In view of the establishment of the emergency condition for stopping the spread of sars-cov-2 coronavirus on the territory of Romania and the consequence of implementing drastic measures in the most important areas of activity, it is a question of how we will continue to operate in the workplace.

Except in some areas of activity where it is imperative for employees to present at work (health, nutrition, transport), there is a possibility that employees may perform activity in telework mode, i.e. only through means of distance communication, thus preventing the spread of the virus to other people.

What is telework?

This way of providing activity has appeared in the national legislation since 2018, being adopted by Law No. No 81/2018 on the regulation of telework activity.

Telework is a form of work organization whereby the employee, on a regular and voluntary basis, performs his duties specific to his office, occupation or profession, in a place other than the job organized by the employer, at least one day month, using information and communication technology.

The performance of the activity in telework regime is based on the agreement of the will of the parties, a will agreement that can be expressed at the time of the conclusion of the individual employment contract, for the new employees or later, by an additional act to the existing contract for the personnel in office.

Which are the obligations the employer must fulfill?

The employer is obliged to provide the employee with the means related to information and communication technology and/or safe work equipment necessary for the performance of the work, to train the employee in order to carry out the activity in particular in the form of information and working instructions specific to the place of work of the telework activity, and also having the obligation to ensure transport to and from the place of the telework activity of the materials on employee to use in his activity.

In the performance of the activity, the employer together with the employee organizes the work program, the employer having the right that under the conditions established by the individual employment contract or by the additional act, as the case may be, to verify the activity of the teleemployee.

Which are the rights of the teleemployee?

The teleemployee benefits from all the rights recognized by law, internal regulations and collective labor contracts applicable to the employees who have the work place at the employer’s headquarters or domicile.

It is important to remember that telework does not identify with work at home, distinctively regulated in art. 108-110 of the Labor Code. These two forms of work organization are not mutually exclusive, in the sense that telework can be performed at home, but it is important to use the information and communications technology on a regular and exclusive basis, respectively the Internet and the telephone, which is the essence of telework activity.

Moreover, the employee who works from home sets his own work schedule, which is a distinction from telework in which the parties by mutual agreement establish the workschedule. However, in both cases, the employer has the right to verify the activity performed by the employee under the conditions laid down by the individual employment contract or the additional act to him, as appropriate.

Attention The parts of the employment contract can establish by mutual agreement, in compliance with the legislation in force, the conditions and place of employment, given that the labor legislation is flexible and adaptable even under the conditions we are currently facing.

Irina Postelnicu

Lawyer at R&R Partners Bucharest

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