Setting the limit values for the compensation of expenses in the telework regime

Article 168 of the Labor Code mandates the employer’s obligation to compensate the worker in a telework regime for all expenses that they, verifiably, incur in relation to the use of equipment and computer systems necessary for telework, including the additional costs of energy and the internet network installed at the workplace and the maintenance of said equipment and systems.

This compensation is considered a cost for the employer and is not considered income for the worker up to the limit to be set by Ordinance, according to the new wording of number 6 of the cited Article 168, dictated by Law No. 13/2023. It happens that, although this law came into force on 01/05/2023, the infamous Ordinance has only now been published! Thus, according to Ordinance No. 292-A/2023, of September 29, the exemption limit values for tax and social security purposes are as follows:

  • Electricity – €0.10 per day
  • Internet Network – €0.40 per day
  • Computer Equipment – €0.50 per day

    Total (€0.10 + €0.40 + €0.50) = €1.00 x 22 days = €22 per month.

The Ordinance also provides that these values may be increased by 50% if stipulated in a collective labor agreement entered into by the employer!

It is important to note that these values, pertaining to each type of expense, only apply if the goods or services have not been provided by the employer, either directly or indirectly, so that the worker does not bear the respective costs.

For example, if the employer provided the computer equipment for telework, the €0.50 per day does not apply. It is also clarified that the indicated values refer to full days of work, considering that a day is complete when it has a minimum duration of 1/6 of the weekly working hours.

Thus, and by agreement, up to the above-mentioned values and under the indicated terms, there is no incidence of income tax or contributions to Social Security. Any amount exceeding these values is subject to income tax and Social Security contributions.

In the absence of an agreement on a fixed value, only the amounts resulting from the comparison of the worker’s expenses in each month with the equivalent expenses of the last month of in-person work are exempt.

Dr. Albano Santos,

Tax Consultant of APECA