Teleworking is defined by law as work performed regularly outside the company using electronic means of communication.
Remember that the a teleworker is a full-time employee. He is entitled to benefits guaranteed by the labour law.
Not every work done from home is a form of teleworking. We talk about teleworking when there are four conditions met:
- it is regularly performed,
- performing work outside the company,
- use of electronic means of communication,
- type of work (the effect of the teleworker's work is transmitted via the Internet).
Teleworking is an increasingly common form of employment in such industries as e. g. consulting, data processing, programming, research, financial/accounting services, sales/marketing, freelance professions, editor, journalist, translator, architect, graphic designer.
It is a convenient form of work e. g. for women who want to reconcile professional responsibilities with upbringing of children, disabled or elderly people.
Forms of teleworking
Due to the place and time of teleworking, we distinguish the following forms:
- home teleworking - it is the most common type of teleworking performed at home or in the apartment of a teleworker;
- replacement teleworking - work performed alternately in the employer's company and at the employee's own home (e. g. 3 days at the workplace and 2 days at home);
- teleworking provided in a telecentre - i. e. working at a point away from the company (often in other countries), where an office space can be owned both by the employer and another entity;
- mobile teleworking - an increasingly frequent type of teleworking, in which an employee works outside the company's headquarters, but due to high mobility he cannot indicate one specific place of work (home).
Conclusion of a teleworking contract
A teleworking contract can be concluded both at the beginning or during the course of the employment. The contract should therefore include all the normal elements of an employment contract plus - working conditions in the form of teleworking additionally agreed between the parties to the agreement.
To sum up, the following elements should be included:
- type of work performed,
- place of its performance (outside the company's seat),
- remuneration for work,
- working hours,
- start date of work,
- conditions of performing work outside the entrepreneur's seat and the manner of using electronic means of communication, with the use of which the employee will account for the effects of work.
Advantages and disadvantages of teleworking
Benefits that you can achieve by employing a teleworker are as follows: reduction of costs, increased flexibility of employee's working time, possibility of employing people with disabilities, higher employee satisfaction.
This form of employment also has its drawbacks. With teleworking you have less control of the employee's actions, you also have to bear the costs of purchasing computer hardware for the employee.
Obligations of the employer
You should ensure that all teleworkers have free access to the company's facilities and company's equipment and social facilities. For the performance of your duties, you can either entrust the employee with work equipment (e. g. laptop) and insure it, or agree that the employee uses his/her own equipment. For using his or her own work equipment, you should pay the employee an allowance equal to the amount agreed in a separate agreement. It is mainly about standards of equipment and materials used (e. g. printer paper, toners, power consumption, computer). The compensation for the use of private equipment by teleworkers is exempt from tax.
You must also provide teleworkers with technical support and necessary training in equipment handling and health and safety training.
Inspection of the worker
If you want to control the effects of a teleworker, you can do this electronically, or you can carry out an inspection at the employee's home, if it is the employee's place of work (for work, for inventory, maintenance, service or repair of the entrusted equipment, in the field of health and safety at work). Remember that you must first obtain the consent of the teleworker (written or electronic). The control shall not affect the privacy of teleworkers and their families and shall not hinder the use of the household rooms.
In most cases, the teleworker performs work within task-based working hours. This means that as an employer you are exempt from controlling and recording working hours. You should continue to keep records of holidays, days off, sick leave, etc. Remember that tasks should be set so that the employee can perform them within working time standards - i. e. within 8 hours a day and an average of 40 hours in a five-day working week (for full-time).
It is important to remember that teleworkers are entitled to overtime pay. You can also set a lump sum bonus for overtime work.
Health and safety rules vs.telework
If you want to hire a teleworker, you must be aware of the obligation to organise a suitable, health and safety-compliant workplace. A workstation is a working space, including the provision of means and work objects, which includes:
a) basic equipment: screen monitor, keyboard or other input devices, central unit or floppy disk station,
b) accessories: printer, scanner, mouse, trackball,
c) auxiliary equipment: including table, chair, document holder, footrest.
All elements of the workstation must comply with statutory minimum health and safety and ergonomics requirements (even if the teleworker uses his own equipment).
Good practice is photographic documentation of the teleworker's place of work attached to the teleworking contract in the form of an appendix.
In the case of telework you do not have to comply with health and safety regulations regarding the obligation to take care of the safe and hygienic condition of rooms, requirements for construction works and work rooms, you do not have to provide hygiene and sanitary rooms.
- Work code
- Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 1 December 1998 on the safety and hygiene of work in workstations equipped with screen monitors.
- Act of 30 October 2002 on social insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases