Justice is clear, case law is constant and yet, once again in the field of teleworking since the start of the Covid-19 coronavirus health crisis, the recommendations – or injunctions – of the government are quite vague. The Ministry of Labor writes in black and white that the employee is not entitled to be reimbursed for costs arising from teleworking unless an agreement or a company charter provides for it. That’s fine, but it doesn’t hold up in court if you want to challenge your employer’s refusal to reimburse you for the costs: he would have to. The Court of Cassation has a constant position on the subject: “Professional expenses incurred by the employee must be borne by the employer”, say the judges, those who really make law, unlike a text produced by the services of the ministry. As if that were not enough, Urssaf has drawn up a table of the costs that can be reimbursed and at what level they must be.
Among the reimbursable expenses, we obviously find consumables. Reams of paper and printer cartridges. If you have been placed in telework by your employer, and if he does not provide you with room and equipment to work, you must use your own equipment, and therefore you can be reimbursed. It will suffice to present supporting documents. But it can go further. One can claim to be reimbursed for a share of the occupation of his home. Rent, housing tax, property tax, condominium fees, home insurance. If, for example, you use 10% of your home to work, Urssaf provides that you can be reimbursed for your expenses. Ditto for heating and electricity costs.
Here again, Urssaf is clear: if the employee buys ergonomic furniture in order to be able to work from home, he is entitled to reimbursement of half of his expenses. If the employer refuses, in theory, the employee can go before the industrial tribunal to challenge this decision. But legal guerrilla warfare is not desirable for anyone. Hence the urgency to define a framework. Or a national inter-professional agreement, which the social partners will discuss again tomorrow. Either by a company agreement or a charter written by the employer. According to the CPME, more than 600 teleworking agreements have been signed since the start of the year.