Working remotely is getting closer and closer. The government approved the draft amendments to the labor law

On Tuesday, the government passed a draft amendment to the labor law, which will permanently introduce remote work into the Polish legal system. Since when have the changes in remote working changed? What obligations do employers and employees have?

Working remotely is regulated in the labor law after two years of pandemic. The new regulations replace the regulations on teleworking.

We observe the changing trends in the labor market and we are responding to these trends by introducing remote working in the Labor Act. But not alone. This solution should also improve employment, eg parents of young children, it will allow them to better combine their daily tasks with professional work – Marlena Maląg, the Minister of Family and Social Policy, indicated on Tuesday.

In addition, the draft assumes that employers can introduce a sobriety test for employees – or for the presence of alcohol-like substances – when necessary to protect the life and health of employees, other people or property.

Permanent remote working in the Labor Code

The draft adopted by the government provides for a number of regulations regarding teleworking, which will be regulated in the Labor Act after more than two years. Remote working must be based on an agreement between employer and employee. The employer will be obliged to reimburse the costs of internet or electricity.

New violations of workers’ rights from August 2022 in the Labor Code –

Remote Working Definition

A definition of remote work will be introduced in the Labor Code, according to which it will be performed in whole or in part at the place indicated by the employee and in each case agreed with the employer, including the residential address of the employee, in particular with the use of means of direct communication at a distance.

Working remotely when entering into an employment contract

Under the new regulations, distance working can be agreed upon entering into an employment contract or already during employment (in the latter case, no written form is required to change the employment contract – with regard to the place of employment);

Force majeure and remote working

According to the content of the project, remote working should be possible at the request of the employer. It will be possible:

  • during the period of emergency,
  • epidemic threat, or
  • the state of epidemics and within 3 months of their termination or during the period that due to force majeure (previously: for reasons beyond the employer’s control), it is not possible for the employer to provide safe and hygienic working conditions at the employee’s current workplace .

Importantly, the assignment is possible when the employee makes a declaration, immediately before giving the assignment, that he has the premises and technical conditions to work remotely.

Labor law changes are getting closer, parents will benefit –

Principles of remote working

Under the new regulations, the principles of remote working are regulated. These rules can be found in:

  1. an agreement concluded between the employer and the industrial union (company trade unions),
  2. arrangements drawn up by the employer – if no agreement is reached with the trade union on the shop floor (workshop unions) and if no trade union organization is employed at the employer (in this case the arrangement would be established after consultation with the employee representatives);

Working remotely at the request of the employee

According to the draft arrangements, if the parties to the employment contract agree to work remotely during the employment, they will continue each of them will be able to submit a binding application, submitted in paper or electronic form, for the cessation of remote work and the restoration of previous working conditions.

The government argues that the introduction of telework should improve employment for people in a special situation on the labor market, including parents of young children and single parents. The solution is: is to facilitate the reconciliation of family and professional responsibilities, as well as finding permanent work for working parents who belong to lower occupational activity groups.

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Working remotely – when the employer cannot refuse

Under the proposal, as a rule, the employer will not be able to refuse to work remotely, including parents raising a child up to the age of 4, parents and guardians who care for a person with a disability in their family and pregnant women. Unless it is not possible due to the organization of the work or the type of work that the employee performs, for example, uniformed services.

Remote working costs

The new version of the draft governing telecommuting sets out a number of employers’ obligations towards the employee who performs telecommuting (including providing the employee with materials and equipment, including technical equipment necessary to perform telework , to cover the costs associated with telecommuting) and granting the parties the right to establish the rules for the use of private tools and materials by an employee while working remotely. In addition, the employer must reimburse the costs incurred by the employee, such as internet or electricity.

Remote work monitoring and occupational health and safety

The draft regulations also regulate the right to monitor an employee by the employer at the place of remote work and specify the provisions related to health and safety in remote work.

Applications in electronic form

Remote working arrangements must enable the employee to make all applications for which the provisions of the Labor Code or other laws or implementing acts providing rights and obligations in the field of employment law are provided in writing, in paper or electronic form.

Employees working remotely – authorizations

The new regulations prohibit discrimination against a worker who works remotely and grants a worker who works remotely the right to remain on the premises of the workplace according to the principles adopted for all employees.

Regulatory changes for remote working during an epidemic.

Since remote working, introduced in the Labor Act, is to replace the applicable regulations on remote working, the proposed law also contains an amendment to art. 3 of the Law of 2 March 2020 on special solutions related to the prevention, control and control of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused thereby (Official Gazette of 2020, item 1842, as amended).

When will remote work appear in the labor law?

The remote work regulations were set to come into effect three months after the end of the epidemic in Poland. However, as deputy minister of the family Stanisław Szwed told PAP this week – this provision has been changed. The draft provides that the new regulations will come into effect 14 days after publication in the Journal of Laws.

Labor law. forms of work

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