Teleworking was conceived in 2008 as an instrument to generate employment through the use of information technologies, regulated by law 1221 enacted that same year, however, from the Covid19 pandemic is when this figure and others related to remote work began to have more relevance due to the measures of mandatory lockdown.
WHAT IS TELEWORKING?
The law defines telework as “a form of labor organization, which consists of the performance of remunerated activities or provision of services to third parties using as support the information and communication technologies – ICT, for the contact between the worker and the company, without requiring the physical presence of the worker in a specific place of work”.
Likewise, some forms of teleworking are defined:
- Self-employed: these are people who use their own home or a chosen place to carry out their professional activity, such as a small office or a commercial establishment. This type includes people who always work outside the company and only come to the office on certain occasions.
- Mobiles: teleworkers who do not have an established workplace and whose main tools to develop their professional activities are the Information and Communication Technologies, in mobile devices.
- Supplementary: teleworkers who work two or three days a week at home and the rest of the time in an office.
Therefore, the teleworker performs his work activities outside the company to which he provides his services, through information and communication technologies, such as a cell phone or a computer with Internet access that allows him to keep in touch with the boss, coworkers or customers.
HOW CAN TELEWORK BE IMPLEMENTED?
It is of utmost importance, to be aware that having teleworkers implies compliance with some special obligations, which are contained in Decree 884 of 2012 and are related to the inclusion of some contents in the employment contract, the internal regulations and the review of the conditions of the workplace.
Regarding the employment contract, it is mandatory that its contents include the following:
(1) The conditions of service, the technological and environment means required and how to execute the same in conditions of time and if possible, space. (2) Determine the days and hours in which the teleworker will perform its activities for the purpose of delimiting the liability in case of an accident at work and avoid ignorance of the legal maximum workday. (3) To define the responsibilities as for the custody of the elements of work and to fix the procedure of the delivery on the part of the teleworker at the moment of finalizing the modality of telework. (4) The measures of computer security that must know and fulfill the teleworker.
It should be noted that if an employment contract is already in effect, it should be modified by means of an addendum to the contract that includes the aforementioned stipulations.
In the same sense, the internal work regulations must stipulate the proper use of equipment, programs and information management, in order to allow and facilitate the implementation of teleworking as a form of labor organization.
Finally, it is necessary to bear in mind that The Administrators of Professional Risks, will have to elaborate a guide for prevention and action in situations of risk that come to present the teleworkers and to provide it to the teleworker and employer, in which it is important the verification of a few suitable conditions of the place of work.
The employer must provide a copy of the contract to the Professional Risk Administrator and contemplate the teleworker’s job within the plans and programs of occupational health and must also have a network of emergency care in case of an accident or illness of the teleworker when he/she is working.
WHAT GUARANTEES DOES THE TELEWORKER HAVE?
Due to the conditions that a teleworker has, it is very easy to be subjected to conditions inferior to those of another type of worker, a situation for which the law established certain guarantees, aimed at promoting equal treatment, in terms of remuneration, training, education, access to better job opportunities and other fundamental labor rights, between teleworkers and other workers of the private company or public entity.
In the same sense, it was established that when teleworking is executed where it is verifiable the time worked and the teleworker at the request of the employer remains longer than expected in the ordinary working day, the payment of overtime, Sundays and holidays will be given the same treatment of any other employee.
Regarding the extra expenses that a teleworker has in his workplace, the law imposes on employers the duty to provide and guarantee the maintenance of the equipment of the teleworkers, their connections, programs, value of the energy services, displacements ordered by him, necessary to carry out his functions.
BENEFITS OF TELEWORKING
Teleworking has great benefits, especially in large cities or for companies that need to hire personnel in several cities, some of them are the following:
- Work-family life balance
- Savings in transportation costs and time
- Convenience of service delivery
- Increased security when working from home
- Decrease in office expenses
- Higher level of employee satisfaction
For these reasons, the National Government itself supports the increase of teleworkers through the creation of the National Network for the Promotion of Telework, showing the benefits of this modality, whose correct implementation brings great benefits for companies and workers.
About the author:
Guillermo Sánchez is a lawyer graduated from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, specialized in Business Law from Universidad del Rosario and is part of the legal team of López & James Colombia.
He has extensive experience in Trademark Law and Habeas Data. He specializes in the areas of Corporate Law and Family Law.
Bogotá D.C. November 30, 2022.