By Delphine Chilese-Lemarinier, Head of EU Affairs, Edenred
ESN and Edenred have a long-lasting partnership. We notably appreciate exchanges with ESN members and team, to create dialogue with pioneers in the social services sector. For us, it is essential to discuss with delegates in charge of social services/policies and with beneficiaries of services to better assess their objectives, willingness and needs, and outcomes of the programmes we develop. Consequently, we can efficiently adapt our solutions to make them as efficient and near to the needs as possible.
In that perspective, the Awards 2023 theme is particularly accurate. Edenred notably implement and deploy solutions to support personal and household services sector (PHS). PHS includes a broad range of activities mainly carried out in households and related to personal assistance (early childhood and education care, childcare, long-term care in situations of dependence, disability, invalidity, etc.), broadly identified as “care-related services”, and to activities of daily living (cleaning, ironing, gardening, small DIY, maintenance, remedial classes, etc.) united under the term of “household support services” or “indirect care services”.
For instance, in France, as of 2006, the Chèque Emploi Service (CESU) préfinancé programme enables a third party to prefund the purchase of PHS. It is used either by companies to ease their employees’ work-life balance or, under the name of Social CESU, by local authorities and social agencies to distribute social allowances. Each beneficiary receives named vouchers worth a predefined amount which can be used to access personal and household services.
Social CESU can notably be considered as a tool to increase the efficiency of the distribution of allowances to targeted citizens. It is issued on behalf of local authorities, in order to distribute subsidies or allowances for senior citizens, person in need of nursing care or disabled people. Such allocations are essentially aimed at supporting senior and disabled citizens to stay independent at home. Beneficiaries of social CESU have the possibility to choose among various services providers. Empowering them with this role is essential to ensure trust with the provider of services and to support better working conditions for professional workers.
Furthermore, by using Social CESU voucher, local authorities benefit from a traceability of social allowances as well as the possibility to adapt the allowance depending on beneficiaries’ needs and to get reimbursed of vouchers that have not been used (in 2020, €72,8 million out of the amounts distributed in 2019).
“All over Europe, PHS social vouchers have proven their effectiveness in promoting care solutions focused on people’s needs and desire enabling them to age well in their own home according to their own preferences” highlights Aurélie Decker, Director of the European Federation for Services to Individuals. The CESU voucher is one innovative solution, among many, which can be used by public authorities to better answer citizens needs while, at the same time, creating decent working conditions for workers in the social care sector.