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2 sierpnia 2022

Remote work – upcoming amendments to Labour Law

When?

The Government’s draft regulation of remote work dated June 2022 is waiting to be passed by the Parliament. The planned date for the changes to enter in force is August 1, 2022. The bill is currently at the first reading in Parliament, hence it is unlikely that the Labour Code will be amended by that date.

However, the project is important because on the day it comes into force, it will completely replace telework as described in the Labour Code and the existing regulation of remote work in the Anti-Crisis Shield.

Employers using telework will be able to apply existing terms and conditions for a period of six months after the amendment comes into force. After this period, the terms and conditions will have to be adapted to the provisions of the amended Labour Code.

Who is concerned?

The amendment will affect all employers.

It will be necessary for employers using telework to adjust work regulations to new remote work regulations.

Other employers, on the other hand, will have to consider regulating remote work, as the use of remote work may become mandatory for certain categories of employees.

More details below:

1. Remote work

Remote work may be carried out wholly or partially at the location designated by the employee and agreed with the employer, including the employee’s home address, in particular using means of direct remote communication.

2. Use of remote work

Remote work will be performed on following basis:

  1. by an agreement between the employer and the employee
  2. on the employer’s demand
  3. at the request of the employee
  4. on an occasional basis

A. Agreement between employer and employee

As a principle remote work will be to performed on the basis of an agreement between the employee and the employer concluded:

  • when concluding an employment contract
  • in the course of employment.

B. Employer’s recommendation

Remote work on employer’s demand will be possible, provided that the employee submits a paper or electronic statement immediately before the demand takes place that he has the premises and technical conditions to perform remote work and only during the following periods:

  • during a state of emergency, state of epidemic emergency or threat of epidemic emergency and for a period of 3 months after their cancellation or
  • during the period when it is temporarily impossible for the employer to provide safe and hygienic working conditions at the employee’s current workplace due to force majeure.

C. Employee’s request

The employer will be forced to grant his consent to remote work at the request of, among others, the following categories of employees:

  1. an employee-parent of a disabled child
  2. a pregnant employee,
  3. an employee raising a child up to the age of 4,
  4. an employee taking care of a disabled member of close family or other disabled person in the common household.

The provision of point d) is incompatible with the draft of amendments to the Labour Code related to the introduction of work-life balance directive. This is because the latter extend the age of employee’s child that would entitle an employee to use so-called flexible working hours from 4 to 8 years old – flexible working hours will also include the possibility of remote work. Therefore, these provisions are still subject to possible changes.  

The employer will be able to refuse remote work only if such work is impossible due to:

  • work organization or
  • the type of work performed by the employee.

D. Occasional remote work

  • will be performed only at the request of the employee,
  • up to a maximum of 24 days per calendar year..

3. Principles of remote work

Remote work will require creation of rules and regulations in agreement with the company’s trade union organization or employee representatives, or, in the absence of rules and regulations, concluding an agreement with the employee, the minimum content of which will be specified in detail by the Labour Code.

In particular, under the amendment, the employer will be obliged to cover the costs of remote work incurred by the employee.

4. Employer’s duty to cover cost of remote work

The amendment obliges employers to provide employees performing remote work with appropriate materials and tools, as well as to install, service or maintain them, or cover the costs thereof.

In addition, employers will be required to cover the cost of electricity and telecommunications services necessary for remote work, and the rules for covering these costs should be specified in an agreement with the employee or remote work regulations.

If an employee uses tools not provided by the employer, the employee is entitled to a cash equivalent.

The aforementioned costs will be allowed to be paid to employees in a lump sum.

These amounts will not constitute income to the employee and therefore will not be subject to income tax.

5. Employer’s inspection rights and health and safety rules of remote work

The amendment also regulates in detail the right of inspection by the employer:

  1. of the performance of remote work,
  2. in regard to health and safety at work,
  3. the compliance with information security and protection requirements, including personal data protection procedures.

In addition, the amended bill sets out health and safety rules for performing remote work, including, in particular:

  • the employer’s responsibilities, including the obligation to create risk assessment documentation for remote work positions,
  • the rules for conducting health and safety training.

Should you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

2 sierpnia 2022 : Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /usr/home/code-one/domains/glc.pl/public_html/wp-content/themes/ts/single.php on line 50 Karolina Gruszczyńska

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