Spain finally regulates working from home
The Spanish Government has finally regulated a new issue in our society: working from home; or the ‘online job’.
The expansion of the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures adopted to contain it, have contributed to the fact that working from home has been installed in Spain in a legal context characterized by the almost total absence of regulation; which has raised controversy between companies and employees.
On September 23th, 2020, the more than expected “Real Decreto-ley 28/2020, de 22 de septiembre, de trabajo a distancia”, on remote work was published in the BOE.
We must first point out that working from home is optional for the employee and the employer; and will require the signing of the online work agreement that is regulated in the aforementioned “real decreto-ley”. This agreement will have a mandatory minimum content; it may be part of the initial contract or made at a later time, with nuances.
The rule provides that the decision to work from home coming from a face-to-face work modality is reversible for the company and for the employee, and also provides that the online job agreement may be modified.
Companies must adopt measures that guarantee the right to training and professional promotion of remote workers. Those workers will have the right to the provision and adequate maintenance by the company of all the means, equipment and tools necessary for the development of the activity, also guaranteeing the precise attention in the case of technical difficulties.
The development of remote work must be paid for or compensated by the company, and may not involve the assumption by the worker of expenses related to equipment, tools and means linked to the development of their work activity.
The employee who works remotely will have the right to adjust the established service provision schedule and other rights such as the right to adequate time registration, the right to adequate protection in matters of safety and hygiene at work, the right to privacy and data protection and the right to digital disconnection outside of working hours.
Finally, it should be noted that this new law will not be applied to remote work caused by Covid-19. This type of remote work will be governed by ordinary labour regulations, which will give rise to a good number of questions.
Are you a worker and want more information about the regulation of distance work in Spain? Are you an employer and want to know how to approach remote work in your company from a legal perspective? OTIS Advocaten Spain has a team of lawyers specialized in Labour Law who can advise you. Do not hesitate to contact us!