The pandemic accelerated the treatment of new regulations to regulate the home office. What are the main changes for companies and employees
The Chamber of Deputies approved this Thursday and sent the bill to the Senate to provide a regulatory framework for the telecommuting, labor modality that became widespread in recent months as a result of social, preventive and compulsory isolation.
With 214 positive votes, one negative and 29 abstentions, the initiative that modifies that modifies the Labor Contracts law was endorsed after four hours of debate and was sent to the Senate.
In the previous discussions, held on Wednesday, the Front of All and Together for Change worked against the clock to bring positions closer together and finally the agreement was reflected in a unified opinion, despite the fact that the opposition signed with partial dissent.
The original draft incorporated a period of 90 days for the entry into force of the law after the end of Social, Preventive and Compulsory isolation, to allow employers time to adjust to the demands that the new framework will demand regulatory, something that in the midst of quarantine is considered to be dangerous due to the sharp drop in activity.
Introducing the debate, the president of the commission, Vanesa Siley (Front of All), stressed: “We have reached a consensus where it was necessary to articulate interests that were often opposed and thus we have all issued a protective opinion for work.”
For his part, the vice president, Albor Cantard (UCR), stressed that the purpose of the regulation is “guarantee a floor of rights to workers“, while the specificities of the benefits are left to the negotiations of the collective agreements of each activity.
The official deputy and head of the CTA of the Workers, Hugo Yasky, considered that “it is a form of avoid those loopholes that often end in abuses by some business sectors”
In turn, the head of the ARI Civic Coalition, Maximiliano Ferraro, stressed the importance of creating a legal system for teleworking, although he assured that “the lack of fiscal incentives is a missed opportunity in this context of deep crisis that strongly punishes small and medium-sized companies “.
Telecommuting: companies must provide equipment to staff and guarantee the right to “disconnect”.
Telecommuting: What Changes Does the Law Promote?
– The initiative modifies the Labor Contracts Law and indicates that the people who work under the remote modality “will enjoy the same rights and obligations as the people who work under the face-to-face modality and their remuneration will be that corresponding to the collective labor agreement, and may not be lower, where appropriate, to which he perceived or would perceive under the face-to-face modality “.
– Among other aspects, the proposed regulations state that the remote work benefit is voluntary, cannot be imposed by the employer and therefore reversible, while regulating the “right to disconnect” of the remote employee.
– Establishes that “the employer must provide the equipment – hardware and software-, the work tools and the necessary support for the performance of the taskss, and assume the costs of installation, maintenance and repair thereof, or compensation for the use of the person’s own tools. ”
– In the case of breakage, damage or wear of technological work instruments, the employer must take charge of its replacement or repair.
– Meanwhile, the remote worker “will be entitled to compensation for the higher expenses in connectivity and / or consumption of services that must be faced”, and “said compensation will operate according to the guidelines established in collective bargaining, and will be exempt of Income Tax “, a condition that had been requested by the CGT.
– Regarding the tasks of care, it is established that those who “prove to be in charge, in a unique or shared way, of caring for people under the age of 13, people with disabilities or older adults who require specific assistance, will have the right to schedules compatible with the tasks of caring for them and / or interrupting the day. ”
– In the case of reversibility, the project clarifies that “in the contracts that the teleworking modality is agreed upon at the beginning of the relationship, the eventual change to the face-to-face modality will operate according to the guidelines established in collective bargaining.”
– About him “right to disconnect“, it is stated that the remote worker will have “the right not to be connected and disconnected from digital devices” outside of their workday or during leave periods, while the employer will be prohibited from “sending you communications by any means” during those periods.
– The designated enforcement authority is the Ministry of Labor, which will be responsible for supervising and issuing safety and hygiene standards.
The companies of technology and of knowledge economy, which have the most experience in implementing the telecommuting, request that the regulation that Congress intends to achieve regarding this labor modality be general and flexible enough so that, then, each sector finds the best way to implement it and take advantage of the benefits.
They fear that the imposition of certain conditions will encourage professionals from these sectors to seek better opportunities in companies abroad, even if they continue to live in Argentina.
In a coincident position, both Argencon and CESSI, the chambers that bring together the companies of knowledge economy in the first place, and those of computer software and service in the second case. Both were in favor of moving forward with a regulation that establishes general principles so that various activities take advantage of remote work. But also to be careful not to get so restrictive.
The knowledge economy is the one with the most experience in the implementation of telework
Since the quarantineOn March 20, all those activities liable to be exercised remotely began to be carried out under this modality, even when it was not implemented in the vast majority of Argentine companies, especially due to the resistance of the organizations to advance in this process. .
From Argencon they observed issues related to training, the creation of new registries and the need to be careful with the hiring of personnel from abroad.
“That the training is done in conjunction with the ministry and with the unions, we do not share it. It does not seem to us that they have to intervene in that aspect. Nor that additional registries are created because the ART already have the workers registered,” he told iProfessional, Luis Galeazzi, President of Argencon.
For the manager, the remote work It is variable, and can take place in the employee’s home but also in the client, or even in a bar or in a co-working space, current modalities in the technology and knowledge industry.
“The regulations must apply to when work is done at home and contemplate what elements the person needs, as well as the expenses related to connectivity. But this does not have logic that applies, for example, when the worker is circumstantial”, stressed.
In the knowledge and technology industry, part of the work tends to be by projects, that is, the need to attend to a specific case and, for this, to form a team whose members are not necessarily all company employees. The concern is, in cases like these, that if there is an opportunity, it will be lost due to the rigidity of a norm that would prevent continuing with formats that currently work well, at least in that sector.
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