The quarantine due to COVID-19 and the measures adopted to face it led to more people working from home. Both organizations that already relied on teleworking policies and those that did not had to adapt to an unprecedented situation that changed the nature of working.
On July 10 th of 2021 the BOE published Law 10/2021 for remote work. We will analyze the main principles of this law so that companies and workers know their rights and obligations.
Differences between teleworking and working from home
The law defines working from home or from a distance as a form of work organization where work activity takes place in the worker’s home or in a place chosen by them, during all or part of the workday, on a regular basis..
While teleworking is understood to be a type of distance work, in this case work is carried out through the almost exclusive use of computer, telematic, and telecommunication means and systems..
Although the law always refers to working from home, we understand that teleworking applies as well, since it is a type of distance work.
The agreement of working from home
The working from home law does not establish the obligatory nature of teleworking as a mode of employment. In fact, it indicates that in order for teleworking to take place, it must be voluntary, both on the part of the company and the worker.
To implement teleworking, both parties must have an agreement in writing, which must be submitted to the national office of employment, in this case to the SEPE. This agreement is individual in nature, meaning that each teleworker must sign their own agreement with their employer.
What must be included in a teleworking agreement?
It has been established that a distance work agreement must contain at least the following points:
- It must include the worker’s schedule, including the percentage of in-person work compared to the development of working from a distance.
- Expenses of and ways of compensating for those things mentioned.
- Means and equipment needed for the development of the worker’s roles (consumables and otherwise).
- Additionally, you must decide on the site of remote and in-person work, as well as the duration of the agreement.
Who can invoke the law of teleworking?
The teleworking law applies to any salaried worker who teleworks for a time greater than or equal to 30% of their time working over a period of three months. In the case of trainees, interns, or those who are underage, at least 50% of their day must be carried out in person.
What are the limitations of working from home?
There must be measures in place to guarantee balance and the right to disconnection. Additionally, the company must look out for the workers’ social and labor rights against discrimination and workplace harassment; without changing the conditions of payment, work time, promotion, or professional training.
What costs does the company face because of working remotely?
The company must cover the costs of the means necessary for the worker to provide their services. It is specified that the indirect costs include the proportion of the costs of use and consumption incurred by the worker or any other that may occur as a result of their work, and a collective bargaining or collective agreement is called upon to establish compensation mechanisms that guarantee the full compensation of all expenses. An example of these costs could be wifi or electric energy.
Can companies control their employees?
The working from home law recognizes that businesses could install devices that track their employees’ task execution. Although the regulations do not specify the permitted forms and mechanisms, the law makes clear its intentions to protect the private aspects of the remote worker’s life.
More information on the Law of 10/2021, July 9th, of working from home.