On 1 October 2022, the most recent amendment to the civil service meal allowance came into force, increasing the value of the IRS-exempt food allowance from €4.77 to €5.20, paid in cash and from €7.63 to €8.32, the latter paid by card or voucher.
The meal allowance, which was established in 1984 by Decree-Law No. 57-B/84 and updated, for the last time, in 2016 by Law No. 42/2016, now sees its values being increased in an attempt to combat the current context of inflation, resulting from a post-pandemic and war environment.
Thus, the Government has already announced that during the salary negotiations held with the civil service unions, the meal allowance will increase to the values mentioned above.
Although this increase is specifically for the civil service, it is not for private entities. However, the latter can opt for the analogous application of this particularity of the civil service regime, thus increasing the value of the meal allowances, leading them to benefit from the regime of tax exemption and exemption from Social Security contributions and dues.
Finally, it should be mentioned that there is an exception to the rule that the increase is neither compulsory nor binding on private entities. In this sense, it will be applicable if there are collective bargaining agreements that so provide, applicable to the legal relationship established between the employer and the employee.
Marta Valente @ DCM | Littler