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Remote Work

Viimati uuendatud: 24.02.2017


Remote work is the work organization and/or execution form, where the IT devices and employment contract relationships enable to fulfil work requirements regularly outside the workplace (though working there would be possible).

Remote employee term also emanates from this definition. A remote employee is someone who works remotely in the abovedescribed way.

Contemporary IT devices (like Internet, Skype, mobile phone), enable certain positions to work from outside the employer’s regular workplace. Such organization provides more flexible working hours, enables to cut the commuting costs, is handy and favours the uniting of work and family life. Remote work is most suitable for accountants, sales representatives, IT developers, and designers.

Employment Contracts Act (ECA) §6 s 4 stipulates that if the employer and employee agree that employee performs work, which is usually done at the employer’s premises, elsewhere (including the employee’s home), the employer must inform the employee (in addition to that stipulated in ECA § 5) that work obligations shall be carried out remotely. The corresponding agreement is presumed to be in writing.

The place where the employee performs the work obligations is shown with the preciseness of the local municipality, and could refer to the employee’s home or some other suitable place.

The general rules applicant for the remote work could be described in the company’s work organization rules. Especially, if remote work is not a daily thing, but agreed on each occurrence and used by many employees.

However, the remotely working employee is also subject to the employer’s management and control on the agreed conditions. When working remotely, the employer must also adhere to the working and resting time calculation.

The employment relationship parties must carefully discuss the costs, dangers, and positive aspects related to the remote work, and specify additional costs. ECA §40 s 1 states that the employee can ask to reimburse costs incurred when executing work tasks. Agreement to reimburse the costs with regular remuneration is invalid. It must also be remembered that the Occupational Health and Safety Act also applies to remote work. It means that the employer is responsible for the work safety of the remote worker and shall investigate all remote work occupational accidents.

Sources: Social Partners’ Framework Agreements on the European Union Level. Collection. Compiled by Egle Käärats, Marko Talur. Working Life Development Department. Ministry of Social Affairs.

Compiled by: Kaia Taal, Chief Personnel Specialist, Labour Inspectorate.

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