WE HAVE FINALLY LIVED TO SEE THE REGULATION OF REMOTE WORK IN THE LABOR CODE. THE AMENDMENT SHOULD BE ADOPTED AS EARLY AS THIS FALL.
The main effect of the new law for employers is the obligation to introduce remote work regulations.
It is a good idea to start preparing remote work regulations now, without waiting until it becomes mandatory. This will be useful for the employer, protecting him from various risks arising from remote work.
The regulations should specify the group or groups of employees who may perform the work remotely. Here you should diligently consider the criteria for selecting such group or groups. The criteria must not be discriminatory. For example, in our opinion, the criterion of length of employment, or the criterion of caring for a young child, must not be used. This is because both of them constitute (indirect) age discrimination.
The regulations should also describe the rules for the employer to cover the costs associated with the performance of remote work. Here the question arises – what about commuting of employees working remotely e.g. 4 days a week in Cracow to the employer’s office in Warsaw, where they are obliged to work 1 day a week? Is this a business trip? Are the costs of such travel to be compensated?
Finally, one should consider how the employer is to realistically guarantee the employee safe and hygienic conditions of remote work. Certainly, he will not be able to do so if the remote work is carried out from any location of the employee’s choice (a coffee shop or a cottage in the Mazurian lakes). However, even when the employer agrees with the employee on a specific address for performing remote work (e.g., the employee’s apartment), it is still unclear whether, for example, the kitchen in this apartment is a workplace and is supposed to meet health and safety requirements.
As you can see, there are many questions. The draft amendment to the Labor Code does not answer any of them.
author: Tomasz Wiese, attorney-at-law