Since the coronavirus pandemic began and the State of Alarm was decreed in our country, remote work has been implemented in most companies in our country. And far from being an interim measure, it seems that telework has arrived to stay.
This situation, in many cases was unknown to both companies and workers, since until now in Spain remote work was not very common,which has generated all kinds of doubts about it.
Aware of this, since AYCE Laborytax,we want to have made this‘express guide’ with the rights and obligations of companies in remote work.
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Current regulations on remote work
Although there is no law regulating remote work exclusively, remote work or telework was already regulated in Article 13 of the Workers’ Statute,and provides:
Article 13 of the Workers’ Statute: “Distance work shall be regarded as a person in which the provision of the employment activity is carried out predominantly at the worker’s home or in the place freely chosen by the worker, alternative to his face-to-face development in the work centre of the undertaking. The agreement establishing remote work shall be formalized in writing. Remote workers may exercise the rights of collective representation in accordance with this Law. For this purpose, such workers must be attached to a specific workplace of the undertaking”.
As we can see, this article only names the work remotely without giving too many details, so from AYCE Laborytax we will try to solve all possible doubts that companies may have.
Can a company force an employee to work remotely?
Remote work must be agreed between the undertaking and the worker,and under no circumstances may the undertaking impose it on a compulsory basis, since to be carried out it must be a decision by mutual agreement.
It may be proposed by both the company and theworker, but for its implementation both parties must give the go-ahead.
Does a remote worker have the same rights as the rest?
We also want to emphasize that a remote worker will have the same employment rights as a worker who is physically in the company (vacation, salary, schedule, training, prevention, promotion, etc.),and therefore will be considered in the same way, without distinction.
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The company must protect the remote worker in terms of safety and health
It will be the company’s responsibility to protect a remote worker in terms of safety andhealth, just as it is done with any other worker working in the workplace.
To this end, the company should adapt the preventive activity to the place where the employee performs the work remotely,either through a self-assessment system or through a home visitation scheme.
Should the company provide the necessary equipment for telework?
Point 7 of the European Framework Agreement on Telework states that it must be the employer who provides, installs and maintains the necessary equipment to telework,provided that the worker does not have the means to do so.
This means that if remote work is at the will of the company and an employee does not have the means to telework, it will be the company’s responsibility to provide the necessary equipment. On the other hand, if it is the will of the worker and has the necessary means, he can use his own equipment without having to be provided by the company.
There are cases of employees who do not have a computer at home or internet connection. In view of this situation, if the remote work has been at the request of the company, the company must provide everything necessary to work from home. This aspect is important to keep this in mind when dealing with the agreement.
On the other hand, it should be emphasized that workers shall have the right to the protection of their privacy in the use of digital devices,and the company may only access the content to monitor compliance with work obligations, as well as to ensure the integrity of the devices.
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The company must record the working hours of remote workers
Just as a Compulsory Day Register is reached in the workplace, the company will be obliged to record the working hours of the teleworkers,just as it does with workers who are physically on the premises.
It will be the company’s responsibility to implement a digitallyformat time registration system in order to be able to sign up remotely, in addition to keeping all records for a minimum of four years. Otherwise, the company could face penalties of between 626 and 6,250 euros.
The remote worker has the right to disconnect
Working remotely does not imply that the worker has to beavailable to the company at all times, since the teleworker has the same right to disconnect as any other worker, regardless of w.a.
That is, the company must establish a working schedule for the employee and once the employee has finished his working day, he will not be obliged to answer calls or messages from the company or customers.
Here are some tips to ensure remote work in companies and that are totally mandatory for workers being very important to comply with them, so as not to suffer sanctions in the future.