What’s new from 1 August?

As at the start of every month 1 August will bring with it a number of changes that will affect us in our everyday lives. From tomorrow you will be able to use so-called “consumption cheques”, vouchers some have you may have received from you employer as a tax-free bonus, at all retail outlets. If you wish to set up a business, you will no longer have to visit the notary in person to get the paperwork in order. The rules of registered letters also change from tomorrow. 

Up until now you could only use consumption cheques to pay for your purchases at small (with less than 10 employees) retail outlets that had been forced to close for at least a month due to the measures to curb the spread of coronavirus. These restrictions no longer apply from 1 August and the cheques can be used in all non-food retail outlets.

However, the cheques may not be used for online purchases. In addition to retail outlets, the cheques can also be used to pay for cinema, theatre or museum tickets and to pay for a visit to the hairdresser, beautician, the local swimming baths or bowling alley and even to pay for driving lessons.

Last year companies that had done well during the coronavirus crisis such as the supermarkets, couriers and distribution sector were allowed to give their employees consumption cheques up to the value of 300 euro as a bonus for their hard work. This year companies can give up to 500 euro’s-worth of consumption cheques to their employees. The decision to extend the system and raise the maximum amount was one of the things agreed by employers and the trade unions during the wage negotiation talks earlier this year. 

Registered letters no longer need to be signed for thanks to “Sign for mee”

From tomorrow anyone that wishes to can give their postman/woman the authority to sign for any registered mail that they might be sent. Those that sign up for the “Sign for me” service will no longer have to find time to go to the post office to retrieve their registered letters as they will simply be left in the letterbox with the rest of the mail.

In order to sign up for “Sign for Me” you will have to go to the post office in person though. Furthermore, some mail that requires a proof of receipt will also require for you to sign for it in person. 

Setting up a firm can now be done online

From 1 August it will no longer be necessary to visit the notary for an “authentic certificate” if you wish to set up a business. In future everything can be done online. Entrepreneurs can sign the necessary documentation digitally during a videoconference with their notary. The new procedure will not cost any more than the current one and a physical meeting can be requested if one or more parties suspect that fraud might be at play. 

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