Service vouchers are a means of payment that allow individuals to pay for the services provided by a worker employed by an approved service voucher company. These services include home cleaning, laundry and ironing, meal preparation, household shopping, ironing outside the user's home, and accompanied transportation for people with reduced mobility.
To be able to employ staff and make them available to private users, companies wanting to become service voucher companies must first apply for approval from the regional Minister for Employment.
The companies covered by the service voucher system include commercial companies (e.g. ironing companies and temporary work agencies), natural persons with employees, non-profit organisations, mutual companies, local authorities, municipalities and companies with a social purpose.
There are several conditions for applying for service voucher approval:
- have created a business and be in possession of a business number;
- register and follow the compulsory training provided by Forem (click here for more information on the compulsory training);
- pay a deposit of EUR 25,000 into an account belonging to the Public Service of Wallonia;
- submit a complete application form to the Public Service of Wallonia.
The application for approval must be filled out online using the specific electronic form. To do this, you must have your electronic identity card.
The approval form must be used in several cases:
- for an initial approval application;
- when the company changes its form and business number (e.g. from a natural person to a limited liability company);
- for a request to modify the activities for which the approval was previously granted (for example, if the company wants to extend household residential care to activities carried out outside the user's home, such as shopping, ironing, transport of persons with reduced mobility);
- to notify any changes to the data in the approval application form.
The form is processed by the Local Employment Department of the Wallonia Public Service.
To complete its application for approval and submit it to the Approval Advisory Committee, the company must prepare a business plan. This plan must be approved by a chartered accountant or a certified tax accountant. This plan includes the following:
- general information about the company;
- the investments to be made;
- the personnel to be hired;
- the expected revenues;
- the fixed and variable costs;
- the forecasts for the balance sheet for the first three years of operation;
- the cash flow plan for the first three years of operation.
The approval is granted by the regional Minister for Employment.
The Minister for Employment will make a decision within two months of receiving the file. If the Minister of Employment does not make a decision within this period, the decision is deemed favourable.