More than 50% of the world’s population has a smartphone in their pockets. We use it for everything: from video conferencing, hosting and conducting meetings, to scrolling Instagram for the latest memes.
Ever since the pandemic hit, voice and video calls became the new normal. For some small businesses, employees use their own smartphones for personal use, whereas other companies pay a portion of their monthly contract fees and reimburse employees for phone calls made for business purposes.
Since so many people work from home these days, many companies are introducing cell phone reimbursement policies for the first time. Businesses that have been chartered since then are considering whether to issue company-owned phones or require employees to use their own phones and reimburse them when they use them during work hours.
In this article, we’re going to cover everything you’ll need to know about cell phone reimbursement policies including:
- What is cell phone allowance?
- Example of cell phone policies
- Different types of cell phone policies…and more!
Let’s dive right in.
What is Cell Phone Allowance?
In organizations with cellular allowance programs, employees with a documented business need for a mobile phone may be granted an allowance or a stipend for the device and monthly services. This includes call and internet packages for official use per month.
Different Types of Cell Phone Policies
In a recent incident in California, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of 1,500 customer service managers because employees were not properly reimbursed for incurred expenses for work-related use.
The California court states that if an employer approves personal cell phone use for employees, that is not included in incurred expenses then the employer must pay.
Solution of Reimbursement
Due to dubious law from state to state, companies are largely creating policies of their own. Some companies considered banning all cell phone usage in the workplace to avoid the risk and complication associated with creating phone policies and paying stipends. However, here are a few approaches companies can take when considering cell phone policies as a company benefit.
Pay the entire cell phone bill
One of the most popular and straightforward solutions is to pay for the entire cell phone bill. It is less of an operational challenge and provides far less risk to run into any legal issues. This strategy works where employees use their personal phones for work on a regular basis, while the biggest and most obvious downside is the cost. This will single-handedly be the costliest solution.
Employees prove cell phone usage
A more complicated approach would be to ask employees to prove the usage of their cellphones. However, due to privacy laws and the negative perception of enacting such policies, employees may feel uncomfortable complying with this policy.
For employers, they’re able to collect the data and only pay for a portion of the phone bills which may end up as a cheaper solution.
Pay employees a fixed amount
Another easy solution is to pay employees a fixed amount that goes towards their phone bill. Employees can expense their monthly phone bills online.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy
Nowadays the smartphone industry has grown up so much that everyone has their own personal cell phone companies have introduced new policies according to which everyone can bring their own device to the workplace and employers will pay between $30 to $50 per month. This amount can be referred to as a “mobile stipend”.
Rounding it Up
There is no one-size-fits-all cell phone policy. Every organization is different, and it’s ultimately contingent on the resources at your disposal. Before proceeding with a cellphone policy, remember that employers must protect their legal interests and employees must find value in the benefit being offered.
Considering purchasing company phones? The trufyx White Glove Program for Corporates might be for you! In this program, we take the headache and time waste ff the repair equation We come to you, or to your employees’ location, and repair hones & tablets on the spot. Getting a company account with phone providers will usually lower your company costs vs paying reimbursement on expensive individual phone plans. Check out T-mobile with their $10 per unlimited line, or Teltik with their $20 per month plans.