The thorny issue of transnational teleworking

Social right. The exercise of the fundamental right of the employee to freely choose his domicile may lead him to settle abroad, by total or partial teleworking. The work can then be framed by several legal orders. It is necessary to determine which ones. In order to resolve any conflicts between French law and the law of the State where the work is actually carried out, what is called “the law of the place of employment”, rules make it possible to designate the law (French or foreign). , or both) applicable.

These rules are not the same in terms of labor law and basic social security. As one national legal order cannot be imposed on another, they can only be the result of interstate agreements. The European Union has thus developed a number of rules in application of the principle of free movement of workers. But that was long before the massive implementation of telework. To date, therefore, there is no regulatory framework that does not take into account the “virtual nature” of transnational teleworking.

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When the work takes place abroad, even if the employer is French, even if the initial employment contract is subject to French law, even if a contractual clause explicitly designates French law for work abroad, the French law may be applicable only partially or not at all. As a result, the applicable social law rules are necessarily very different from one situation to another and presuppose precise knowledge of foreign law which should be applied, if necessary.

Host country rules

For example, teleworking from Luxembourg-city or Dubai will be subject to the provisions of European regulation 593/2008 with a universal vocation: the employer and the employee can choose the law they wish to apply to the employment contract. . But French law will logically be retained, when the employment contract was in progress before the move.

However, with regard to so-called “public order” rules such as those on working hours, minimum wages, workers’ health and safety, it is those of the host country that must be respected. To take the example of the teleworker based in Luxembourg, the employer will owe him at least the local minimum wage of 2,141.99 euros.

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For Dubai, UAE law provides in particular, for its part, a reduction in the daily working time of two hours to a maximum of eight hours during the period of Ramadan.

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