FNV and CNV, the two largest trade unions in the Netherlands, argue for a home working allowance for all Dutch people who have to work from home a lot. On Monday it was announced that civil servants will receive such a compensation, of 363 euros over six months. The collective labor agreement for civil servants applies to 120,000 employees and is often seen as an example for other employers.
Spokesperson Jolanda van Zwieten of the CNV trade union tells NU.nl that the situation differs per employer, but that she believes that employees who have to work from home often and for a long time should certainly receive compensation.
“There should be something in return,” she says. “According to Nibud, working from home costs 2 euros per day. That will be our commitment in negotiations in sectors where people are expected to work from home for a long time, such as banks and insurance companies.”
New situation, so new regulation
The FNV also hopes to be able to arrange such a compensation for its members. “About half of the people cannot work from home, PWC has calculated. Working from home is simply not possible in healthcare, education and, for example, supermarkets”, says spokesman José Kager. “But for people who can and have to work from home a lot, we say: there is a new situation, then a new arrangement is fair.”
Kager also often hears that employers allow the travel allowance to continue and thus tell their employees to compensate for working from home. “That is also one way, but one employee lives nearby and another far away. As a result, they receive different compensation, while they spend the same amount on working from home.”
That is why Kager advises employers to look at the structural and incidental costs that employees incur when working from home. For example, they spend money on things like a desk and a good chair, but there are also recurring costs for heating, electricity, printing and coffee, for example. “What employees need per CLA and situation, customization is needed to determine such an amount.”
Advice differs per situation
The AWVN employers’ association does not yet advise its members to provide a home work allowance. “That depends on too many circumstances,” says spokesman Jannes van der Velde. “If companies want to structurally take teleworking to a higher level, then it is also good from the Working Conditions Act to look at facilities such as a chair and desk, so it is not surprising to talk about compensation,” he says.
“But there are also companies that don’t like working from home, it’s very different there,” says Van der velde. At these companies, the employees will not be structurally at home and such compensation may not be necessary at all. “Our advice is therefore to make a forecast as an employer, to see to what extent working from home fits in the future of the company and to adjust policy accordingly.”
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