Algirdas Stončaitis, a member of the “Vardan Lietuvos” democratic faction, intends to submit amendments to the Labor Code to the Seimas on Thursday, proposing to provide for an obligation for employers to compensate a remote worker for his increased work expenses. internet, electricity, heating and water.
As the proposed project provides, “if he works remotely, the employee bears additional costs related to his work, the costs related to the use of the tools made available to the employee or the purchase, installation and the use of work tools are compensated, but also with internet connection services, increased electricity, costs related to the consumption of heating and water used for professional purposes. The parties to the employment contract may also agree on other additional compensation. The amount of the indemnity and the terms of its payment are fixed by mutual agreement between the parties to the employment contract.
It is also proposed to add a provision to the Labor Code according to which “the employee, if the nature of the work does not require it, has the right not to be available to the employer outside working hours”.
According to Algirdas Stončaitis, the member of the Seimas who initiated the project, the chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission, if an employee incurs additional work-related costs while working remotely, he should be compensated.
“Although the Labor Code currently in force stipulates that if an employee, working remotely, incurs additional costs related to his work, the purchase, installation and use of work tools, those However, the existing legal regulations are more favorable to employers, as they do not list the costs incurred which must be agreed and compensated in all cases of teleworking, therefore, even if employees often bear costs additional, they do not receive any compensation”, explains A. Stončaitis.
According to its data, the reimbursement of remote work expenses is applied by Latvia, Poland, Spain, Croatia, Portugal, France, Slovakia, Slovenia and other countries.
Seimas lawyers doubt it encourages employers to negotiate remote work
The legal department of the Chancellery of the Seimas criticizes the proposal to compensate employees working from home for additional internet, electricity and other costs.
“It is not clear how it would be determined that the internet connection is used specifically for business purposes and what the costs would be.” It is also unclear how the use of electricity, heating and water for business purposes would be determined, as well as how the related cost increase would be calculated,” note the lawyers of the Seimas in their conclusion.
According to them, according to the Labor Code, remote work is assigned at the request of the employee or by agreement of the parties. “The employer may refuse the employee’s request if it entails excessive costs due to the needs of production or the particularities of the organization of work. Therefore, it should be considered whether the introduction of mandatory provisions on the compensation of specific expenses would incentivize employers to negotiate remote work”, – indicates the conclusion of the Ministry of Justice.
The proposed Labor Code provision on the employee’s right not to be available to the employer outside working hours has also been criticized by Seimas lawyers.
“An employee must have this right not only when working remotely (remote working is just a form of work organization or a way of doing work), but also when working on the workplace,” says the Department of Law.
Since the proposed amendments to the Labor Code would affect the rights and obligations of employees and employers, the Legal Department of the Seimas suggests coordinating them with the Trilateral Council.
Source: The Delfi