8 key questions about telecommuting

On November 29, CINC Asesoría organized, with the collaboration of the Iuris Girona law firm, a conference that aimed to clarify the uncertainties generated by the introduction of teleworking in companies. It was a very interactive session where attendees asked interesting questions.

Then we do a compilation with some of the issues to be clarified both by the content of the session as the questions raised by participants:

Teleworking and remote work: are they the same?

Teleworking is a subtype of remote work whose differentiating element is the use of information technology. Any type of provision of services outside the workplace can be considered teleworking, but two requirements must be met:
  • Preponderance: more than 50% of the working day is done outside the workplace.
  • Habituality: the worker carries out the day outside the job on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that working exceptionally from home or doing it on a regular basis one day a week would not be considered teleworking, but rather a flexible work policy.

What rules regulate teleworking?

Currently there is no community or state regulation that directly and comprehensively regulates the teleworking phenomenon, but we can find the main normative reference in this area in article 13 of the Workers' Statute, which refers to "Remote work".

Can telework be taken to other places outside the home?

Teleworking does not have to be at home, it can be in other places outside the workplace, but it must be regulated. It is important to bear in mind compliance with the risk prevention regulations. In no case can a worker be forced to work from home (ruling 11/04/2005).

Should you formalize teleworking in writing?

Teleworking will be formalized by means of a contract and requires the consent of the company. Once the request is made, there is a period of 30 days to respond to the worker, and if the company does not accept it during this time, it is important that they justify some organizational reasons. After all, it is about both parties being able to reach an agreement.

How is the "occupational risk prevention law" applied to teleworking?

It must always be guaranteed that the worker will provide his / her services in a safe framework (that has light, a suitable chair and does not experience cold or heat, etc.). The company must explain everything that teleworking implies, and before agreeing on anything, an assessment of the remote workspace must be made. Therefore, it is advisable for the teleworker to make a list with the aspects that must be taken into account, since their adaptation represents a cost that the company must assume.

If a worker has an accident at home while teleworking, does it count as a work accident?

Yes, as long as the remote work position is determined. A worker cannot work where he wants the company to do a prior inspection of the workplace, as it involves risks. Therefore, it must be determined that the place of work is the domicile in the teleworking contract.

Is teleworking reversible?

Yes, but this reversibility must be regulated and agreed to to avoid litigation. Therefore, it is necessary that the contract clearly state under what conditions this situation would be reversible. For example, a company could require that if a worker changes residence, telework be terminated.

How does the company control the work carried out bythe remote worker?

The company has the capacity and obligation to control the entry and exit times of workers. Notify the worker of the control system that will be used and ask for his consent, since it is carried out within his domicile. One of the systems that the company can use to monitor telework could be monitoring through the screen, for example. This is an important aspect that must be agreed with the worker and explained well, since he has to understand that working remotely is more difficult to keep track of the work that has been done effectively.
These are some of the issues that were discussed during the teleworking session. If you are interested in implementing teleworking in your company, you can contact our labor department (trabajo@cinc.es).
CINC Business Consulting

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