With order no. 16135 of 28 July 2020, The Court of Cassation stated that meal vouchers were not remunerative and that their issue may be unilaterally interrupted by the employer.
The legal case originates from an appeal filed by a worker with the court to (i) declare the unilateral decision of their employer to interrupt the payment of meal vouchers illegitimate and, consequently, (ii) order the employer to pay the related wage difference.
Against their appeal’s rejection, the losing worker referred the matter to the Court of Appeal, which confirmed the decision. The worker appealed to the Court of Cassation.
The Court of Cassation upheld the decision on the merits that meal vouchers are not an element of remuneration, but an occasional welfare benefit linked to the employment.
Since they do not fall within remuneration in the strict sense of the term, the issue of meal vouchers may be modified by a unilateral employer decision which is not formalised in a trade union agreement, since it is “an internal act.”
The Order added that it was impossible to claim the employer’s continued issue of vouchers, even if it was a company practice.
In conclusion, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal brought by the worker, confirming the legitimacy of the employer’s actions.
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