October 26, 2020

The Government plans to approve the telework regulation next week


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The Council of Ministers next Tuesday plans to approve the regulation of teleworking, with the new Distance Work Law for the private sphere and the modification of the consolidated text of the Basic Statute of the Public Employee in the case of the Public Administration, according to sources of the negotiation consulted by Europa Press.

Regarding the Distance Work Law, the draft presented a few days ago by the Government rose from 20% to 30% the percentage of what is considered regular distance work, compared to the initial 20%.

In general terms, distance work will be voluntary and reversible, in accordance with the regulation that is expected to be approved and that for now does not have the approval of all social agents.

According to the text, the modification of the attendance percentage can only be made if voluntariness both on the part of the affected worker and on the part of the company and it will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the applicable collective agreement or company agreement.

The future law distinguishes between distance work (work activity from the home or the place chosen by the worker, on a regular basis); telework (distance work carried out exclusively or predominantly by computer or telematic means and systems), and face-to-face work (which is provided at the workplace or in the place chosen by the company).

Employees who work remotely will have the same rights as face-to-face and they will not be able to suffer damage to their working conditions, including remuneration, job stability, working time, training and professional promotion.

Remote work will be voluntary for the worker and the employer and will require the signing of an agreement. The worker’s refusal to carry out her activity remotely, her lack of adaptation or ineptitude, or the exercise of reversibility (return to the previous work modality) will be reversible and will not constitute justifying cause for dismissal or substantial modification of the working conditions.

People who work remotely will have priority to fill positions that are carried out totally or partially in person, so the company must report available vacancies. They will have the right to training in terms equivalent to face-to-face workers; to professional promotion; to digital disconnection; the right to privacy and data protection; to safety and health at work, and to receive from the company the appropriate means to carry out its activity.

According to the text, the development of remote work “must be paid for or compensated by the company”, without incurring costs for the worker related to equipment, tools and means linked to the development of its activity. Collective bargaining or an agreement between the company and its legal representatives will determine the mode of compensation and payment of the aforementioned expenses.

Remote workers will be able to make the established service provision hours more flexible and the time registration system “must faithfully reflect” the work time performed, and must include the start and end time of the day and of the activity segments.

Likewise, the draft provides that when remote work is something exceptional promoted by a pandemic, the company will not have to establish a specific agreement with the workers that includes, among other things, compensation for expenses, among other aspects.

However, in general, the minimum mandatory content of the distance work agreement will be, without prejudice to the regulation contained in this regard in collective agreements, the inventory of means, equipment and tools that the development of distance work requires, «including consumables and furniture items ”, as well as the useful life or a maximum period for their renewal.

So will the list of expenses that the worker may have for the fact of providing remote services, as well as the form of quantification of the compensation that the company must pay and the time and form to carry it out, which will correspond, if any, with the provision contained in the applicable collective agreement.

On the other hand, the distance work agreement must also include the work schedule and the rules of availability of the worker, the distribution between face-to-face work and remote work, the work center where the worker is assigned, the workplace distance chosen by the person or the duration of notice periods for the exercise of reversibility situations.

It remains to be seen if the transitional rules applicable to distance work relationships are maintained within the deadlines established in the latest draft. In it, it was contemplated that this new law would be applied to existing relationships that were previously regulated by collective agreements or agreements from the moment they lost their validity.

In the event that said agreements and conventions do not establish a term of duration, it was stated in the text that the rule will be fully applicable after one year has elapsed since its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE), unless the parties agree a longer term, a maximum of three years.

Regarding the public sphere, the Government and the unions in the area they have practically closed the agreementTherefore, its approval in the Council of Ministers next Tuesday is also foreseeable.

In the negotiation, the Public Function has proposed that teleworking in administrations be voluntary and reversible, and that employees who choose this modality have the same rights and duties based on the rules that are issued in development of the Statute, among other points .

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