Minimum of 20% of the working day, draft presented by the Spanish Government
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  • August 17, 2020

    Minimum of 20% of the working day, draft presented by the Spanish Government

    The draft presented by the Government on Friday 31 July establishes “a minimum of 20% of the working day”, equivalent to one day a week for an employee to be considered a “teleworker” and therefore subject to the new regulations.

    This would mean that companies would be obliged to compensate for expenses and provide their workers with computer equipment or incur other costs such as analysing the security conditions of the place where they work.

    Bill in an agreement between two people

    A second aspect of conflict between the social partners is the transitional period that will apply to the agreements or collective agreements that already regulate distance working. The project establishes a period of three years which, according to the sources consulted by the eE, has been requested by the CEOE. This time it is the unions that do not agree with the wording of the draft presented on Friday by the Ministry of Labour, as they consider that this is an excessive period of time. They understand that a year or year and a half is enough to adapt. The payment of costs and other measures are at the heart of the struggle. During the transition period, all companies covered by the previous agreements could be exempted from complying with the requirements of subsequent regulations.

    Companies would be obliged to pay the costs and provide their employees with computer equipment or to incur other expenses, such as analysing the protective measures of the place where they work.

    These two points are the most significant, but they are not the only discrepancies. The implementation of occupational risk prevention also involves points of disagreement, in particular the assessment of work at home. The draft states that only “the area enabled for the provision of services shall be assessed, without this obligation being extended to the rest of the areas of the dwelling”. CCOO wants the analysis to include the whole of the dwelling, although the CEOE and UGT consider it appropriate to restrict it to the room where the service is provided.

    A possible agreement could come from the sources consulted, which point out that regional differences in housing are very important. The sources consulted point out that the differences are not large enough to prevent a deal from being concluded. At least, that would be the thesis of the government and the unions. However, the CEOE has been very harsh on the principles of teleworking defended by the Government in the texts presented.

    Official sources from the employers simply point out that the last meeting, held this Monday to analyse the latest draft (the fourth version), “is an improvement on the previous one, as it includes approaches transferred from the business world, but there were still elements of improvement”.

    Person in telework

    The Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquin Perez Rey, has committed on Monday to deliver a new draft during this month, which includes some of the proposals presented by the negotiators at that meeting. And it was decided, at the request of the CEOE, that the next meeting will be convened in late August, as confirmed by the same sources that were consulted.

    All this will be voluntary and will never be a cause for dismissal. One of the frictions that have arisen is the government’s determination to prevent the company from using the refusal of one of its employees to work by remote control as a cause for dismissal. The project that has been under discussion for several weeks is based on the principle of the willingness of employees to accept teleworking and of the company to establish it.

    Last Friday’s draft upholds the requirement of previous versions that the refusal to work remotely, its inadequacy, the “ineptitude” with respect to this formula of work execution for the “reversibility” to return to face work that is recognized in the collective bargaining, “are not reasons that justify the termination of the employment situation.

    Fuente: El Economista