Employees in Switzerland to be compensated for online working
After the latest order to work from home - announced as part of new COVID restrictions in Switzerland - labour experts have revealed it will be up to companies to bear some of the costs of remote working. Until the working from home mandate is lifted in January, international businesses will have to pay for some of the extra costs.
Certain costs of working from home covered by employers
Speaking to RTS, head of research for the Swiss Trade Union Federation (SGB), Luca Cirigliano, said that the employer “must pay for all the costs which emanate from teleworking and which are beneficial to the company." The new COVID restrictions mean that remote working has become mandatory for most jobs, meaning more people must rely on home office supplies to fulfil their obligations.
The labour code which experts are referring to stipulates that only necessary costs and additional charges should be covered by companies and not costs compensated by salaries. In reality, this will mean benefits like access to dedicated phone lines for work if required but will not include any costs the employee was expected to pay for before remote working.
It will be up to workers to "prove" the extra costs
“It is about the additional costs generated, not the fixed costs which the employee usually supports anyway, independently of any teleworking,” noted Olivia Guyot Unger, council member of the Fédération des Entreprises Romandes in Geneva. She also said it was ultimately up to the employee to prove what the additional costs were in order to be reimbursed.
RTS reported that there are discussions among international companies and entrepreneurs as to whether a "flat rate" to cover costs would be the best solution. Current COVID restrictions have remote working in place until January 24, 2022, but the rules may be extended if needed.