On April 7, 2023, the new Labor Code provisions on remote work took effect. § New rules on remote work - the most important aspects
Agreeing an agreement or regulations by the employer
The regulations or agreement should describe all the major rules of remote work, including but not limited to: the group of employees covered by remote work, the rules of communication between the employee and the employer, the rules of covering the costs of remote work, the rules of control of the remote employee.
An employer who would like remote work to be applied in his workplace should:
(a) conclude a remote work agreement with the company's trade union organization;
b) or, when there are no trade union organizations at the employer, issue regulations on remote work, after consultation with employee representatives selected in accordance with the procedure adopted at the employer.
Remote work does not affect the employee's working hours
The employer should determine the employee's time system and the employee's hourly schedule.
Remote work on the employer's instructions will be allowed only exceptionally
Performing remote work at the employer's direction will be allowed exceptionally, in the following situations:
(a) during a state of emergency, state of epidemic emergency or state of epidemic emergency, and for a period of 3 months after their revocation, or
b) during a period when it is temporarily impossible for the employer to provide safe and hygienic working conditions at the employee's existing workplace due to force majeure (e.g., when there has been flooding of the office, a power cut caused by a windstorm, etc.).
In such a situation, the employee should then make a statement on paper or electronically that he has the premises and technical conditions to perform remote work. The absence of such a statement excludes the assignment of remote work to him.
The employee will receive additional cash benefits from the employer
According to the new regulations, the employer is obliged to pay:
a) cash equivalent - if the employee uses his own materials and tools in remote work;
b) a benefit covering the cost of electricity and telecommunications services - that is, the payment for electricity and Internet is on the employer's side. The method of compensation should be described in the regulations or agreement on remote work. It comes into play: billing according to accurate bills or payment of a lump sum whose amount corresponds to the expected costs incurred by the employee in connection with the performance of remote work.
Demand to return to stationary work
If, remote work was agreed upon during the employee's employment , then either party to the employment contract may make a binding request, submitted on paper or electronically, to stop remote work and restore the previous conditions of work.
In this case, the parties shall agree on the date of return to stationary work, which should be no later than 30 days from the date of receipt of the request.
Prohibition of inferior treatment of remote workers
Remote work is a different form of performing duties - neither better nor worse, so a remote worker cannot be treated less favorably than a stationary worker. That is why:
a) a remote worker may not be treated less favorably with respect to the establishment and termination of the employment relationship, terms and conditions of employment, promotion, and access to training to improve professional qualifications than other employees engaged in the same or similar work, taking into account the peculiarities associated with the conditions of remote work;
(b) an employee shall not be discriminated against in any way for performing remote work, as well as for refusing to perform such work.
The employer shall be entitled to control the employee while working remotely
The new regulations allow the employer to carry out as many as 3 different types of control of a remote worker. These may include inspection:
a) in the performance of remote work by the employee;
b) in terms of occupational health and safety (according to my assessment, also checking the sobriety of the remote worker);
c) control of compliance with security and information protection requirements, including procedures for the protection of personal data.
Occasional remote work
The regulations allow an employee to also perform remote work at his or her own request submitted on paper or electronically, not exceeding 24 days per calendar year.
(a) occasional remote work may be performed only on the employee's initiative;
b) the employee is not entitled to any monetary benefit for occasional remote work;
c) the employer may refuse to allow occasional remote work.
§ New rules for remote work - key aspects