February 2, 2024
Various service voucher companies increase administrative costs, making your cleaning assistance more expensive.
Anyone who receives cleaning assistance at home through a service voucher company does not only pay 9 euros per hour for the service voucher. Most companies also charge administration costs on top of this. Some players will increase these costs in 2024. The largest increase is at the healthcare organization i-mens, where the additional cost per service voucher rose from 1.3 to 5 euros on February 1.
The increase is less pronounced at other service voucher companies. The Cleaning Agency, the largest provider of cleaning assistance in our country, switched on January 10 from a fixed contribution of 40 euros per six months to a contribution of 1 euro per hour worked. Trixxo, another major player, maintains a fixed contribution every six months. That contribution will increase from 48 to 72 euros on March 1.
Companies that already charged administrative costs often switch from a fixed contribution per quarter/year to a contribution per service voucher
Director Flanders Federgon
For the price increases, the service voucher companies refer to increasing costs resulting from, among other things, regulations, absenteeism and the tight labor market. “According to an analysis by GraydonCreditsafe, 37 percent of service voucher companies are loss-making,” says Paul Verschueren, Flanders director of the sector federation Federgon. ‘The largest 25 companies have a combined turnover of 1.07 billion euros and a net profit of 5.8 million euros. That’s a paltry profit margin of 0.55 percent,” he says.
According to Verschueren, 90 percent of service voucher companies already apply administrative costs. ‘But the vast majority only started doing so last year. We will see no or hardly any increases in that group in 2024. Companies that already charged administrative costs often switch from a fixed contribution per quarter/year to a contribution per service voucher,” he says. For example, on July 1, 2023, Family Assistance switched from a fixed contribution of 50 euros per year to a contribution of 1.25 euros per hour.
No maximum limit
There is no maximum limit for the additional costs that service voucher companies may charge for their services. There are some conditions. The additional costs may not be used to pay wages, but may be used to finance administration, travel or employee training, for example. The costs charged must be reasonable and the companies must be able to demonstrate which costs are charged and for what purpose.
The price for a service voucher has remained untouched for ten years. Every Belgian can buy up to 400 service vouchers for the price of 9 euros per cheque. A tax reduction of 20 percent applies to checks purchased up to EUR 1,790 per person. As a result, you actually pay 7.2 euros per service voucher.