• Arts
  • Language Services
  • Furniture
  • Educational Services
  • Private Equity
  • Event Management
  • Nonprofit / Foundation
  • Manufacturing
  • Information Technology
  • Human Resources
  • Hotels and Restaurants
  • Health Care & Pharmaceuticals
  • Media - Broadcast and Publishing
  • Engineering / Construction
  • Food Products, Beverages and Tobacco
  • Petroleum Industry
  • Wholesale and Retail Trade
  • Travel and Leisure
  • Transporting, Moving and Warehousing
  • Telecommunications
  • Security Services
  • Real Estate
  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Consumer Goods
  • Law Companies
  • Consultancy
  • Architecture
  • Airlines

News

Legal Aspects of Home Office

11.05.2017
Company: Dentons Europe CS LLP, organizační složka

Working from home (the so-called “home office”) has become an increasingly popular form of
income-earning activity based on employment among employees, since it represents a more flexible and sometimes even more efficient method of cooperation between the employee and the employer. The employee does not have to come to the office on a daily basis but (s)he may organize his/her work tasks around his/her own time schedule and capacity, which will allow him/her to achieve a better balance between his/her work and private life (work/life balance). If the home office regime is set up appropriately, it may bring a number of advantages for the employer, such as economy of operation costs, work efficiency growth and, last but not least, an increase in the motivation and long-term satisfaction of employees. 

Czech law does not provide for a detailed regulation of this form of employment, and therefore it is necessary to provide a specific framework for any home office arrangement in labor law (employment) documentation or in internal regulations issued by the employer. Provisions of the Labor Code (“Labor Code”) apply to an employee working in a home office regime, if he alone is responsible for the distribution of work hours, with certain deviations. Provisions of the Labor Code regulating the distribution of work hours, stand-by time or interruption of work due to unfavorable climate conditions will not apply to such an employee. Such employee is not entitled to a wage or to extra time off for overtime work hours, or for work during holidays; there is a major restriction on the payment of wage compensation attributable to important obstacles to work. If the employee’s work hours, however, are distributed by the employer even within the framework of his/her home office, the above (or any other) deviations from the general regulation will not apply.

Since the legislation regulatory framework of home office arrangements is insufficient, we recommend that if the employer decides to support this form of distance cooperation, terms and conditions of the home office arrangement should be specified in the employment agreement, or, alternatively, in a separate contract for home office work performance. Such conditions should cover in particular the following areas:

  • A specific arrangement in relation to the place of work performance, which can be agreed as a combination of the employee’s place of residency , the employer’s registered office or, as the case may be, the registered office of any of its clients. The choice of location where the work is performed is also important from the viewpoint of determining prerequisites of business trips and reimbursement of associated travel expenses.

 

  • A framework regulation of work hours – we recommend that employers and employees should at least enter into a framework agreement specifying time intervals when the employee may be contacted and circumstances under which the home office may be revoked by the employer and the employee may be called back to the employer’s office. Similarly, it is advisable to agree on a method of recording hours worked by the employee, allowing the employer to check the employee’s adherence thereto.

 

  • The employer’s property (assets) and protection of sensitive business information – it is advisable to have an agreement on the regime in which work-related equipment (for example, the computer, mobile phone, tablet etc.) will be used. This will include an appropriate set up of measures designed to protect sensitive business information and a corresponding set up of personal access data and passwords. As a measure of precaution, we recommend including in the agreement with the employee an explicit ban on cooperation with other members of the employee’s household and any information sharing with them.

 

  • Adherence to regulations applicable to safety and protection of health at work – as a home office does not exempt the employer from the duty to ensure safety and protection of health at work, we recommend that the agreement should stipulate the exact time when the employee must not work, a duty to draw mandatory breaks or the employer’s entitlement to perform random inspections of the employee’s office background in order to check whether safety standards are observed. The employee should also have a duty to report without undue delay to the employer any work-related injury that the employee may have suffered while using the home office arrangement.

For cases where an employer decides to introduce a home office work arrangement in its company (for example, allowing home office to certain categories of employees), and where such arrangement or this form of cooperation is not going to apply only on an occasional basis, we would recommend to specify the above basic contractual arrangements also in a binding internal directive of the employer that will address the individual aspects of working from home in  greater detail and with respect to possible specific aspects given by the individual types of jobs/positions.

The continuous development of modern information technology, together with the growing interest of employees in achieving a good work/life balance, has caused an increasing demand for the possibility to use home office. It is therefore advisable that employers should be prepared for the modern trend and consider and pay attention to setting up individual relationships with their employees, without underestimating possible legal traps arising from the lack of a legislation framework. We will continue to keep you informed about related issues and in particular about the amendment to the Labor Code, which is under way and which is expected to introduce, inter alia, a more detailed legal regulation in relation to home office. 

Authors: Ladislav Smejkal, Partner/attorney-at-law, Dentons Europe CS LLP

              Adam Přerovský, Associate, Dentons Europe CS LLP

Tags: Law | Human Resources |

AmCham Corporate Patrons

x
x

Delete

Are you sure? Do you really want to delete this item?