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The bill for teleworking is ready

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In case of a new lockdown or new restrictions, in the future, teleworking, if imposed for health reasons, will have its own regulatory framework, since the discussions of the social partners in the private sector, under the supervision of the Ministry of Labor, have almost completed. Now, before them, the unions and employers' organizations have the draft Cypriot bill prepared by the Ministry of Labor for teleworking, at which the social partners will be placed in a new meeting of the Technical Committee appointed for the 11th of the month. & Nbsp;

The bill, as we wrote again, is based on what was decided on the issue in Greece, but also took into account the positions of the social partners, in the context of the previous consultation.

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The title of the bill is “the Law on the Regulation of the Organization of Telework Organization of 2022” and, if at the meeting next Friday he obtains a satisfactory consent, it will be submitted to the Labor Advisory Board for promotion, then to the Council for approval. and then before the House of Representatives for a vote.

What the bill provides

The draft of the Cypriot law on teleworking ensures that it is agreed between the two parties or is imposed for health reasons – following relevant decisions of the Ministry of Health. It ensures that for health reasons the employee can also request telework and provides procedures in case of refusal of the employer in this direction. & Nbsp;

Specifically, the draft law notes, inter alia, that teleworking is agreed between the employer and the employee, upon hiring or by amending the employment contract, and clarifies that “teleworking may not adversely affect any terms of employment.” Exceptionally, it is added, if the work can be provided remotely, the telework can be applied: a) After a decision of the employer, for reasons of protection of public health, if preceded by a decision of the Minister of Health and for as long as defined in his decision Minister of Health and b) At the request of the employee, in case of documented risk to his health, who will be avoided if he works through telework and not at the employer's premises and for how long this risk lasts.

Based on what the Ministry of Labor has prepared, in case the employer disagrees, the employee can request the resolution of the dispute from the Department of Labor Inspection. The law also states that the illnesses, diseases or disabilities of the employee, which can document the risk of his health, as well as the supporting documents, the competent bodies and the procedure for documenting this risk are determined by a joint decision of the Ministers of Health. and Labor. According to the draft law, the definition of telework is defined as “the remote provision of dependent work of the employee and the use of technology, under the full-time, part-time, rotating or other form of employment, which could be provided by the employer's premises. “

The employer's account

The draft law also states that the employer is the one who will bear the cost of teleworking, clarifying that this will include “the cost of equipment, unless it is agreed to use the employer's equipment, telecommunications, equipment maintenance and the repair of damage, as well as for the use of the home workplace “. The employer will also provide the employee with technical support for the provision of his work and undertakes to reimburse the costs of repairing the equipment used to perform it or to replace them in case of failure, further clarifying the legislation that this obligation concerns and devices belonging to the employer, unless otherwise specified in the contract or employment relationship. & nbsp;

For this “account” to the employer, the legislation stipulates that “by decision of the Minister of Labor, which is published in the Official Gazette of the Republic, and after conducting a cost study, determines the minimum amount that employers will pay to the employee.” It is also clarified that the relevant expenses will not be remuneration, but a deductible expense for the employer company, they will not be subject to any tax or fee, nor will they be due insurance contributions of the employer or employee and how they will be calculated in proportion to the frequency and duration of teleworking, the supply or not of equipment and any other relevant information. & nbsp;

Also, based on what is promoted, within eight (8) days from the start of teleworking, the employer is obliged to notify the employee in any convenient way, including by e-mail, the working conditions that differ due to teleworking. This information should include, inter alia, the analysis of the additional costs that the teleworker periodically incurs from teleworking, in particular the costs of telecommunications, equipment and maintenance and the ways in which it is covered by the employer, the teleworking equipment available to the teleworker or provided by the employer and the technical support, maintenance and repair procedures of such equipment, the safety and health conditions of the teleworking and the occupational accident reporting procedures followed by the teleworker , the obligation to protect the professional data, as well as the personal data of the teleworker and the actions and procedures required for the fulfillment of this obligation and the supervisor from whom he will receive instructions.

The employment relationship does not change

The draft law also ensures that any teleworking agreement does not affect the employment status or employment contract of the teleworker as a full-time, part-time, rotating or other form of employment, but only changes the way the work is performed. and teleworking may be provided on a full-time, part-time or part-time basis, independently or in combination with employment at the employer's premises. It is also noted that teleworkers have the same rights and obligations as comparable employees within the premises of the company or operation, in particular in relation to workload, evaluation criteria and procedures, rewards, access to information concerning their business, training and professional development, participation in unions, their trade union activity and their seamless and confidential communication with their trade union representatives.

It is also ensured that the teleworker has the right to disconnect , which is his right to abstain completely from the provision of his work and in particular, not to communicate digitally and not to answer phone calls, e-mails or any form of communication outside of working hours and during his legal leave. & nbsp;

At the same time, the employer's right to control the performance of teleworkers is ensured, however, in a way that respects the privacy of the employee and that is in line with the protection of personal data and & nbsp; & nbsp; in a way that informs & nbsp ;

employee. “It is understood that the use of the webcam (web cam) to control the performance of the employee is prohibited”, as explained in the draft that was prepared. & Nbsp;

For safety and health issues, the bill states, inter alia, that the employer informs the teleworker about the company's health and safety policy, which includes in particular the specifications of the telework site, the rules for the use of visual displays, the breaks, organizational and technical means set out in Article 10 – for the right to disconnect – as well as any other necessary information and that the teleworker is obliged to apply the legislation on health and safety at work and not to exceed his working hours. It is also stated that when providing telework by the teleworker, it is presumed that the telework works meets the above specifications and that the teleworker observes the rules of health and safety.

To a large extent, safety and health issues will be determined and with relevant decrees that will be, based on the legislation, issued by the Minister of Labor. In more detail, as provided by law, the Minister of Labor with a decree to be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic will be able to determine the specific rules of health and safety of telework, as well as the minimum technical and organizational means that ensure the exercise of the right of disconnection , in cooperation with the social partners and the Department of Labor Inspection, but also to determine the control process by the competent inspection bodies and any other details related to the implementation of various labor laws.

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Source: www.philenews.com

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