What are the rules and obligations for setting up a telework charter?

“What does the law say about the compulsory teleworking charter?” is the question we’ve often been asked.

The epidemic context has put the spotlight on teleworking, which has even become compulsory during confinements. According to an INSEE study, in 2021, 28% of employees teleworked on average every week. This phenomenon of teleworking accompanies the strong digitalization of companies. Article L1222-9 of the French Labor Code defines it as work “carried out by an employee off the premises on a voluntary basis, using information and communication technologies”. It can be introduced by a collective agreement, or failing that, by a teleworking charter. It is not compulsory, but it does provide a framework for its use within a company, in the interests of fairness to employees.

How do you draw up a teleworking charter?

There is no standard telework charter. This must be adapted to the specific needs of each company. It must, however, deal with certain major themes:

Who is entitled to telework? Are there any eligibility criteria? The teleworking charter may stipulate certain prerequisites such as seniority, type of job, commuting time, autonomy in the position…

  • How is teleworking accepted and how can it be terminated? The teleworking charter sets out the procedure for requesting regular teleworking.
  • How do you organize the duration of teleworking? Is there a minimum or maximum number of teleworking days per month or per week allowed within the company? The teleworking charter also defines the working hours, during which the employee must be contactable. It decides on the actual length of working hours and the means of controlling them.
  • What equipment do I need to telework? Who covers the costs? The employer must provide a computer. It is not obliged to cover expenses related to calls or Internet connections. The teleworking charter defines the means made available by the employer according to his choice: office, financial assistance for Internet subscription, etc.
  • What about teleworking location? Where can employees telework: at home, in a vacation home, in a coworking space?
  • How do you ensure security and confidentiality when teleworking? The teleworking charter defines these aspects. What kind of insurance do employees need? What happens in the event of a workplace accident? How do you ensure data confidentiality?

Teleworkers and on-site employees enjoy the same rights. This teleworking charter defines the rules. It is drawn up by the employer. The company must seek the opinion of the CSE (Comité Social Économique), if there is one in the company. He is not obliged to follow its recommendations. Since 2017, teleworking is no longer subject to salary negotiation.

Lastly, the teleworking charter must be communicated to all employees, by whatever means the company chooses.

Is teleworking compulsory?

The Macron ordinances of 2017 greatly relaxed the conditions for teleworking and introduced a quasi-right to telework.

Accepting an employee to telework is not mandatory. In this case, the employer must give very clear and precise reasons for his refusal. The reasons can be varied:

poor internet connection causing communication problems ;

home too far from company if need to return urgently ;

not enough autonomy on a job to be able to manage on your own…

The charter makes it possible to clarify the eligibility criteria for teleworking, and to avoid treating it on a case-by-case basis.

Please note: Is teleworking compulsory in confinement?

During the health crisis, the government imposed telecommuting, without the option of refusal, on 100% of positions with the possibility of doing so.

Do I have to sign a telework agreement?

For occasional teleworking, a simple agreement between employee and employer is all that is required. It can be formalized by an e-mail.

For regular teleworking, the employer must have the employee’s agreement. The telecommuting rider is not compulsory, but it is reassuring. The Macron ordinances made this point more flexible, suspending the requirement for a rider.

Is telecommuting allowed?

The question of telecommuting is not covered by the French Labor Code. The teleworking charter can specify this. The employer can refuse to allow an employee to telework if the location does not meet the requirements of the charter. Is this location properly equipped for telecommuting? Is there enough coverage to answer the phone and ensure optimal communication? Similarly, coworking spaces can accommodate teleworkers, if all the right conditions are met.

Failure to do so may result in a warning or even dismissal.

In all cases, the employee must inform his employer of the address of his teleworking location, in order to facilitate the procedure in the event of a workplace accident.

How to organize employee schedules?

Telecommuting schedules aren’t easy to navigate. Are employees physically absent from the site on leave, sick or teleworking? Do we need certain profiles on the site? How can we avoid accepting teleworking for everyone at the same time?

To ensure effective monitoring of teleworkers, HR software is available. The QuarksUp absence management solution enables you to see your employees’ schedules at a glance. Teams can easily see which employees are teleworking. This scheduling tool saves time and improves internal organization.

Although not mandatory, a telecommuting charter provides a framework for the implementation of telecommuting and helps prevent any excesses.

3 key points to remember:

  • The teleworking charter sets out the conditions for its application;
  • It is not compulsory, but provides an effective framework;
  • The Macron ordinances of 2017 contributed to the democratization of teleworking.

Good to know! quarksUp is an HRIS solution for managing the entire employee cycle.

Thanks to this HR tool, everything can be done online. As an HR manager, you’ll be in charge of all our employees’ digital activities. With its modular offer, quarksUp intervenes from recruitment to employee off-boarding.

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