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Should the employer bear the costs of teleworking?

Due to the social distancing imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, many employers adopted the telework regime and their employees began to carry out their activities at home through information and communication technologies.

In this scenario, a recurring question is: should the employer bear expenses, such as equipment, internet, telephone and light, that the employee will have on account of telework?

As a rule, no.

THE CLT gives the employer and the employee freedom to adjust to each other who will be in charge of the cost of this type of expenses.

However, the employer shall be obliged if it is so included in the employment contract or in a collective agreement clause applicable to the employee category.

If the employer has to pay, he/she may choose to: (i) reimburse the proven expenses, (ii) stipulate a fixed monthly amount without the need for proof provided that it is proportionate to the expenses and (iii) enter into a collective agreement with the union of the category stipulating the value and terms of the obligation.

Regardless of the form, the important thing is that the payment is formalized in accordance with labor rules in order to avoid the integration of salary and taxation of the amount passed on to the employee.

Finally, even if the employer is released, if the employee feels harmed by extraordinary expenses arising from telework, he may request compensation in court.


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