This is clear from the recent public ruling issued by the court in The Hague.
That court ruled in the case of an employee who had been working from home at the call center company Teleperformance from Zoetermeer since the summer of 2020. It is a subsidiary of a French multinational company, and has clients such as Microsoft, Google, Mastercard and BMW.
The employee must log into the employer’s computer systems before starting her shift. But she only gets paid from the moment she answers the first call from a client.
Teleperformance has actually been in the news in recent years with a similar case. One employee who worked in the office stated that his login time should count as paid work time. This employee won this case twice, both in district court and on appeal last May.
For the domestic worker who also claimed back pay from the time of login, the outlook looked very favourable. The woman went to court in January, where she demanded up to €1,800 for the time she spent logging in.
According to the woman, Teleperformance works with outdated computer software, which often causes crashes upon startup. Therefore, she would not have started each workday determined by her employer not fifteen minutes before her work, but half an hour.
If she is not entitled to half an hour of her late salary, then at least the scheduled fifteen minutes. In this case, she would be owed more than 900 euros. It also claimed €469 in collection costs.
However, the employee who works from home comes home from a rude awakening. According to the court in The Hague, she is not entitled to any back pay at all.
In the first place, the woman could not prove that it took half an hour to get started. In principle, logging into the required systems will only take a few minutes.
Because she works from home, according to the district court judge, her case is “fundamentally different” from that of her colleague mentioned above. During the check-in process, this colleague is “limited in his ability to spend his time on his own work” because he works in the office. On the other hand, the domestic worker can organize that time largely according to his or her own desires.
“Once she was logged into the systems before her shift started (…) she had the opportunity to manage her time at home freely until the time her shift started (…). During that period, she said, ‘she did not have to do any work and Teleperformance had no “Control over her and how she wants to spend that time.” Pronunciation.
Instead of getting money, the woman now has to pay part of the employer’s legal costs. This costs her 464 euros.
Incidentally, the case of her colleague who works in the office is also gaining momentum. Teleperformance decided to appeal the cassation ruling in this case to the Supreme Court, the highest legal body in the Netherlands.
There is a lot at stake in this case. The other 3,600 employees working at the call center can also claim their back wages by appealing the court ruling. This can cost the employer millions.
Trade unions CNV FNV believes that all Teleperformance employees are entitled to those funds, and is assisting members who wish to file a claim with the company.
This was stated in the cassation case FNV Employee financially. “This looks like a power play towards the former employee,” FNV director Elie Heemskerk said earlier. “The cassation case could easily cost tens of thousands of euros. This former employee cannot afford that.”
The call center made huge profits
Teleperformance Holland has been able to benefit significantly from the Corona pandemic in recent years, thanks to the work the company was allowed to carry out for GGD. RTL Z previously reported that the company saw its sales double in 2020 to €206 million. A net profit of 16 million euros was recorded.
The company’s latest annual accounts also show that the past few years have been very profitable. In 2021, its sales rose to 508 million euros, and profits to 69 million euros. Although turnover fell again last year to €283 million, there was again a healthy profit of €26 million at the bottom.
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