Spain moves to protect remote workers

Spain is on the point of approving its first Law on Remote Working.

woman working from home at night


Spain is on the point of approving legislation to protect the rights of remote workers.

More than 30% of workers in Spain now works from home at least part of the week and the new charter is designed to offer them legal protection, ranging from the right to equal career development opportunities to the right to compensation for any equipment they need to do their job as well as to updated equipment if needed.

Employees must work from home more than one day a week to qualify as remote workers, according to the latest draft of the legislation, and remote working must be agreed on by both sides. An employee can request a return to the office if their circumstances change.

The legislation covers the right to digital disconnection, the right to flexibility, but for employers to be able to set times when a person must be available, the right to a timetable, equal treatment with office workers and no salary difference based on where they do their work. Contracts should state the habitual place of work and the office that work is connected to as well as how that work will be managed. The legislation says that preference over remote working will be given to parents of young children and breastfeeding mothers.

Spain has had very little culture of remote working up until the Covid-19 pandemic. Greece is also reported to have drafted remote work legislation and the Republic of Ireland is in the middle of a public consultation process to draft guidelines for remote working.

Meanwhile, the French government has announced that parents forced to stay at home to care for children whose schools are closed by outbreaks of Covid-19 will have their wages paid by the state. One parent in each household with children under 16 will be eligible to receive 84% of their normal salary. Since the beginning of the month, new cases of Covid-19 in France have gone up by 7,292 each day on average.

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