Amendments to the Labour Code which introduce the remote work come into force on 7 April 2023. Other changes to the Labour Code (including the sobriety checks of employees) will come into force on 20 February 2023.
In accordance with new regulations, remote work is performed fully or partially in a place indicated by the employee and each time agreed upon with the employer (including at the address of employee’s residence). Thus, remote work may also be of a hybrid nature. Remote work is performed in particular with the use of means of direct communication at distance.
The performance of remote work may be agreed between the employer and employee at the time an employment contract is concluded or during employment.
The performance of remote work may be agreed between the parties at employee’s request or at employer’s initiative.
In certain situations, the employer will be able to give an employee a binding order as to the obligation to work remotely (periods of extraordinary state, state of epidemic threat or state of epidemic, and within 3 months after the states were lifted, or within a period in which it is temporarily impossible for the employer to ensure safe and hygienic work conditions in the hitherto workplace of the employee due to force majeure).
An employee’s request for performing remote work, except for certain situations, will not be binding for the employer. The exceptions are inter alia
as follows: requests of pregnant employees, of employees raising a child of up to 4 years of age, or of parents of a child certified to be disabled. It will be possible to refuse to grant a request made by the said persons only if its implementation it not possible due to the workflow organisation or a type of work performed by the employee.
The rules for performing remote work need to be determined in relevant documents:
- in the arrangement (if there are trade unions at the employer’s).
- in the remote work regulations (if there are no trade unions at the employer’s).
- in the employer’s order or in agreement with the employee (if no arrangement with a company trade union was concluded or no regulations were issued).
- In accordance with the amended regulations, the employer will be obliged to cover expenses related to the performance of remote work as well as ensure materials and work equipment for the employee, including technical devices necessary to perform remote work.
The employer and employee may determine the rules for using materials and work equipment by the employee, including technical devices necessary to perform remote work, not ensured by the employer. The employee who uses own equipment will be entitled to a monetary equivalent in the sum agreed with the employer.
The obligation to cover costs or pay out the monetary equivalent may be replaced with an obligation to pay out a lump sum, the value of which corresponds to anticipated costs incurred by the employee in connection with the performance of remote work.
The employer is obliged to determine procedures for personal data protection and, if needed, to carry out briefing and training in this regard.
New regulations provide the employer with a possibility to carry out a control of remote work as to occupational health and safety as well as the safety and protection of information, including procedures for personal data protection. The rules for carrying out the control should be determined in the arrangement, regulations, employer’s order or agreement with the employee.
The regulations also provide for a possibility to perform remote work on an occasional basis.
Occasional remote work may be performed upon employee’s request only, for a total period no longer the 24 days in a calendar year.
Other changes (including the sobriety checks of employees)
New regulations have introduced a possibility of the so-called random sobriety checks of employees as well as the checks for substances acting similarly to alcohol.
The rules for sobriety checks of employees should be determined in the work regulations.
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