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Service vouchers in Austria

The Dienstleistungsscheckgesetz (DLSG; Household Services Cheque Act) has been in force since 1 January 2006. The services cheque is used as payment for simple, non-commercial services in domestic households, where the payment from the individual employer does not exceed the monthly marginal earnings threshold (2007: €341.16). The services cheque costs €5.10 for a cheque to the value of €5 and €10.20 for a cheque to the value of €10, with an upper limit of €100 per cheque. The purchase price includes 1.4% for accident insurance and 0.6% towards administrative costs. In the case of services cheques below the marginal earnings threshold, the employee can opt to take out health and pension insurance.

By the end of 2006, the value of services cheques sold totalled €997,432 (approximately 80% of workers were women). By the beginning of September 2007, the total had increased to approximately €2.03 million. The services cheque system is currently undergoing evaluation. The initial results of the investigation are expected in autumn 2007.

Source: Austrian Reform Programme for Growth and Jobs, 2nd Implementation Report 2007, page 46, at http://ec.europa.eu/growthandjobs/pdf/nrp2007/AT_nrp_en.pdf