead of the vouchers. Photo: Freepik.

Brno, Czech Rep., Aug 20 (BD) – The Czech Chamber of Commerce surveyed employers who currently provide meal vouchers, as well as those who provide catering for their employees in other ways, such as canteens or imports. Companies that do not provide meal vouchers to their employees would prefer to cancel the paper vouchers altogether. Only 7% of all survey participants consider the current system of lunch vouchers to be satisfactory.

Companies favor the change as it would cut the red tape currently associated with paper meal vouchers. At the same time, they wouldn’t need to pay commission on meal vouchers or wait to be reimbursed.

On the other hand, a quarter of respondents consider there to be a risk that employees would not use the new monetary benefit to buy hot lunches or food, according to the survey, which was published on Monday, August 19. The current system is also abused, but is at least limited by the specific purpose of the vouchers.

A new monetary meal subsidy for workers, a fixed payment, was recently proposed by the Ministry of Finance. The ministry’s proposal does not include the cancellation of the paper meal vouchers; companies could choose what benefit they preferred.

At the same time, some companies are worried that the option of paying out money would place an even greater administrative burden on employers, such as if companies were required to prove that the money was being used for the purpose of buying food. Some companies also fear that monetary payments would be available to debtors, which would actually cause employees to lose money.

“The results of this survey of companies suggest that the proposal from the Minister of Finance is a legitimate attempt to reform the meal voucher system,” said Vladimír Dlouhý, President of the Chamber of Commerce. However, he added that the ministry will need to address the concerns of companies and make the fixed payments less administratively and financially demanding for entrepreneurs.

Between 9 and 13 August, 809 companies participated in the survey, including micro-companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and strategically important large companies, across all sectors and regions.

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