Employment Flash News No. 12/2018

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LEGISLATION

News on value tickets

The Law no. 165/2018 on granting value tickets was published within the Official Gazette no. 599, dated July 13, 2018. This enactment regulates, in conjunction with the provisions of the Fiscal Code, the regime of value tickets granted for the benefit of employees. The term “value ticket” defines meal tickets, gift tickets, crèche tickets, cultural tickets and vacation vouchers.

The employers,  as defined by the law, may purchase, under the conditions described within the law, value tickets from issuers (legal entities established under Law no. 31/1990 on companies, as well as credit institutions Romanian legal entities and branches of credit institutions authorized in the Member States of the European Union and notified to the National Bank of Romania, as authorized by the Ministry of Public Finance, according to law). Costs related to the issuance of the value tickets are fully borne by the employers. The nominal value of the value tickets granted to the employees cannot be diminished and these tickets cannot be exchanged in cash.

The law also stipulates that the amount of the value tickets is not taken into account either for the employer or for the employee, when establishing the rights and obligations that are determined in relation to the salary income. Employers, together with legally constituted trade unions or, where no trade union is established, employee representatives determine the categories of value tickets granted, the frequency of their award, their value (if applicable), the issuing unit and the method of granting, on paper and / or electronically.

Meal tickets

The meal tickets are value tickets awarded to the employees on a monthly basis, as an individual food allowance, used only to pay for meals or to purchase food. Employees may use, in a manner similar to the old regulations, a number of meal tickets at most equal to the number of days worked.

The law also provides rules for the granting and use of meal tickets, but also for setting a minimum content thereof. The value of a meal ticket may not exceed  RON 15.18.

Gift tickets

Gift tickets are value tickets, occasionally paid to employees for social expenses. The maximum amount of gift tickets may not exceed the amount established by the employer together with  trade unions/ employees’ representatives (unless a trade union is established). The nominal value of a gift ticket is RON 10 or a multiple of 10, but not more than  RON 50.

The normative act lays down rules for granting these tickets also to other categories of beneficiaries, as well as a minimum content thereof.

Crèche tickets

Crèche tickets are value tickets granted  monthly to employees who do not benefit from parental leave and allowance until the child reaches 2 years of age, respectively 3 years of age in case of a disabled child.  Crèche tickets can only be used to pay taxes at the crèche where the child is enrolled.

The normative act lays down rules for granting these vouchers, but also for regulating their minimum content, the maximum amount of a crèche ticket being of RON 450 per month, for each child in the crèche. The nominal value of a crèche ticket is  RON 10 or a multiple of  10, but not more than RON 100.

Cultural tickets

Cultural tickets are value tickets granted to employees monthly or occasionally, for the payment of the price of cultural goods and services, as provided by law.

The law provides rules for setting a minimum content of these tickets, as well as a maximum amount of RON 150 for the monthly tickets, respectively the amount of RON 300 / event, for those occasionally granted. The nominal value of a cultural ticket is RON 10 or a multiple of 10, but not more than RON 50.

Vacation vouchers

Vacation vouchers are value tickets that are given to employees to cover the expenses incurred while carrying out annual leave in the domestic tourism system.

The maximum amount that may be granted to an employee during a fiscal year under this provision is of 6 minimum gross base salaries approved at national level, divided into a maximum of two installments, according to the employee’s option. The nominal value allowed for a holiday voucher on paper is a multiple of  RON 10, but cannot exceed RON 100.

Vacation vouchers can cover tourism services, accommodation, meal and / or expenses related to recovering work capacity, as well as travel and / or entertainment services (travel and/or entertainment only if included in a tourism package).

The normative act lays down various rules for granting these vouchers, but also rules regarding their minimum content.

According to the normative act, inter alia, the following deeds (if they are not regarded as criminal offenses) are administrative offences:

  • The use of value tickets for a purpose other than the one stipulated by the law – 1.5 fine points;
  • The requesting and / or supplying of cash in exchange for tickets or for fractions thereof – 3 points-fine;
  • The decrease of the nominal value of the value tickets given to the employees – 14 fine points;
  • Selling value tickets in exchange  for a part of the price or other goods/services than provided by the law – 14 fine points;
  • Selling meal tickets by employees in exchange for products other than food – 14 fine points;
  • The use by employees of a number of meal tickets higher than the number of days worked – 0.5 fine points.

A fine point is the equivalent of a minimum gross base salary approved at national level, as established by law (currently worth RON  1,900).

The maximum nominal value of the value tickets provided by law is indexed twice a year, according to the law, but if the indexation results in a value lower than the last nominal value, such shall remain unchanged for the following periods.

Law no. 165/2018 shall enter into force on January 1, 2019 and as of the date of its entry into force, the following normative acts shall be repealed: Law no. 142/1998 on granting meal tickets, Law no. 193/2006 on granting gift tickets and crèche tickets and the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 8/2009 on granting vacation vouchers. Also, the criteria for the issuance of authorizations for the issuing units, as well as the methodological norms for the application of this law will be elaborated.

The aforementioned normative act also contains transitory provisions. Thus, meal tickets, gift tickets, crèche tickets and vacation vouchers issued under previous legislation remain valid until the expiration date printed on them. Issuing units authorized under previous legislation may issue tickets even after this law enters into force, subject to the conditions existent on the date of authorization and until its expiry.

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