CITY RAT TURNED COUNTRY RAT: THE DISTANCE FROM THE EMPLOYEE’S HOME AND THE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORT COSTS
A study by ANDRH (carried out in June 2021) revealed that 30% of HRDs had been confronted with situations where employees had to move during the health crisis.
It is certain that, for the same salary and a few occasional trips to the office, the prospect of a better quality of daily life and lower rent is indeed very tempting.
The development of teleworking has made this quest possible.
The question arises as to the extent to which the employer should contribute to the transport costs of employees who, for personal reasons, have chosen to move to a particularly remote location.
We know that the law obliges the employer to pay 50% of the cost of a public transport season ticket (and not the tickets) for travel between the employee’s usual place of residence and the workplace (Articles L. 3261-2 and R. 3261-1 of the Labour Code).
It is also known that annual, monthly or weekly season tickets issued by the SNCF are notably covered (C. trav., art. R. 3261-2):
For an employer located in Ile-de-France, an employee who wishes to move to the Yvelines does not therefore incur the same transport costs as an employee moving to Biscarosse…
Does the company necessarily have to absorb the increased cost of the subscription?
The answer is not necessarily intuitive.
As the case law currently stands, the distance from the employee’s home is not a criterion allowing the employer to limit its legal obligation to cover transport costs.
This solution was recently reiterated by the Paris judicial court in July (TJ Paris, 5 July 2022, n°22/04735).
Regardless of the distance, the employer must pay for at least half of the subscription.
Does this leave the employer at a loss?
The answer is not obvious: if the employer cannot limit the right to reimbursement of transport costs according to the distance from the employee’s home, there is no text that prohibits him from setting a geographical distance limit within which telework would be authorised… which in fact evacuates the question of the obligation to pay for these costs beyond the limit thus set
A clarification of the case law would nevertheless be welcome.
Emilie Meridjen, partner in labour law and Pierre Feltz, associate.