Hot Topic - A Global Analysis of Emerging Remote Working Legislation

A Global Analysis of Emerging Remote Working Legislation

As we navigate the global shift towards remote work, understanding the landscape of international remote working legislation becomes increasingly crucial. Welcome to our comprehensive overview of remote work legislation across the globe. At Agility EOR, we specialize in providing employer of record services worldwide, and we’re acutely aware of the complexities and nuances that each country’s regulations present.

We believe in the value of enabling our clients and their employees to reap the benefits of remote work, while ensuring they remain compliant with local legislation. Our experienced team continually monitors and adapts to the changing regulatory environment, enabling us to provide you with up-to-date and relevant information about the legal aspects of remote work in various jurisdictions.

Angola introduced Presidential Decree No. 52/22, which came into effect on 20 March 2022, establishing a legal framework for teleworking in the country. The legislation mandates written agreements for telework, and employers are required to supply necessary tools and cover their installation, repair, and maintenance costs. The law also emphasizes workers’ rights to disconnect and offers special provisions for pregnant employees, those with health conditions, and caregivers.

Argentina implemented a teleworking law (No. 27,555) on 1 April 2021, requiring written teleworking agreements and respect for employees’ right to disconnect. It encourages flexibility for employees with dependents and stipulates that employers bear the cost of work tools and teleworking-related expenses. An additional regulation passed in October 2022 mandates all employers with teleworkers to register with the Federal Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security (FMLESS).

In Australia, the “Secure Jobs, Better Pay” Act was passed in December 2022, expanding the right to request flexible work arrangements to pregnant employees and those who have experienced family and domestic violence. The Fair Work Commission has been granted powers to deal with disputes arising from such requests.

Belgium issued circular letters in 2020 and 2021, granting tax-free work-from-home allowances for employees regularly working from home, and specifying the office expenses covered under this allowance. In addition, the right to disconnect after working hours has been stipulated in company-level policies for employers with 20 employees or more.

Brazil has seen new legislation that extends working hours laws to remote workers, requires electronic timekeeping for remote employees, and stipulates employers should prioritize employees with disabilities and those with small children for remote work positions. Law No. 14,442/22, passed in September 2022, further outlines regulations for remote work and payment of food allowances.

Chile introduced the Distance Working and Teleworking law (No 21,220) in April 2020, differentiating between distance working and teleworking, and requiring a written remote working agreement. The law emphasizes the rights and protections of remote workers, including the right to disconnect after working hours.

Colombia recently passed laws No 2121 and 2191, establishing a remote work regime and introducing the right to disconnect for all employees, respectively. The regulations stipulate that employers should respond promptly to working-from-home requests, provide necessary tools, and reimburse employees for teleworking-related expenses. Moreover, Decree 1227 of 2022 added more details to the existing teleworking legislation, including the requirement for an internal remote work policy.

Denmark updated its guidelines on occupational health and safety requirements for homework stations in April 2022. The guidelines apply to those performing screen-based work more than two days per week, and employers are obliged to provide suitable workstation furniture and equipment.

Greece has recently introduced new obligations for teleworkers, including the right to disconnect after working hours, reimbursement for teleworking-related expenses, and the provision of necessary tools and equipment by the employer. Employers are also required to inform employees about health and safety policies and must comply with personal data protection legislation.

Remote Working Legislation

India has amended the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Rules by relaxing guidelines for employees working in SEZ units. The changes include eliminating limitations on the proportion of SEZ employees allowed to work from home and eliminating the requirement for SEZ units to obtain permission from the Development Commissioner before allowing their employees to work from home.

Italy has introduced regulations requiring employers to enter into individual remote working agreements with each employee who will work remotely, send electronic communication to the Ministry of Labour indicating which employees will be working remotely and for how long, and impose administrative fines on non-compliant employers.

Luxembourg has a new legal framework for teleworking which includes a wider definition of telework and the new concept of “occasional teleworking”. Teleworking now requires a written agreement of both the employee and the employer outlining the place of telework, the working hours, telework allowance (if any), overtime, benefits in kind, etc.

Mauritius has introduced specific requirements on employers with regard to teleworking, including a work from home agreement in compliance with the WFH Regulations, compensation for applicable work-related expenses, and authorization of the remote work premises by the employer.

Mexico has clarified existing teleworking regulations and created new obligations for both employers and employees, including providing necessary working equipment and training needed by the employee to perform the work and paying for any appropriate telework-related costs.

Norway has passed amendments to their existing working from home legislation, which includes making the working hours rules and psycho-social work environment rules applicable to employees working from home, and giving the Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority the authority to supervise compliance with home office regulation.

Peru has introduced new legislation recognizing teleworking as a valid way of carrying out work, with requirements such as employers providing necessary work tools and bearing the cost of electricity and teleworkers allowing their employer to visit their remote workplace or completing a self-examination of their workplace as authorized by the Peruvian Ministry of Labor.

In the Philippines, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) passed the Telecommuting Act (DO 237-22). The Act stipulates that telecommuting programs should be mutually agreed upon by employers and employees, and these programs should meet minimum labor standards. The Act also ensures that telecommuting employees should be treated fairly, akin to their office-based counterparts.

Poland updated its labor code to include obligations for remote work. The amendments mandate a written remote work agreement detailing various aspects, including work location and hours, communication methods, equipment provisions, and additional compensation. Notably, certain groups, such as pregnant employees and caregivers, are entitled to work remotely.

Portugal enacted a law on remote work, applicable to employers with at least 10 employees. The law obligates employers to cover telework-related costs, such as electricity and internet. Additionally, employees with children under eight have the right to work remotely, and employers are prohibited from contacting employees after office hours.

In Russia, new legislation now recognizes three types of remote working agreements, expanding upon the previously regulated permanent teleworking. Employers can now introduce mandatory teleworking during exceptional circumstances, such as a pandemic, and they are responsible for providing necessary work tools and bearing their associated costs.

Slovakia’s labor code was also amended to include teleworking. The new legislation allows teleworking to be performed anywhere outside the employer’s premises, offers flexibility in working hours, and requires the employer to reimburse teleworking-related expenses. The right to disconnect outside working hours must also be agreed upon.

Spain’s Law 10/2021 applies to regular remote work, defined as when at least 30% of the total work hours over any three-month period are performed remotely. This law requires a written agreement for remote work, prohibits discrimination against remote employees, and obliges employers to provide necessary resources and cover associated expenses.

Sweden implemented the EU Balance Directive, aiming to create a more flexible work-life balance. Employees caring for children or sick family members may request flexible working arrangements, and they can return to their original working arrangements when the agreed time expires.

The ever-evolving landscape of remote work legislation presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses across the globe. The increasing acceptance of remote work by governments worldwide is a testament to the shifting paradigms of employment. However, staying abreast of each country’s specific legislation is no small task. At Agility EOR, our personable and experienced team can guide you through the complexities of overseas employment, ensuring that your remote employees are compliantly employed according to local legislation.

Utilising our employer of record services not only simplifies your expansion efforts but also mitigates any potential employment risks involved in remote work. We don’t hide behind a platform – we believe in a hands-on approach that ensures you’re fully equipped to navigate the ever-changing world of remote work legislation. If you’re looking to harness the power of remote work for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Let Agility EOR be your trusted partner in your global remote work journey.

Scott Winter

Scott Winter

HR Director