Covid-19: finally, teleworking employees are entitled to meal vouchers

According to the national inter-professional agreement on teleworking, an employee who works at home must keep his meal vouchers. Illustrative photo. (PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP)

It is a painful decision for the Schlumberger company. The Paris court on Wednesday, March 31, condemned the petroleum equipment company to reimburse meal vouchers for all employees who had been deprived of them. However Schlumberger no longer gives restaurant tickets to its employees placed in teleworking because of the Covid-19 epidemic since… March 17, 2020. More than a year without its “restaurant tickets”.

>> Teleworking against Covid-19: companies are slow to comply

The regularization, explains the Actuel RH site, which is the first to echo this court decision, will be in cash (in cash). Based on the employer’s share of 5.22 per meal ticket. We will therefore clearly exceed the thousand euros of catch-up per employee.

And yet, two weeks ago, another court said the opposite. This time it was the Malakoff Humanis affair. The Nanterre court decided on March 10 that the employer could reserve meal vouchers for those who continued to work on site.

Let’s look at the employer’s arguments first. He said that those who were teleworking necessarily had a kitchen and that the company was not intended to pay employees for their weekly groceries. The judges decided otherwise. They point out that the restaurant ticket must allow the employee to eat when he is doing his working day and that the law does not consider that the existence of a kitchen exonerates the employer from his responsibility. They also say that the restaurant ticket allows the employee to pay the price of the meal consumed during his working day. It doesn’t matter what he puts in that meal. It could very well be, for example, fruits and vegetables that he will also consume later.

The judges are based on two new texts. On the one hand, the national inter-professional agreement that the social partners concluded on teleworking last November, at the cost of very long negotiations. It will have been used for something. It does not provide for teleworkers to be deprived of their meal vouchers. And the judges also evoke the questions and answers posted online by the Ministry of Labor which is on the same line. They therefore give it legal value. It is important. There may be appeals, but for now it is the equal treatment of employees that prevails.

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