Pay for teleworking costs opinion

Lately the responsibility for paying the rise in teleworking costs has been called into question.

According to Article 168 of the Labor Code (CT) of 2009, it is up to the employer, in the absence of an agreement, to ensure the installation and maintenance of teleworking tools and the payment of the associated costs.

With Decree No. 10-A / 2020 of March 13, ratified by Law No. 1-A / 2020 of March 20, the teleworking regime became binding if it was established by the employer or requested by the employee while it is compatible with the activity.

After successive amendments with the entry into force of Legislative Decree No. 11-A / 2021 of February 11 of the President of the Republic, approved by resolution of the Assembly of the Republic No. 63-A / 2021 of the same day, the compulsory teleworking system will again apply to all employees, “Regardless of their employment relationship, whenever the functions in question permit this and the employee has the conditions to exercise it”.

However, despite the employer’s obligation to provide work and communication equipment, these diplomas are omitted in view of teleworking costs.

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security has publicly defended that the employer only has to pay “the cost of internet and telephone” and has given a literal interpretation of the above CT standard that is inconsistent with constitutional rights and rights Principles.

The employee is entitled to payment of the increase in the cost of teleworking, namely electricity, gas, communications, training and use of work tools, including related equipment

Obviously, this recommendation is not binding as it concerns the reserved competence of the Assembly of the Republic, which in a state of emergency may authorize the President of the Republic and the government to take temporary and exceptional measures in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, namely the regulation of teleworking.

Indeed, the worker is entitled to payment of the increase in teleworking expenses, namely electricity, gas, communications, training and use of work tools, including related equipment.

The increase in electricity and gas consumption related to heating caused by work performed by the employee at home can be calculated by comparing bills before and after the installation of teleworking equipment, without prejudice to the option of an agreed grant.

This right arises from the employer’s obligations, which are anchored in Article 127 of the CT and 71 of the General Labor Code for public functions, namely the payment of “fair and reasonable remuneration for work”, “good working conditions for the physical and moral constitution offers a perspective “that favors the reconciliation of work, family and private life” as well as “appropriate professional training to develop your qualifications”.

In addition, the constitution guarantees the right to “organize work under socially dignified conditions” (Article 59 (1) (b)).

With the pandemic, teleworking has changed radically, affecting more than a million workers who have been forced to work in their homes, often without the necessary physical and economic conditions, with serious damage to their personal and family lives, especially parents with minor children.

For this reason, it is imperative that the Assembly of the Republic urgently approves the clarification of the rule in question in order to prevent workers from the private and public sectors from continuing to be unjustifiably punished with the payment of teleworking costs, which are intended for the recognized benefit of the Republic are employers, without prejudice to state support and reinforcement of inspection, as well as elementary justice.