New Telework Law Explained: All The Changes The Government Is Preparing To Regulate Remote Work

Containment has tripled the number of employees working remotely, up to 30.2%, according to Eurofund data. To adapt to this way of working, which with the pandemic has passed its acid test, the Ministry of Labor is preparing the new “law on distance work”.

Until July 7, the text is open to modifications, but we already know its proposals thanks to the bill. here are the most important measures of the new law that will regulate telework, as described in the text proposed by the ministry of Yolanda Díaz. And it is that according to the Minister of Labor and Social Economy, “the current article 13 of the status of workers where telework is now regulated is insufficient and obsolete”.

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What details need to be agreed with the worker

As the proposed text describes, the objective of the future law is “to create rights and guarantees for persons who perform remote work” and “clearly define the limits of remote work but it also allows him to deploy all his possibilities. “Among its main challenges, that of” working and rest time “, a factor which must be specially protected by legislation.

It is established that the company and the worker must agree and leave the details of the routines in writing. The project indicates that flexible hours can be negotiated, although the company may establish availability ranges.

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“In order to guarantee an effective separation between working time and personal time which in turn guarantees this right to disconnect, it is necessary that the hours of the remote worker be specific and clearly identified in the remote work contract, without prejudice to the right to modify it, which, within the limits and conditions laid down in the said agreement, corresponds to the worker “.

The text states that there must be Equal treatment and non-discrimination against people who go to the workplace, with the exception of “those who are inherent in making the offer of work in person”.

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The proposed law also establishes that “there should be no unjustified wage differences based on the different standard of living in the place where the services are provided”. It’s the the salary must not be different according to the place of residence of the person.

Remote work must be voluntary. The law considers telework as a “voluntary right” and “cannot in any case be imposed on the worker, not even those who, in our labor regulations, allow the modification of working conditions with a valid reason and a specific procedure . “

The agreement must be written; either at the time of the initial contract or later. Among the details that should at least appear in the agreement would be the following, as indicated directly in the text of the bill:

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  • “Inventory of the means, equipment and tools necessary for the development of concerted remote work, including consumables and furniture, as well as the useful life or the maximum duration of their renewal.”
  • “Mechanism to compensate for all expenses, direct and indirect, that the worker may have for providing remote services”.
  • “Worker’s working hours and within it, if applicable, availability rules”.
  • “Distribution between presence work and remote work”.
  • “Company work center where the teleworker is attached”.
  • “Usual place of work”.
  • “If necessary, means of commercial control of the activity.”
  • “In your case, duration or duration of the agreement.”

In terms of risk prevention, “remote work will be understood as particularly dangerous work and will therefore remain forbidden to minors“Distance training courses or contracts” will also not be authorized, with reference to recent graduates and not to university training courses.

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Compensation for expenses derived from homework

Another aspect that the new law seeks to regulate relates to expenses related to working from home. “People who work remotely will be entitled to the provision of all the means, equipment and tools necessary for the development of the activity.” And it is that according to the project, the worker will have right to full compensation for costs. This compensation can be established by different channels, by collective agreement.

“The development of remote work must be fully covered by the company, and may in no case imply the assumption by the worker of expenses, direct or indirect, related to the equipment, tools and means associated with the development of their professional activity “.

Legislation leaves the door open to compensation for the “usual place of work”, which may be the worker’s home or some other location. Regarding the use of the equipment, the company will have the obligation to put in writing how often will you renew the equipment and means of production for the remote worker.

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Companies will also have the obligation to guarantee “the effective participation of these workers in training activities and their right to professional promotion”.

Right to privacy and private life

One aspect to be protected is that linked to confidentiality and data protection. As stated in the project, “business may not require installation of programs or applications on devices belonging to the worker, or the use of these devices in the development of remote work. ”

Likewise, the law also contemplates the personal use of professional equipment. So that, according to collective bargaining, workers can “use personal computers for personal reasons placed at their disposal by the company for the development of telework, taking into account the social uses of these means and the particularities of telework “.

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Right to digital disconnection

One of the most common problems associated with telework is time management. To try to mitigate it, the right to digital disconnection will be regulated, an initiative proposed by certain groups for years but not yet reflected in the law.

<< The commercial obligation to guarantee disconnection implies an absolute limitation of the use of the technological means of communication and work of the companies during the rest periods, as well as the respect of the maximum duration of the working day and all limit and precaution regarding working hours. who have the applicable legal or conventional regulations. "

Which workers will benefit

The intention of the Ministry of Labor is that telework is preferential for certain groups. This is the case for mothers who are breastfeeding or caring for children under the age of 12. The preliminary draft also provides that in the event of illness or accident of a loved one, the latter will “have the right to carry out his work remotely for a maximum of 60% of his normal working hours, if this is technically and reasonably possible. ”

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This regulation It will also apply to those who have already teleworked upon entry into force of the law. “In no case may the application of this law result in the compensation, absorption or disappearance of more beneficial rights or conditions enjoyed by persons who previously provided distance services.” In addition, the remote agreement regulated by law must be signed within one month of its entry into force.

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