At the dawn of the transition to Stage 3 of the Coronavirus action plan, which implies in particular, further restrictions on the population movements, telework appears to be one of the recommended solutions.
Thus, in France, since 2017, it is very simple to implement telework, whether on a regular or occasional basis.
Indeed, most firms have either negotiated a company-wide agreement or established a policy setting out the applicable rules (eligibility, practical aspects of telework, working time monitoring, etc.). In order to telework, they only need the agreement of each employee concerned by this measure, implementing the procedure provided by the collective agreement or the charter.
Firms which do not (yet) have such internal legal framework, can also, however, easily use telework. All they have to do is to formalize an agreement with the employee by any means. It can take the form of an amendment to their employment agreement, or, in a less formal way, an exchange of letters or even e-mails. The written agreement must set up the structure of telework and specify, in particular, the dates, the place of work, the equipment made available, the working time and its monitoring modalities, and the payment of potential business expenses.
Apparently, anodyne, the definition of the workplace is particularly important since the employee must not work in a public place (e.g. in a coffee shop or neighborhood bar) and thus disregards current health imperatives and also the constant imperative to preserve the confidentiality of the company data.
Apart from the current emergency, we recommend to introduce telework through a company-wide agreement or a policy, because they allow setting up a global framework specific to the company.
Then, this allows reducing the required formalities to be carried out with each concerned employee in order to implement telework, whether occasional or regular.