The Executive Power has promulgated Law No. 6738 on May 24, 2021 to establish “TELEWORKING MODALITY ON A DEPENDENT LABOUR RELATIONSHIP”
Said Law regulates the legal concept in Labor field called TELETWORK, in order to promote modernization, reduce costs and increase productivity through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
According to this Law, conditions and rights on labor relationships are inalienable, being complementary to the Labor Code, and defines TELEWORK as a voluntary, flexible and reversible modality for both the worker and the employer; a special modality of work in a dependency relationship that involves remotely carrying out an activity, developing a product or providing a service, without requiring the physical presence of the work or worker, through the use of ICTs
For further understanding, the following are the central points of this Law:
- Equal rights: workers who work under the teleworking modality shall have the same rights and obligations as those who perform their duties at the employer’s facilities; adopting the teleworking modality has no effect on the agreed working conditions, as it refers only to the change of the place where the services or activities are provided or performed.
- Formalities: Being a fully consensual agreement, it is mandatory to sign a contract in writing where the modalities of provision are clearly established. These employees must also be registered at IPS (Social Security Office) and leaves and vacations resources have to be duly documented as well.
- Voluntariness and reversibility: Adhering to this contract is a free agreement between the parties (voluntariness), as well as returning to the work in person (reversibility), therefore it is required to clearly document how the contract will be enforced, determining issues like being a full-time or alternate work, permanent or temporary, online and offline, also it the worker will be using company equipment or prefers to work with equipment of his own.
- Control and communication systems: Employer’s property and information protection systems must safeguard the right to privacy, and the Employer can implement visits to the teleworker’s home and even establish means of telematic control or supervision.
- Right to disconnect: The parties can establish a flexible distribution of the working day, respecting the limits of the daily and weekly workload, and in the event that the working day is exceeded, mechanisms must be established to verify the overtime hours. In all cases, the Employer must respect the worker’s right to disconnect for at least 12 continuous hours.
- Obligations of teleworkers: Workers under this modality must keep confidentiality with respect to access and handling of information and data to which they have access as a consequence of teleworking, be available on the agreed working hours, take care of the equipment entrusted for performing the work; meet the agreed obligations as referred to by Law and the Labor Code, use the equipment only for what has been agreed as activities, exempting the company from any responsibility due to incorrect use, among others.
- Validity of communications: During the teleworking modality, any communication addressed to the institutional or corporate email address and/or personal address will have legal validity and be considered as received at the time the data message enters the designated information system (e-mail box).
- Contract expenses: The costs in terms of equipment must be defined by the parties before starting the employment relationship; in case the worker prefers to use his/her own equipment, then the employer may compensate the expenses caused, if so agreed between the parties. There is no obligation on the employer’s side to compensate other types of expenses, and if the employer decides to bear such other expenses, in no way said compensation of expenses associated with working from home can be considered as part of the salary.
For further information, please contact:
Hugo Aponte – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jorge Peralta – email@example.com