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An employee cannot unilaterally choose to telework: a new ruling from France

Written by
Capstan Avocats, the law firm setting the benchmark for labour law in France.
The French Court of Cassation has ruled that an employee was not entitled to choose to take advantage of the legislation on teleworking unilaterally without his employer’s agreement.

Telework is used to describe any form of work organisation in which work which could also have been performed at the employer’s premises is performed by an employee offsite (often from home) on a regular and voluntary basis using information and communication technologies.  

In this case, an employee claimed that his expenses related to working at home should be covered by his employer. He claimed that in the absence of an individual office and a place made available to him by his employer to store his personal belongings, he was obliged to keep his current files, his professional documentation and his computer equipment at home. However, his employer demonstrated that it had premises available for these purposes. 

The employee was judged not to be able to take advantage of the legislation on telework unilaterally: there was no agreement between him and his employer on the use of telework, and he did not claim that the provisions of his company’s or the branch’s collective agreement applied to him.  

(Cass. soc., 17 février 2021, n°19-13783, see here for the case report in French) 

Jean-Benoît Cottin
Associate - France
Capstan Avocats