Compensation for labor costs and accidents, in honor of the new collective agreements
Before the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, teleworking was still a rare reality in Spain. Faced with this reality, companies and workers had to adapt quickly to a kind of remote work, in many cases without having previously prepared a telework model and without clear regulations to regulate this new reality, which was to be expected. penalty included in art 13 of the Workers’ Statute. It was only with the approval of Royal Decree 28/2020 last September that a distinction was made for the first time between occasional telework and generalized telework.
Thus, the new regulation determines that for a situation of generalized teleworking to be taken into account, at least 30% of the working day must be carried out in remote working mode within the reference period of 3 months or the equivalent percentage. depending on the length of the contract. Subsequently, in May this year, a law on remote work was approved by the Congress of Deputies which, among other things, toughens the sanctions regime and the fines to which companies are exposed for labor offenses. .
Now, with the arrival of mass vaccination and the return of presence, it is not known whether companies will revert to a traditional model or if telecommuting will become mainstream as a consolidated reality, although experts are predicting working models. more flexible that adapt to specific tasks and employee needs at all times. In any case, given that the new regulatory framework gives a relevant role to collective bargaining, various company specialists such as CE Consulting or Mutua Intercomarcal warn against the need to regulate the essential aspects of teleworking in agreements between companies. and workers.
In addition to the obligation to make an inventory and provide workers with all the equipment necessary for the performance of their duties at home, the new agreements must provide for the expenses assumed by the employee as a result of his professional performance. According to ngela Bello, social advisor at CE Consulting, “most agreements are not suitable for teleworking and will have to be updated, especially when establishing that the expenses caused by remote working will be paid”.
For his part, Antonio Navas, social advisor of CE Consulting, warns that “given the difficulty of separating the expenses that the employee may incur from his personal expenses in an electricity bill, or the receipt from the internet company, Agreements between companies and the workforce must establish compensation formulas for workers, which for now, and unless otherwise specified, should be taxed as additional remuneration of the worker, this is not the case the same with the contribution, for which, the intention is that it be exempt “.
Work accident or domestic accident?
Another key issue in the adaptation of collective agreements will be the delimitation of the limits of remote work to separate it from rest time, also in connection with the right of employees to disconnect. This delimitation will also be decisive in determining whether it is a domestic or professional accident, since article 156 of the revised text of the general law on social security provides that any accident occurring at the place and during working hours. work is presumed to be an accident at work. accident.
In this sense, Gonzalo Mrquez Prez, director of the Mutua Intercomarcal Legal Area, insists: “It is important that in collective bargaining or in individual agreements between employer and worker, time and the remote workplace are delimited, as well as the qualification of the accident at work is adapted to the particular circumstances established between the two parties ”.
Thus, inside the home or place agreed between the worker and the employer, the specific space allowing the supply of the work that is the subject of the employment relationship must be agreed and delimited in detail. It is also worth recalling the obligation to carry out a job evaluation. In addition, if the company tolerates the provision of services in areas not assessed, it may incur administrative, civil or criminal liability in the event of occupational accidents, both traumatic and non-traumatic (the most frequent, muscular or skeletal disorders). ).
Not only the space, but also the schedule can be decisive for the classification of the accident, it is therefore advisable to indicate in the agreements between the company and the worker what is the distribution of the working day, in respecting the limits of the maximum working day and working hours. compulsory rest established. It is also necessary to establish procedures to record all disconnections during the working day, such as personal matters or excused absences.
Other aspects which must be regulated by agreement are the means of commercial control of the activity, such as the computer control programs, the recording of conversations or any system of monitoring of the activity of the employee, which must take into account the special sensitivity that assumes that the work is performed at the worker’s home. It will also be necessary to put in place a procedure for maintaining working hours in the event of technical difficulties which hamper the normal development of remote work.