Should an Employer Have to Pay an Employee’s Rent Who Works from Home?
My guess is that most employers would answer this question with an emphatic “Of course not!” and thus will be shocked to learn of a recent decision from Switzerland which found that, if and where employees are expected to work from home, the employer must contribute to a portion of their employees’ monthly rental payments.
In that case, as a result of COVID-19 an accounting firm’s employee was required to work from home and sought reimbursement of a portion of his monthly rent. Even though no remote work policy existed which would allow the employee to claim any portion of his monthly rent while working remotely, the Switzerland court found that the employee could claim part of his rent where he was required to work from home.
While this is not a Canadian case, it does illustrate the need for employers to have comprehensive remote work policies in place as well as employment agreements that address working remotely. Specifically, the policies and employment agreement should address what are and what are not allowable expenses an employee can claim for working remotely (i.e. computer, internet access, etc.). Employers will want to consider whether or not their contracts of employment require the employee to maintain a home office and work remotely.
Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in either a remote work policy or provisions to add to your employment agreements which deal with working remotely. Our team of lawyers would be happy to help you navigate your matter.
Call us at (604) 736 9791, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to assist.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to serve as, or should be construed as legal advice, and is only to provide general information. No portion or use of this article will establish a lawyer-client relationship with the author or any related party. Should you require legal advice for your particular situation, please get in touch with us.