In order to create a clear framework for agreements related to working from home in function of the current corona measures, the National Labour Council created the temporary collective labour agreement (CAO) 149, which is valid until 31 December 2021. The aim of this CAO is to define a set of minimum agreements, but also to focus on a number of preventive measures.
We will outline these for you below.
Employees who work from home should be thoroughly informed about the prevention measures taken by the company to address the risks associated with telework. The focus of these measures lies mainly on ergonomic and psychosocial risks. The teleworker must be informed of the correct set-up of a work station and must be given the necessary psychosocial support. For example, the employee must have the contact details of the internal Prevention Advisor, the Confidential Advisor, the Occupational Physician etc.
Other information that must be provided includes:
- Information related to the protection of company data;
- How the work performed will be checked;
- How teleworkers can communicate with their representatives;
Furthermore, all policies or (individual) agreements must be explicitly communicated via e-mail, an online communication platform, such as an Intranet, digital meetings, etc.
The right to “disconnect”:
The right to “disconnect” was also included in the CAO. The use of digital means of communication also often means that we remain accessible outside of normal working hours. This could potentially blur the boundaries between work and private life. And this can lead to serious mental health issues.
The same conditions must apply to teleworkers as apply to employees who effectively (must) work on site. This means that the employment conditions, the working hours and the workload must remain equal.
Material and financial support:
Agreements should be made regarding the availability of the resources needed to work from home, e.g. having a laptop available, ergonomic tools etc. Agreements about telephone or Internet expenses, for example, must also be made.
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