The unions have already demanded that the company pay a fixed monthly or prorated rate that covers the expenses deriving from the use of the living-space.
A standard for working at home? This is what the Government plans. The Executive Director Pedro Sánchez intends to draft a law for teleworking that includes, among other aspects, the principle of equal treatment in professional conditions, especially the payment included in compensation of expenses for employees, working hours and rest.
According to the text of the public consultation prior to the preparation of a regulatory project published on the website of the Ministry of Labour and collected by Efe**, the objective is to balance these new forms of work provision, which has increased during the pandemic, with a framework of rights that includes principles such as the voluntary and reversible character, promotion and training or the exercise of collective rights.
It also points out that it must regulate the principle of equal treatment in professional conditions, “especially remuneration including compensation for expenses”, as well as maximum working time and minimum of rest, flexible distribution of working time or preventive aspects related to physical and mental fatigue, the use of display screens of data and the risks of isolation.
The unions have already demanded to regulate these situations and that the company pays a fixed monthly or prorated rate that covers the expenses derived from the use of the space, internet connection, energy, heating, cleaning and maintenance, in addition to taking charge of the expense in furniture , computers and office supplies.
Back to the consultation, the objective, they point out, is also to provide “certainty” for workers and companies in matters of conciliation or privacy. The real impact of teleworking, the text shows, has been increased exponentially by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has revealed its advantages and weaknesses, as well as the need to address its regulation “from a legal framework of security, certainty and transparency”.
Along with this consultation, open until June 22nd, the Ministry of Labour also started another to prepare regulations to regulate and ensure the labor protection of workers on digital platforms, mainly the ‘riders’.
In that consultation, also open to participation until June 22nd, it is indicated that the coverage and protection of workers employed by others through these business models is “capital”, since it involves the application of different legal regimes with different conditions.
And among these conditions are, among others, the guarantee of a salary of which the floor is determined by a legal norm, alluding to the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (Salario Mínimo Interprofesional – SMI), the maximum working times, the minimum rest periods, the rights associated with the termination of the employment contract, to safe and healthy working conditions or the exercise of collective rights with the guarantees of precise compensation, among others.
It is a matter, summarizes the Government, of providing a sufficient regulation that gives adequate responses to this phenomenon “clarifying the notes of employment and distinguishing the accessory or instrumental (the use of technological means) from the essential (the existence of authentic subordinate relationships and dependents)”. And thus avoid the disproportionate use of sometimes contradictory judicial solutions, with the legal insecurity and the lack of protection that this generates for the affected workers.
*The Palace of Moncloa or Moncloa Palace is the official residence and workplace of the Prime Minister of Spain
**Agencia EFE is a Spanish international news agency