At the beginning of last year, in the spring, we had to forcefully implement telework, after which, in the fall, we slowly began to return to the offices. We are currently in a hybrid system. This also means that legislation have to change, says Catalin Roman, Senior Associate at Noerr at Business Review’s #futureofwork – Working Romania HR Conference.
”What is interesting lately from the point of view of telework, even if we are not on a trend of updating the legislation, because the legislator has a delay in registering new working conditions, is that we have received quite a few requests on the telework from abroad. These requests came mainly from employees, and employers, wanting to meet them, decided that it is necessary to do research if it is possible to implement this new type of work. Of course, in principle, such a way of working abroad is possible because it is not prohibited by national legislation, but we must pay attention to several aspects,” explains Catalin Roman.
”On one hand, we must pay attention to the applicable law because if the employee leaves for another Member State or non-EU member, we must which are the more favorable legal conditions because they will become valid under the employment contract law, as long as the activity takes place in another state. On the other hand, we must be careful from the perspective of taxes and social contributions, and we must also see the period of time for which the employee will work from another state because there are certain conditions must be met in order to continue to maintain paying taxes and of social contributions,” shows Roman.
There is also the issue of health and safety at work. Even if the rules of the state in which the activity is carried out may become valid, the employer must ensure the necessary conditions for health and safety. Including by providing instruction and training and cover the expenses.
”These are essential clauses that an employment contract must include when it comes to telework. Perhaps it is not a surprise that last year the European legislator decided in a more concrete way to legislate the part of moral harassment. For 5-6 months we have already had legislation that expressly refers to acts of moral harassment, to the employer’s obligation to regulate in the internal regulation the part of defining and prohibiting moral harassment. In addition to those classic cases of moral harassment, such as violating the rights and dignity of employees through hostile conduct or by creating a degrading environment, the legislator introduced stress and exhaustion. All this comes in the context in which at the level of the European Parliament the European Commission was invited to elaborate a set of provisions that address that right of disconnection of the employee so that the right to rest and working time is respected. Considering the already existing legislation and what will be implemented in the future, we must also take into account these aspects related to the physical and mental health of the employee,” says Roman.
”What is even more interesting is that even if such provisions have now begun to emerge, amid the digitalization of labor relations, since the 2000s in France and Germany there have been cases in which unions and employers have already discussed the rights of employees to disconnect from work data when they were at home or on vacation. Basically, there was interest in these protections, but only now, after 20 years, we have come to introduce them in the legislation. And it is still difficult for the national legislator to put all these new lines into practice,” concludes Catalin Roman.