Recent amendments to the Labour Code on remote working are expected to come into force in April 2023. Some key features of the new rules include:
- Entitlement: Remote work can be carried out by employees in all positions, subject to limited exceptions, including those working in particularly hazardous job roles.
- Agreement: Only in exceptional circumstances (such as in a state of emergency) can employers issue a unilateral remote work order. In all other cases, the employer and employee should agree on remote working before or during employment.
- Health and safety: Both employers and employees have health and safety obligations under the new rules. Employers must draw up an occupational risk assessment for specific job categories and prepare information on rules for remote work (that an employee must confirm that they have read before being allowed to work remotely) and employees are required to arrange an adequate workplace from which to perform the remote work.
- Equipment and costs: Employers must provide employees with materials and tools needed to work remotely and cover the cost of installing and maintaining those materials and tools. If the employer doesn’t provide the employee with necessary equipment for remote working, the employer must compensate the employee for using their own equipment. Employers must also cover the cost of electricity and telecommunications services.
- Regulations: Rules on remote work can be included in an agreement with an employer’s trade union, regulations issued by the employer, an agreement with the employee, or an employer’s order, in some circumstances. The rules must cover (among other items) how costs associated with remote working will be covered by the employer and which employees may be entitled to work remotely.
- Inspection: Employers can check the employee’s performance of remote work and compliance with health and safety rules and/or information security requirements in line with certain principles (e.g. ensuring the inspection is in consultation with the employee and during working hours).
What should employers do now?
Employers should take preparatory steps to ensure that they are ready for implementation of the new rules including reviewing remote working policies and practices to ensure that they are compliant.
Please get in touch with a member of the MDR ONE team if you have any questions about this or require any support with updating any documentation to reflect the new rules.