Cheque emploi service universel

Does anyone have any understanding of the Cheque emploi service universel scheme. I understand that it is very beneficial to both the business and the customer but I don't really understand it.

My Father in law uses it and customers paying via this scheme have a different tariff (50%less) from other customers.


think have just about got this now: there are 2 types of CESU, the prepaid sort and the pay-as-you go sort. The employer has the same Urssaf number for both

I've used the prepaid ones. like this:

1) Employer registers on URSSAF website www.cesu.urssaf

2) Give prepaid paper cheque to babysitters (you cannot pay less than a certain amount per hour - SMIC ??)or you can 'give' the cheque by internet, apparently

3) Babysitter registers on URSSAF website www.cesu.urssaf then gets a NAN number. They then go to another website with this number, depending on who financed the cheques initially (in my case, to get them paid into her/his bank account.

4) Employer declares how many hours babysitter has done each month on URRSAF website ). NB I found I needed to know their secu number & address. It then automatically calculates how much you pay in charges, which are debited directly from your bank account (? 1 month afterwards?) There are 2 options - complete or minimal cover, which costs employer less.

I was quite shocked at the rate!!It was almost as much again as I paid the babysitter!! So I'm not sure I'd do this if I didn't have the prepaid cheques initially.

This is as far as I've got for the minute - the site encourages me to print proof of my declarations (?for tax rebate purposes?) although quite how I do this next step I'm not sure. All advice welcome!

thanks Yvette - any help is gratefully received! Gwen

Sorry about your aunt Gwen. I’ll ask Lovelyn when she gets back from picking up the girls - I think that one of her other people pays with cheques that she gets from work. If i find out anything comprehensible I’ll let you know! Although who knows if Grenoble and Paris do the same thing… I did think that the whole point of apying by CESU was that the tax was all sorted between CESU and the employer but I coul dbe horribly wrong. That is how it works with my internet payments to my employee. Yve

Oh i am so glad to be seeing this on the site today - i have just been to my local URSSAF in Grenoble today. i thought i knew the score but have come back confused. let me explain: I completed my registration today to become an Auto-Entrepreneur and now am awaiting my “number.” i have already had some students (i teach English amongst other things) paying me with a CESU cheque from their works CE. I know i cannot register with the CESU people until i get my “number” to allow me to cash these cheques. The woman at the front desk of URSSAF totally threw me -saying that the people who pay me with CESU have to pay charges as well - how does this work? She also said that i should be billing them and not getting CESU. Some people, such as an association i am working for will pay me with a cheque direct when i will bill them this week. But others it is beneficial to be able to get their CESU’s from their work. i am so sorry if this is all over the place, i have had news that my dear aunt has died today and i won’t be able to get home for the funeral :frowning: I suppose what i am asking has anybody been on the receiving end of the CESU and how does it all work? thanks so much for any help. Gwen

excuse my awful typing!!

Hi there

I use CESU and find it easy - I haven't been using it a full year yet so have not benefitted from teh tax rebate. It's particularly useful if you employ someone who doesn't have a socail security number as it doesn't insist on you proiding one for your employee. If you have children under 6 though and are employing a nanny it may be more beneficial to go directly through URSSAF as then you have your tax payments and your CAF payments reimbursed (no CAF is reimbursd through CESU) - if I have uderstood correctly (and if I spoke to the right person in each place which is of course a hwole different minefield!!)

The online CESU system is very easy to use though and htey just take the tax from my bank each month directly by direct debit. If your employee's hours are different each month that makes no difference.

All the best


If you’re non-imposable due to lack of income then you can still apply for the 50%. But if your husband gets the cheques he can pay for it and deduct it from his taxable income?

Hmmm, don’t know about that. For some things, like the tax credit on solar panels or insulation or whatever they would actually send you a cheque if you didn’t pay tax. Not sure about these however.

Ah - a relief to find this discussion as I'm trying to suss this out too.

What if you are 'non-imposable' (ie don't pay tax) - can you still claim back 50% on your end of year form or not?

My husband gets prepaid CESU vouchers as a perk of his job (ie about 120 euros per year to spend as we wish on childcare, for example)- but it isn't half a fiddle getting the babysitter to provide their bank details then fill in a form to get a number before they can cash the aforesaid cheques in their bank... I think there is a quicker route to do this all via the internet but as there are 2 different sites I get rather confused...well we'll probably get there in the end!

As an employer though, you have to remember that you also have to pay the social charges part of the cheque.

For example, if I use a babysitter who charges 9€ an hour.

I pay him 9 euros an hour (SMIC), plus 10% holiday pay ergo 9.90 p/h.

I then complete the feuille at, which tells me that I have to pay net (for example) 6.75 an hour.

A month later I am debited from my bank an additional 6 euros an hour for the employees contribution to the social charges and the employers contribution to the social charges.

So it has cost me 16.55 euros per hour in total.

At the end of the year I complete my impot form saying I have paid 16.55 per hour for babysitting.

They then reimburse me 50% - 8.275 per hour.

So the true cost of the baby sitting has cost me 8.275 euros per hour - not b--dy cheap I can tell you

It would be much cheaper to pay my friends daughter 5€ an hour flat - not that I would condone it of course as it is illegal in France. :-)

The carrot for the person receiving the cheques is that they contribute to their pension, the health system etc (or rather you do on their behalf) and it doesn’t cost them anything. The benefit to the state is that income that might otherwise remain undeclared is now registered, hence the reason for giving you a carrot too in terms of tax credit. It’s a reasonably well thought out system, and is pretty simple in a very un-Brownian way.

The 50% does not apply to you when you render the services and agree to be paid in Cesu. If you charge 50 Euros, your client will put 50 euros on the cheque and you'll get finally paid that amount by CNCesu. If he puts on a 100 euros you will get paid one hundred. Maybe even less, depending on social charges, taxes etc.

The 50% is only for the users of the services, the bit on deduct it from tax income. Might be that your father in law uses that to calculate a lower tariff for Cesu-users based on that, but that is not obligatory.

A lot of services that can be paid for with these cheques are limited in terms of duration or total costs so it is not an endless arrangement. That also goes for the 50% tax deduction; the maximum amount deductible of income taxes annually is now at 1000 euros. So without knowing the exact financial/fiscal situation of your client you might offer a tariff reduction that doesn't make any sense.

It is not too complex (for France that is) It basically enables you to employ people who provide services in the area of "Services a la domicile / personne". That can go from a nanny to a builder, from a home-teacher to a cleaning-person.

The scheme is run by the URSAFF, but to adhere you have to become a member via the Centre National CESU (CNCesu). This can be done by internet or via your local URSAFF-agency.

The Cesu is in fact a real cheque you fill out every time you obtain these services. At the same time you fill out a form for the CNCesu indicating all the details like name, social security number, hours worked et of the employee. The CNCesu pays out the employee on this cheque and recovers this amount with social charges, taxes etc. added, from you.

The benefit for you as an employer is that you don't have an employment contract with your employee. The famous 50% reduction pertains to the fact that you can deduct the sums paid under that CESU-scheme at a 50% rate from your income-tax.