Everything You Need To Know About The New Teleworking Law

Everything You Need To Know About The New Teleworking Law

It is not a new modality, but teleworking was an exceptional option for some specific work cases or the formula of some companies that offered services that were adjusted to the nature of their mechanics. However, the new circumstances, the socio-sanitary reality marked by the pandemic, the confinement and the successive quarantines, and many other situations that have affected the labor market, have made working from home become for many companies and workers in a need. 

For this reason, the Government has been forced to draft a Distance Work Law that regulates this modality. Let’s look at the obligations and rights of the worker and of the companies that this new standard includes.

The first thing that we must differentiate, and that is defined in the law, are the terms of remote work and telework . Distance work should be considered that which is provided at the worker’s home or in the place chosen during his or her working day or part of it, on a regular basis. 

On the other hand, teleworking is the one that will be carried out remotely, but through the use of computerized or telematic systems. For it to be considered distance work, at least 30% of the working day must be carried out in this modality, within the reference period of 3 months or the equivalent percentage, depending on the duration of the contract.

An essential question for many employees is whether they can be forced to telecommute or carry out their work remotely. And the answer in the law is clear: remote work must always be voluntary, both for companies and workers, so there must be a prior agreement signed between both. And why doubts can assail workers, as well as for reasons of comfort or necessity. Well, one of the reasons is that of possible discrimination or unequal treatment. 

And in this regard, the Teleworking Law requires that people who work remotely must have the same rights, working conditions, remuneration, promotion and conciliation, as the personnel who go to the workplace . And in this equal treatment, the fact that the agreed conditions may not be modified, especially in relation to the working day and salary, will always be considered when an employee uses teleworking.

The fact that there is no contact or face-to-face control raises certain doubts on both sides . How to raise the issue of mutual trust? It is for this reason that the agreement to establish a remote work period with an employee must be made in writing, either in the initial contract or in a subsequent document, before teleworking begins. The company is required by law to deliver a copy of all remote work agreements to the workers’ legal representative. Subsequently, it will also be mandatory to send a basic copy of the signed agreement to the employment office.

Contents Of The Teleworking Agreement

Also related to the impossibility of direct face-to-face control, what are the mandatory minimum contents that the agreement between the company and the teleworker must include? First, an inventory of the equipment necessary to be able to carry out remote work must be incorporated . In the same way, the direct costs of the worker derived from his remote work must be listed and compensated . The work hours and the rules of work availability must also be reflected in the agreement, as well as the distribution between face-to-face and distance work, if applicable.

The company has the right to establish means of control, which must be consensual and non-invasive, but effective. Likewise, the contract will include the workplace to which the non-attendance worker belongs, the place from which they will work and the duration of the agreement.

And are there priorities when submitting requests to telework , or does everyone have the same right? Well, according to the law, priority is given to people who need to reconcile their personal and work life to exercise the right to breastfeeding, victims of gender violence and also those of terrorism . These people, in addition, will have the right to revert this modality and return to their position when these circumstances end and will have priority to the reversion of their modality over other workers to fill the face-to-face vacancies.

It must be taken into account, on the other hand, that before the current circumstances of the labor market marked by the socio-health reality, there were already teleworkers , who maintained their respective labor relations with their companies. What happens now with them? How does the new legislation affect them? Well, like all the rest. In other words, workers who were already teleworking before the new regulation must also sign the agreement with their company on the new legal conditions for teleworking.

And finally, and although it was already pointed out at the beginning of the article that the law includes the rights that must be guaranteed in remote workers or in the teleworking modality, it never hurts to list what those are: right to training, professional promotion , reception of the necessary means, compensation of expenses, flexible hours, time registration, prevention of occupational risks, privacy and data protection, disconnection from work and their collective rights.

In any case, what the law must guarantee is that the teleworking framework does not violate the working conditions of the affected employees, nor does it harm their professional performance and may affect the companies that hire them.


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