Remote working in Spain covered by law
The Spanish government, unions, and business associations have accepted a new law to come into place for remote working. Until the covid-19 pandemic hit Spain, this has never been a common practice.
Teleworking has been prioritized to reduce contagion. For this reason, the Spanish government, unions, and business associations have agreed on a legal framework to manage the change in the way of working. After times of negotiations, new regulations on the rights of remote workers have been approved by the Congress of Deputies and as of the 13th of October 2020, the new law came into effect. However, the preliminary agreement needs to be ratified by unions and industry chefs.
The main topics written in this decree:
- It is considered to be teleworking when the employee works at least 30% of their total hours remotely within a period of 3 months.
- It is up to the company to cover the cost of the provision and maintenance of all resources, equipment, and tools needed by the employee to carry out their job remotely.
- The company must pay for running costs of this equipment by a compensation. How the company will assume these costs or compensate the worker will be established by a collective agreement or via contract.
A written agreement must be created between the employee and the company he works for. The details of the agreement will be established in a collective negotiation; however, the decree states a ‘mandatory minimum of content’ regarding an employee’s personal needs. The decree lists 11 points on this subject, amongst others:
- equipment needed to work remotely
- compensation of expenses
- working schedule
- available measures to monitor the employee remotely
- how hours will be divided between remote/office working
- the approved sites for teleworking
- length of the agreement
- work instructions
- notice period for reversing the situation
Remote working is flexible working?
The law guarantees in some way a flexible working schedule; however, the company may set out time periods when the employee must be available. So, the schedule is flexible if it is in accordance with what is established in the teleworking agreement and the collective negotiation. And as long as the legal regulations on working hours and breaks are respected.
Teleworking is voluntary for both the worker and the employer. If one of the two parties wants to reverse the decision, this must be exercised according to the terms of the agreement between staff and the company. Within this agreement, the company and employee will also be able to modify the percentage of hours that must be worked in the office.
Monitoring and rights of remote working employees
The company can monitor its teleworking employees as long as they respect the dignity of the worker. Remote workers will have equal rights that they would have when they would be working in the office or on-site. The decree states that remote workers cannot be disadvantaged in terms of salary, financial retribution, post-occupancy, working hours, training, or professional promotions. Apart from that, the work-life balance and the right to disconnect is still guaranteed.
Complicated? Parakar helps you out!
This is a brief summary of a complex new law. If you need help with this topic or any other HR related matters in Spain, please do not hesitate to contact our office in Spain. Our native HR experts are happy to help you out!