In today’s predominantly telecommuting environment, employers have often been faced with the question whether or not teleworkers should receive meal vouchers during telework.
In order to clarify this issue, it is necessary to refer to the main applicable legislative framework, namely Law No. 81 from 2018 on regulation of telework (“Law No 81/2018”) and Law No. 165 from 2018 on granting value tickets (“Law No. 165/2018”).
On the one hand, Law No. 81/2018 states directly that teleworkers benefit from all rights recognised by law, internal regulations and collective labour agreements applicable to employees who perform their activity at the workplace organised by the employer.
On the other hand, Law No. 145/1998 on granting meal vouchers states in Art. 6 para. (1): “The employee may use, on a monthly basis, a number of meal vouchers not exceeding the number of days on which he is present at work inside the establishment”. Subsequently, Law No. 145/1998 was explicitly repealed by Law No. 165/2018.
This means that the previous regulation, namely Law No. 145/1998, expressly made granting meal vouchers conditional on the presence of the employee “at work inside the establishment”, a condition which is no longer reflected in the current regulation.
So, in short, considering the principle of equal treatment (as transposed by Law No. 81/2018) and also absent an express condition that, in order to receive meal tickets, employees must be present “at work inside the establishment”, it can be sustained that meal vouchers are also due to employees who perform work on a telecommuting regime.
The bnt Gilescu, Văleanu & Partners team is at your disposal for further information.