The telework experience from the perspective of the Public Administration


In this article, we analyze the perspective of the Public Administration on remote work, the problems for its regulation, threats, and opportunities.

Lack of a common legal framework

To begin with, focusing on the European case, different countries lack a common regulation that regulates remote work. The European Framework Agreement of 2002 is the common standard that establishes the minimum conditions for telework. Based on this standard, each country has developed its own strategy, and in some cases, it has not even regulated it.

Thus, those countries that have created specific legislation can address telework within their borders, but what happens when telework occurs between companies and workers located in different territories?

The rules that countries rely on are bilateral agreements, agreements that, in many cases, did not contemplate situations as complex as those we are experiencing today at the time of their creation.

Difficulties in controlling a complex situation

As we indicated, this is a very complex situation that is difficult for the Administration to address. If during the months of the pandemic many people worked remotely, some have continued with this model afterwards. The Public Administration faces very different scenarios, such as false self-employed workers, the establishment of company headquarters in the territory, the tax residence of employed and self-employed workers, and so on.

Imbalance between countries

The lack of regulation and control is partly motivated by the interests of each country. If there has traditionally been a brain drain from southern European countries to northern ones, a European regulation that allows remote work from any other country could cause an exodus of this workforce from northern European countries to other places. This is an opportunity for southern countries but a threat to northern ones.

An opportunity for rural areas

Remote work can also be analyzed from a national perspective, and in this case, it is an opportunity for countries with depopulation problems. In this sense, promoting remote work from these places can attract new residents, for which, in some circumstances, an investment in infrastructure development would be necessary.