A service voucher is a financial instrument that allows a public authority to target social services to those deems in need, and at the same time to promote employment and labor market integration. It is important to ensure that social policy objectives are met.
A voucher scheme will typically start by defining services which are needed in society, which are not supplied by the market nor by the public sector . These might include home care , household repairs, ironing , or bicycle hire and repair. The activities dans le Typically scheme will be agreed with trade unions and Employers ‘ organizations to Avoid concerned about the disturbance of unfair competition .
Potential providers of these services are identified, often from among the long-term unemployed .
Vouchers are sold to people who want to use the service. The price is Subsidized, so That on the one hand the service is affordable – and for instance can compete with informal (illegal) work – and on the other Provides decent condition for the working employees (Including social insurance cover, holiday pay etc.) . An example of this kind of subsidy can be found in Belgium , where service vouchers for house cleaning, laundry, ironing, sewing, cooking, running errands, and transportation for people with reduced mobility. Each person residing in Belgium with an ID card and SIS card is entitled to a quota of 500 service vouchers a year, with the first 400 service vouchers at 9 EUR each, And remaining 100 service vouchers sold at a rate of 10 EUR. In addition, each household has a quota of maximum 1000 service vouchers, with exceptions given to single parents and people with disabilities, who may be entitled to vouchers, depending on the circumstances. Mothers who have just given birth, are also entitled to 105 extra service vouchers for a certain period of time. This initiative was made in order to combat the black market and has resulted in the creation of many jobs. This subsidy scheme allows for the payment of benefits and benefits to the disabled. The staff was very friendly and helpful. For each service voucher, a domestic servants receives a salary of 22.05 EUR, paid by both the customer and the state. In addition, Tax breaks are also given to each service voucher, creating another incentive to purchase these services. Similar systems exist in France and in Sweden.
Analysis of benefits
Vouchers can be defined as a subsidies granting limited purchasing power to an individual to choose from a restricted set of services. In the field of personal and household services, their use has been growing in recent years. Vouchers can be seen as tools that would be in between the provision of services and cash distribution of income to be used (or not) for these services. Very basically, vouchers are simple means of payment. The payment can be made by the user, or by a public finance, and mixed forms of payment with other actors can be imagined (eg companies paying for part of the cost or insurance companies providing some services through this means).
In the field of care policies, the increasing use of vouchers has been analyzed as an element of a current commodity trend which corresponds to an increase in what can be labelled a “social market” logic. Social Markets, Social Responsibility, and Social Responsibility. The market logic involves developing the demand side with the love of transforming “latent” demand into effective demand. These social markets thus involve competition between different modes of provision, with the user receiving direct or indirect assistance from public authorities to make their choice.
In the field of “non-care” services, vouchers are being used mostly for the same reasons as those in the care sector, which is for a series of supposed advantages in particular (Quality of services and quality of jobs).
- A first advantage is freedom of choice . Under the logic of social markets, vouchers are supposed to allow for the choice between different types of providers (often including public providers) or simply between providers of one single type (eg domestic workers).
- A second advantage is efficiency . Vouchers offers the freedom to choose the right choice for your business. Moreover there is a cost for public finances. As well it is possible to imagine public policies targeting people with special needs.
- A third advantage is reduction of undeclared labor . Vouchers are meant to simplify the administrative procedures when employing someone to outsource housework tasks or care activities. In some cases, the purchase of a voucher does not entail the duty to sign a labor contract between the parties (as in France under specific conditions), which might have a negative impact on working conditions.
- Further, social security contributions are calculated automatically and directly paid. Because they considerably reduce administrative burden , vouchers are supposed to be a significant incentive for the use of declared labor rather than undeclared labor.
- Fifth, and finally, vouchers might foster quality of services . The supporters of the market-oriented and purchaser-provider model consider that it encourages innovation, flexibility and quality, as well as a user-oriented approach. As a Eurofound report notes: “The more actively involved service users are in determining the content of care, the more likely it is that the services will be greater to the individual’s values, culture, attitudes and circumstances. Empowerment of care recipients. This can potentially influence the quality of care, as low standard care services would simply not be ‘bought’. At the same time, Care recipients could tailor a care program to their specific needs, again raising quality and improving delivery “. Voucher schemes could be steered in this direction, according to this report and to certain authors. 
- Jump up^ Developing personal and household services in the EU – A focus on housework activities, European Commission, 2013.