Food stamps and food stamps: understand the new rules for benefits

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The federal government announced changes to some labor rules with the publication of the Decree No. 10,854, at the end of November. Among them are changes in the use of food stamps and food stamps, which give workers more options to choose where to eat.

The rule establishes that establishments accept all food and meal voucher options and the possibility of portability of credit between the different types of brands.

Restaurants, however, can choose not to accept food stamps and food stamps as a form of payment. However, if they validate the practice, they must comply with the new criteria and make no distinctions between the cards.

“Based on the effectiveness of the rule, the worker will be able to eat at any institution that accepts the voucher and, with that, you put the worker paying cheaper meals due to competition and also having a greater number of options, managing to better adjust their preferences to the availability of restaurants”, said Bruno Silva Dalcolmo, executive secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Welfare.

Another novelty is the possibility of transferring the credit accumulated on one card to another with a different brand without additional amounts.

According to the federal government, the decree aims to open the market for food stamp companies, which currently “is dominated by four large companies that are responsible for the entire process, since the signing of the agreement”.

“It is these four companies that have the ability to retain PAT beneficiary companies, to accredit the restaurants, to pay them and, with that, they gain a very large margin of maneuver and market power,” said the secretary .

According to Luiz Antonio dos Santos Junior, partner in the labor area of ​​Veirano Advogados, “one of the concerns about this new rule is the increase in the practice of selling the benefit, an action that is considered a crime”.

In addition, Filipe Richter, partner in the tax area of ​​Veirano, draws attention to another point: the value of the voucher used for other purposes, making it a supplement to the salary.

“This would influence the calculation of the tax to be paid by companies and by the worker. The labor reform resolved the issue, moving food away from the base, except if the payment is in cash”, explains Richer.

“Companies need to be careful when hiring these cards. It is important to pay attention to the type of benefit, the conditions for hiring, whether there is a discount at the time of purchase, analyzing the jurisprudence on the subject and the tax authorities’ position on the matter”, he adds.

The decree makes it mandatory for companies registered in the Workers’ Food Program (PAT) to adapt to the new rules within 18 months. According to the federal government, the deadline makes it possible for operators to redesign their strategies in accordance with the new rules.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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