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In recent years, when the whole world was shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic, the modern way of life has undergone drastic changes. Many preventive measures have been imposed in the fight to protect human health. The familiar daily routine of social activities and contacts was strictly limited. The situation forced employers to reorganise company activities in order to restore the normal functioning of their business.
Although the Labour Code has contained regulations on teleworking (Chapter Five, Section VIII "b") since 2011, it has only now become common practice. Although initially a forced choice (due to pandemic measures), the home office has actually led to benefits for many businesses - reduced costs for renting and maintaining work premises, easy accountability for work performed and good management of work processes.
It is important to bear in mind that working from home cannot be imposed by an order, it is voluntary. The exception to this is in the case of an emergency situation where such measures are necessary.
When an employer is considering introducing teleworking, it should consider all the aspects involved and make provision for the necessary paperwork to be drawn up.
Determination of operating characteristics
First of all, the organization of the work process - the assignment of tasks, the determination of their scope and the reporting of results - should be taken into account. It is important to bear in mind that the duties and rights of employees remain the same regardless of the change of workplace. It is advisable that this information is described in the internal rules and that all employees are made aware of it. In this way, the employer has the right to claim liability in the event of non-compliance by workers.
To ensure more efficient home office operations, all documents can be shared, signed and stored electronically.
Working time and right to rest
Since according to the Labour Code an employee who works remotely has the right to organise his/her own time, the supervisor must specify in the individual employment contract during which hours online presence is mandatory. In this way, it will be known when the worker will definitely be available and the rest of the time he will be able to carry out his tasks on his own.
The employee's home can be visited by the employer within the specified working hours in order to monitor the quality and conditions of work.
Employees must be made aware of the compulsory breaks to which they are entitled under employment law. These are a 12-hour daily rest and a 48-hour weekly rest.
Time attendance is another important element in teleworking. The worker bears full responsibility for the accuracy of the data he has declared.
Teleworking requires different equipment from company to company. All employees must be informed about the requirements for operating and maintaining it. It is necessary to determine how to notify the employer of any failure or breakdown in the company's information systems.
Equipment and consumables, software/software and technical support, communication devices, the monitoring system should one be required, data protection - all of this is provided at the employer's expense. It is possible to agree in an individual employment contract the use of own equipment, together with all the rights and obligations of the employee.
Safe working conditions in the workplace
A good option is to consult the occupational health service beforehand so that the employer can ensure that the safety requirements are met by the workers. An employment contract should then be drawn up that explicitly mentions the employee's workplace address and that the work will be carried out remotely. If the address is in another location, a notification should be submitted to the NRA.
According to a survey, 71% of employers said that telecommuting led to increased employee productivity. It remains to be seen whether this way of working will continue to be relevant after the pandemic
The article is informative. The advice of qualified professionals who have the knowledge and competence to provide up-to-date and adequate advice should be sought on a case-by-case basis.