Telecommuting: new rules in France
In addition to the measures dedicated to the construction contract, which have attracted a high degree of media coverage, new rules applicable to teleworking are also included in the reform of the Labor Code.
As a reminder, teleworking refers to any form of work that could have been carried out on the premises of the employer, but which is carried out by an employee outside these premises, on a voluntary basis, using modern information and communication technology.
From the employment contract to the collective agreement
Up to now, employers have been able to use telework even if no collective agreement was signed in this area. And, if there was one, they had to formalize the setting up of teleworking by means of a contract of employment for each employee concerned.
From now on, the implementation of telework in the company requires the conclusion of a collective agreement or, failing that, the drawing up of a charter by the employer after consultation with the Social and Economic Committee. This text must set the conditions for teleworking and the conditions for the termination of such services, the methods for controlling the employee’s working time or the regulation of teleworking. His workload and the time slots during which the employer can usually contact the employee. Therefore, even if this is strongly recommended, the use of teleworking does not have to be mentioned in the employee’s employment contract.
The provisions of the collective agreement replace those provided for by employment contracts entered into before September 23, 2017, unless the employees object to it within one month of the communication of the agreement or the charter in the company.
Moreover, once an employee eligible for teleworking seeks to benefit from this scheme, the employer who refuses his request must justify his refusal. On the other hand, the employee may refuse to go on telework, without having to give reasons for his refusal.
Finally, if there is no collective agreement or charter for telework, both employers and employees may, by mutual agreement, resort to them, but only on an occasional basis.
Status of teleworker: more protective rules
At present, the Labor Code stipulates that the teleworker has the same rights as the employee who is employed on the premises of the company, in particular with regard to access to trade union information, participation in professional elections and access to Training.
In addition, the accident that occurs at the employee’s teleworking place during the hours dedicated to his / her professional activity is considered as an accident at work.
IMPORTANT: The employer is no longer required to cover all costs related to teleworking (hardware, software …). Its participation in these costs can now be determined in the collective agreement or the charter organizing teleworking in the company.