SYNTEC signs an agreement on telework

SYNTEC signs an agreement on telework

The SYNTEC branch has signed innovative agreements to meet the expectations of companies and employees. We will develop here the agreement on hybrid work organisation, i.e., telework.

The partners to the negotiation of the branch (employers and employees’ representatives), aware that hybrid work offers an opportunity to increase the attractiveness of companies and that 82% of companies in the branch use telework, decided to offer a framework for companies to implement hybrid work.

The agreement takes up several definitions of telework and differentiates between hybrid telework (regular or occasional) and permanent telework, emphasising for the latter the risks of isolation and loss of links. Teleworking abroad is also mentioned with a point of vigilance regarding the tax and social regime as well as the potential time difference.

As regards implementation, the branch suggests a period of adaptation and mentions several options:

  • By collective agreement, or if negotiations fail.
  • By a charter in accordance with the branch agreement.
  • Or by individual agreements.

It should be noted that whatever option is chosen to implement telework, the CSE (staff representative committee) must be consulted if it exists, and employees must give their agreement. It is recommended that the agreement be in writing for evidential purposes.

The branch agreement lists the compulsory clauses of the agreement or charter, and a standard agreement template is appended to the branch agreement (conditions, acceptance and control procedures, time slots, etc.) as well as a best practice guide.

The branch underlines that the eligibility criteria are defined in the agreement or charter and that the company will have to justify its decision in case of refusal of telework to an eligible employee, when it is set up within the company. The employee may refuse, as long as telework was not part of the conditions of hiring.

The branch also recommends that the following be specified:

  • The modalities related to the place of telework and to apply criteria of compatibility of the place of exercise to a telework activity.
  • A minimum physical presence (which it considers adequate at 20%) and shared attendance times.
  • Situations in which telework could be suspended or modified (e.g., due to constraints related to a customer request or in case of a request from either party).
  • The reversibility of telework.
  • Break times (at least 45 minutes per day including the legal 20-minute break from 6 hours of work) and availability periods.
  • Support for workers in specific situations (disability, chronic illness, caregiver, return from maternity/paternity/adoption leave, etc.).
  • Training arrangements (the same rights as non-teleworking employees and the benefit of training specific to this work organisation).
  • The modalities for the implementation of telework in case of exceptional circumstances or force majeure, as we have experienced with the pandemic.

With regard to equipment and professional expenses, the branch:

  • Mentions the employer's obligation to provide the equipment necessary for the performance of duties.
  • Underlines the obligation to cover 50% of the cost of public transport passes and specifies that any costs to another teleworking location are excluded, unless otherwise specified.
  • Specifies that employees benefit from meal vouchers in the same way as those working on site.
  • Encourages companies to negotiate about expenses incurred for teleworking, specifying that any other expenses, with the agreement of the employer and carried out in the interest of the company, must be supported by the company, in accordance with the professional expense regime in force in the company.

Finally, the branch also emphasises the health and safety of teleworkers (by pointing the obligation to update the DUERP), the control of working time and the regulation of the workload (by reminding in particular the obligation to hold a specific interview at least once a year), as well as their right to disconnect by underlining the legal provisions on the subject and making a point of honour of maintaining the social link.

The agreement will take effect on the first day of the calendar month following the date of publication of the extension order in the Journal Officiel and immediately for companies that are members of an employers' organisation that has signed the agreement.

Our teams can advise you on how to manage these new measures. Do not hesitate to come back to us if you wish to be accompanied.