Polish Entrepreneurship Council calls for the regulation of remote work
The Entrepreneurship Council calls for the introduction of regulations enabling flexible and effective use of remote work. The Polish Confederation Lewiatan announced the resignation from the obligation to specify a specific place of remote work, limiting employee documentation to electronic documentation and leaving companies with detailed decisions on equipping employees with the necessary equipment.
"We call for the introduction of regulations on remote work in a way that takes into account the achievements of the current market practice, taking into account the legitimate interests of the employees and employers" - reads the release.
The Entrepreneurship Council reminds us that one of the most fundamental changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is the widespread digitization of processes and wider use in the last months of remote work.
"The Polish labor market must adapt to the new reality, while at the same time trying to meet the challenges of the so-called digitaleconomy" - emphasized in the material.
The Council emphasizes that remote work takes various forms and is used by the parties to a different extent. Therefore - in her opinion - code regulations should be flexible enough not to block the way to remote work, both for entities whose organization and funds allow for the implementation of organisationally complex and costly solutions, as well as for entities that will use remote work rather occasionally.
Taking into account the advanced dialogue within the Social Dialogue Council concerning the introduction of provisions regulating remote work into the Labor Code, the Entrepreneurship Council recommends that:
- resign from imposing an obligation on the parties to the employment relationship to specify a specific place of work in the case of remote work. In the opinion of the Council, there are no arguments for the necessity to legally limit the possibility of remote work to one declared address. Flexibility in this respect - as emphasized by the Council - is expected mainly by the employee side, and failure to take this expectation into account ignores the practice developed in recent months by the parties to the employment relationship;
- take into account the issue of equipping employees with the necessary equipment and materials to perform work, as well as reimbursement of costs related to the operation of devices necessary to perform work remotely. However, detailed solutions in this regard should be left to be decided at the company level. This is due to the variety of forms of remote work organization in particular industries, differences in its application in large and small companies, work performed entirely, partially or occasionally remotely. In the opinion of the Council, it should not be forgotten that remote work is also associated with benefits and savings for employees, which was confirmed by the popularity of the so-called "home office" in the pre-event period.
- keeping employee documentation related to hiring employees remotely in electronic form only, submitting statements and applications in the documentary form. According to the Council, maintaining the written form is problematic for both parties of the employment relationship, as it entails a number of complications, especially on the employee side.
- taking into account efforts to reduce the burden on employers, and precisely define the scope of their responsibilities in the area of occupational health and safety. The Council emphasizes that, in particular, small and medium-sized enterprises expect a solution that will define what minimum requirements should be met when working remotely.
The Entrepreneurship Council in its current composition was reactivated on March 24, 2020. It is made up of organizations associating practitioners of economic life - Employers of Poland, Confederation of Private Employers "Lewiatan", BCC, the Polish Chamber of Commerce, the Polish Craft Association, the Polish Business Council, the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs, the Association of Business Service Leaders. The Council was reactivated due to the scale of threats to the Polish economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic.