Do we have the right to telecommute from abroad?

Anchored in the daily routine of the French since the emergence of Covid-19, teleworking has been acclaimed by employers and their employees. Eager to clear their minds in this gloomy health period, many workers have opted for teleworking outside France. Here are all the issues related to this activity.

From a legal point of view, no official text has been published to prevent a teleworker from exercising his activity abroad, not even the Labor Code, which makes no mention of the international domain. Currently, only the company’s agreement is valid to benefit from this special status.

“There is a legal void at this level. Employers normally have a responsibility for health and safety with regard to their employees working from home, whether in France or abroad. But for the moment, the legislation is a little in abeyance,” analyzed Marie Canzano, of the consulting firm Digital Jobs for Capital.

However, the employee must theoretically be available for his employer, that is to say able to go to his fixed place of work in the event of an emergency.

Health constraints

The employer has a health and safety obligation for each of its employees, ensuring that all means have been implemented so that they can carry out their duties without danger. However, in this period marked by the coronavirus, this requirement is difficult for the employer to maintain with employees working outside France.

Then, if a work accident or sick leave is observed in France, whether for a fixed worker or a teleworker, the social mechanisms cover the costs related to this incident. This will not always be the case depending on the country where the teleworker is located.

Potential additional costs

Many costs related to the teleworking of an employee abroad are also likely to increase the bill for the company manager. Indeed, professional expenses and adjustments to ensure decent health and safety conditions are the responsibility of the latter.

In the same perspective, in the event of a business trip for the employee concerned or of the latter’s early return if the company needs it, the employer has the duty to bear all the expenses incurred.

Last point to monitor: the time spent by the worker outside France. If the mission carried out by the latter is long, he may have to change status to become an expatriate worker.

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