Distant work, based on voluntary agreement, offers the needed flexibility to many employees as commuting time to work can be used to other activities on distant work days. Distant work also contributes to achieving a better work-life balance. If you often work remotely, make sure you have a written agreement on it, in order to have a clear understanding as to what has been agreed and under what terms.
Contents of a distant work contract
In a distant work contract, you should agree on tasks performed remotely, the amount of distant work, reporting of its progress, working devices of the remote employee, software and internet connections, the duration of distant work and the terms under which the distant work arrangement may be revoked if it does not work. Health and safety at work shall be taken into consideration as well, notably as regards the amount of work performed remotely and the duration of distant working days. Also insurance coverage and data protection are things to be taken into consideration.
Labour law and collective agreements apply normally
Labour law and collective agreements apply to distant work which is performed under the terms of an employment relationship. Also the terms of the employment contract apply normally, even in out-of-office location of work. Remote employees are taken into account when reviewing the number of staff according to the Act on Co-operation within Undertakings, they enjoy the benefits of statutory occupational health services and the collective agreements apply as regards, for example, statutory maternity pay and leave, holiday pay and paid sickness leave.
Recommendations for content of a distant work contract
Distant work contract should always be done in writing.
Labour market confederations recommend the following content to be taken into consideration when agreeing on distant work:
- Who is responsible for acquiring, installing and servicing working devices?
- What is employer’s contribution to data transfer costs?
- As a rule, the employer is liable for direct costs related to regular distant work.
- Clear targets and schedules shall be determined.
- Workload shall not be bigger than that of other employees.
- The employee must receive the following information:
- who’s the employee’s contact person in questions related to employment relationship and duties;
- who supervises the distant employee;
- what are the guidelines for reporting;
- how to receive information on changes in the organisation.
Commuting to work
- The actual location of work has to be established.
- As a rule, routine travel between home and workplace is not compensated.
- Collective agreement and company policy apply to work-related travel and its compensation.
- Distant employees shall have equal opportunities to participate in training.