MGG Legal anciennement MGG Voltaire Avocats


In two recent decisions, the Courts of Appeal of La Réunion and Amiens respectively excluded the qualification of occupational accidents for accidents that had occured on the street outside of the teleworker’s home even if they happened during working hours or shortly after working hours.

Legal background

Occupational accidents are those which happen due to or on the occasion of work (art. L.411-1 of the French social security Code). As a result, any accident occurring at the workplace and during working hours is deemed to be an occupational accident. Article L.1222-9 of the French Labour Code confirms this assumption for teleworkers.  

It however causes problems considering the fact that it is much more difficult for the employee and the employer to evidence that an accident occurred at the workplace (home or any other place where the employee can work remotely) and during working hours.

Inputs of the decisions

In the first case, after hearing a sound outside their home and losing their internet connexion, a teleworker decided to go outside in order to find out about this incident. As they were on the street not far from their house discussing with a truck driver, the employee was hit by a pole.

The employee argued that, for work-related reasons, they had to go outside to understand the loss of their internet connexion without which they could not continue working.

The judge did not give merits to the employee’s position, ruling that by going out of their home, where they were teleworking, the employee interrupted work for a personal reason since their employer did not require them to find out about the reason of the incident.

In the second case, a teleworker who finished their work at 4.01 PM, according to their work schedule, fell down at 4.02 PM while they were going from the basement where they were working to the ground floor.

The judge refused to qualify such accident as work-related. They considered that because work ended at 4.01 PM, the employee was no longer under the subordination of the employer at 4.02 PM excluding an occupational accident.

The two cases illustrate a very strict control by the judge on the qualification of occupational accidents. Therefore, we strongly recommend challenging accidents occuring when employees are working from home.

CA of La Réunion, May 4th 2023, n° 22/00884

CA of Amiens, June 15th 2023, n° 22/00474