Cell phones have become an essential tool for many employees -- employers should reimburse employees for this expense.
Nicole Edwards is an audio journalist who tells stories about health, tech and equity. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Ryerson University, and is the founder of Mango Park, a podcast production company elevating the work of womxn and BIPOC creators. She can be found on Twitter.
During the pandemic, remote and hybrid work arrangements have meant increased cell phone usage for all of us at [Company] . Without access to a cell phone, it would be very difficult for staff members to communicate effectively with each other, and with customers. Before COVID, staff had the option to use a desk phone for outreach. This meant that anyone who could not afford the cost of a cell phone plan was still able to effectively do their job. However, now that cell phones are an essential tool since they’ve replaced office phone lines, employees should not be expected to fully pay for cell phone charges out of pocket. [Company] should offer a cell phone stipend.
Most cell phone plans require a minimum monthly payment, and charge additionally for optional features like long distance. Staff should receive compensation towards the basic charge of having a cell phone, as well as full coverage of any additional features required for work, like roaming, data, international coverage, and text messages. Additionally, the option for a temporary, company-issued replacement phone should be available to staff in the event that anything happens to their main phone. This helps to minimize the financial pressures of quickly replacing a device that has broken unexpectedly.
We are requesting: