As European trade unions and employers gear up for the cross-sector negotiations on telework that are set to begin next month, the Eurofound research agency has published a new report that maps and analyses legislation and collective bargaining on telework in the 27 Member States and Norway. It covers the main differences and similarities in telework legislation and notes recent changes to these regulations. The report reveals some of the challenges of telework in relation to access, flexible working time, continuous availability/connectivity, isolation, occupational and health risk prevention and the costs incurred by the employee while working remotely.
Report sets out telework arrangements across Europe
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A new law covering telework introduces important new rules for those involved in remote or home work as well as including a role for trade unions in ensuring workers’ rights. The protections cover dismissals, employer provision of equipment or requirement on the employer to compensate workers for using their equipment and clear rules to ensure that all worker consultations with the employer are during normal working time.
(March 2017) A joint report from the Eurofound agency and the International Labour Organisations examines the advantages and disadvantages of telework and puts forward some policy proposals on key issues. The report points to positive effects such as a shortening of commuting time, greater working time autonomy, better work–life balance, and higher productivity. However, it also notes the risks of longer working hours, interference between work and personal life, and work intensification, leading to high levels of stress.
After the surge in remote working as a result of the pandemic, trade unions in Ireland, Russia and Spain have welcomed new initiatives, including legislation and collective agreements, that regulate telework. Research by the Eurofound research agency also looks into the negative and positive implications of telework for workers’ autonomy and work-life balance raising again the challenges to ensure that workers have control over their working time and underlining the importance of current discussions at European level on the right to disconnect.