These can cover important issues such as health and safety, working hours and compensation. Although the right to interrupt has recently been extended in several countries, it is not widespread across the EU and its implementation varies across Member States.
A new publication from Eurofound Remote work in the EU highlights the main differences and similarities between different countries in terms of teleworking legislation and recent changes. It also examines the current situation of remote work collective bargaining. The analysis brings out many disadvantages and challenges of remote work, focusing on regulations related to the availability of remote work, flexible working hours, continuous availability/connectivity, prevention of work and health risks, and employer compensation for expenses caused by remote working. .
The study states that telecommuting is becoming an established way of working throughout the EU after the pandemic. Employers and companies must support hybrid workplaces and this new way of working while adapting to the many challenges of the business environment. If remote workers throughout the EU are to be equally protected, common standards are also needed. Dialogue between labor market partners and collective agreements are necessary both to maintain the productivity of companies and to protect employees at the company level.
Six countries (Austria, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain) have adopted new telework legislation since the start of the pandemic, while others have made changes or updates to specific aspects of telework. Legislative initiatives are being discussed in Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg. In particular, the number of countries that have included the right to disconnect in their national legislation has doubled since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Despite progress in legislation, working conditions have not been adapted to reflect the new reality of remote work, as regulation struggles to keep pace with change. The matter is further complicated by the increasing possibility for employees to work remotely for a company that is not located in their country of residence.
Speaking on the release of the report, Eurofound’s Director General Ivailo Kalfin “The shift to remote work will continue in the coming years due to technological and societal changes.” Decision-makers and labor market partners must follow the development closely, as remote work forms a growing part of work arrangements in Europe and can greatly affect things such as the organization of working time, gender equality and well-being in general.
Source: The Nordic Page