Coronavirus - France - French Employment law - Telework and deconfinement: what protection for employees against moral harassment (harcèlement Moral) ? by CHHUM AVOCATS (Paris, Nantes, Lille)
Since March 16th, 2020, 5.1 million employees would be teleworking  while in most cases, this form of organization had never been implemented before.
With this imposed generalization of teleworking, it seems imperative to wonder about the articulation of this form of work with the rules relating to protection against moral harassment.
Indeed, although outside the company's premises and therefore outside the "physical" sphere of influence of its employer, the teleworker is not therefore immune to a possible situation of psychological harassment.
On the contrary, teleworking can sometimes lead to amplifying the behaviors constituting moral harassment (harcèlement moral).
2) Telework and right to disconnect (droit à la déconnexion) (article 2242-17 7 ° of the labor code).
The aforementioned study by DARES highlighted the fact that employees in telework are much more likely to work atypical hours (evening after 8 p.m. or on weekends) and less predictable than employees present in the premises of the business.
However, the right to disconnect  must benefit all employees, including and even particularly, employees in telework (Cf. our article: Right to disconnect employees from January 1, 2017: how to put it in place? By Frédéric Chhum, Lawyer.).
The mechanism for setting the availability time slots is to prevent the teleworker from being forced to remain permanently reachable by his employer (Cf. our article: Telework and Covid 19: employees, what are your rights and obligations? By
Frédéric Chhum and Marilou Ollivier, Lawyers.)
However, the right to disconnect goes even further by requiring the company to set up devices to regulate the use of digital tools, in order to ensure compliance with rest and leave times as well as personal and family life.
3) Telework and managerial moral harassment (harcèlement moral managérial)
In addition, teleworking can generate conflicts between the employee and his management.
It is indeed not uncommon for telework to reveal a glaring lack of confidence which can, for example, lead certain managers to exert increased pressure on their subordinates or to disparage their work simply because they find it difficult to imagine that those - they work with the same seriousness from their home.
What's more, "remote" communication is always more complicated and can lead to misunderstandings on both sides.
However, the employee must never be the victim of acts constituting moral harassment on the part of his managers (unjustified reproaches, humiliations, denigration, pressures etc.) .
To read all the article, please click on the link below
 Les Echos COVID 19 - Les Grands Oubliés du Télétravail.
 Etude de la DARES « Le télétravail permet-il d’améliorer les conditions de travail des cadres ? », 7 novembre 2019.
 Article 9 de l’accord national interprofessionnel du 19 juillet 2005 relatif au télétravail.
 Article L. 2242-17 du Code du travail.
 Article 1152-1 du code du travail.
 Cass. crim. 19 février 2019, n°18-83268.
Frédéric CHHUM avocat et membre du conseil de l’ordre des avocats de Paris (mandat 2019-2021)
CHHUM AVOCATS (Paris, Nantes, Lille)
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