Company law

Using materials from the company by the employee

The employer shall provide to his employees with the means to do their job: computer, telephone, photocopier, pen … The private sphere can not completely erase the workplace, this equipment put in disposition is sometimes diverted from its main usage. As owner of the equipment, the employer has the right to control its use by publishing written documents (internal notes even work contracts).

Using materials from the company

Office Equipment
The employer is made responsible for providing appropriate means his employees to perform their daily work: pen, notebook, eraser, scotch tape, paper clip, stapler……

Take these equipment outside the office is theft.

The most part of the firms tolerate this “small borrowing” since they remain moderate.

Make photocopies
The rules for using the printer and photocopier for personal purposes are rarely described in official documents. The reason is simple: the agreement of a right infinity would drive inevitably to abuse and strict ban would be impossible to manage.

So these are the rules of use shall prevail. It is your responsibility not to monopolize the equipment to print personal documents.

Please note: nowadays, many printers store information about documents. So it is very easy to find out who printed the document.

Have a company car
Company cars are considered fringe benefits and are therefore included in the employment contract.

The employee is allowed to use for business trips as personal (as opposed to service vehicles reserved for a strictly professional use).

The abolition of the vehicle function gives right to financial compensation.

Use the business phone
Personal conversations from a landline belonging to the enterprise are permitted if they are brief and casual. Receipt of appeal must also be reasonable and not disrupt their daily work.

The employer, the owner of the telephone line, is entitled to request a record of phone calls with an indication of the times and call costs.

If an employer provides a cell phone to an employee, it is considered a benefit in kind. The employment contract must specify whether calls should only be professionals or if private communications are allowed. In the case of mixed use, the estimated cost will be in the package.

Namely: To have a cell phone provided by the employer does not mean that you should receive business calls 24h/24.

Computer Equipment
Most jobs today are equipped with a computer and even an internet connection. It is common that companies publish charters defining their scope of computer use. The charter is signed by each employee.

The use of computer equipment is normally reserved for professional use only. The employer can however authorize a more personal use over break times and lunch.

However, your employer may, after informing the representatives staff, to view the contents of your hard drive, even in your absence.

Note: if your company provides you with a laptop, this is a benefit in kind. So you must declare it in your tax. Your contract must specify whether you are allowed to use it for private use.

The internet belongs to the employer. It can prevent access to certain websites for reasons of safety or productivity.

Of course, any illegal activity (downloading, dissemination and possession of illegal content …) is strictly prohibited and may be prosecuted as well as in the private sphere.