Remote worker’s rights - contracts, avoiding scams
WE RECOMEND USING DESKTOP DEVICES WHILE TAKING OUR E-COURSE
WATCH THE SHORT INTRO VIDEO
YOU WILL LEARN:
What is a freelancer?
What is a contract employee?
how to reveal a scammer
This era of speed requires quick answers to quick questions and demands. So what is faster than working from your own home or the nearest place you can share space? It sounds good and it is good. But, as everything in life, the basic problem is protection. Protection of your own product, your knowledge, your payment and, of course, your rights as an individual. So, besides the fun and joy of working remotely, one should always protect one’s personal well being, with everything it includes. So, let’s start from the beginning and defining all the possible aspects of your remote job.
freelancer vs contract employee
What is a freelancer?
A freelance employee, often called a freelancer, is a self-employed individual who is able to provide services to a wide number of organizations.
These employees will pick their own clients and projects and manage them on their own as part of their scheduling and planning.
A freelancer will set their own rates and select the work they complete on a client by client or project by project basis. They choose where they want to work, usually from home or from a shared office space, and are in control of the type of work they want to do.
Freelancers commonly do work like:
What is a contract employee?
A contract employee, also known as an independent contractor or temporary employee works for a business for specific long-term projects. While a freelancer might be hired to write a single article or design a single page, a contract employee is there for a more significant amount of time.
Contract employees often will only have one or two clients at a time, and will often work within the office of the business they are working with.
They are more engaged with other members of staff, and really become a part of the team, albeit for a short amount of time.
Contract employees are often:
What is a working contract - the key benefits of a contract.
A contract of employment (or employment contract) is an agreement or term of hire that is extended from an employer to an employee to set the terms and conditions of their employment. While usually a written document, these agreements can also be verbal.
Which are the essential sections of a remote work agreement?
Job title and description
Duration of employment
Employee compensation and benefits
Employer’s rules, regulations, policies, and practices
Termination of Employment
How to get protected in the grownups’ world
This is the part where you become an equal person with the grownups. But guess what: there are laws that work for you, the one who makes the money for the boss. And here is what the company is obliged to do so you can be happy at work- or at home… or in the cafeteria… on the beach… well, wherever you are working remotely anyway.
The employer is now required to establish a written teleworking agreement for each employee. The agreement must outline the parties’ obligations and agreement in advance on the working hours.
Employees’ right to disconnect after completion of their working hours should be respected.
Remote employees should enjoy the same rights as on-site employees.
Legislation and collective bargaining agreements must apply to all employees and include remote employees who are working outside of their employer’s jurisdiction (unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties).
Employers are not responsible for reimbursing expenses that a remote employee may incur to return to in-person work when the teleworker chose to work in a location other than the one provided in their written teleworking agreement.
Employers are required to give priority to employees with disabilities and those with small children when allocating positions that can be performed remotely.
The teleworking regime applies to interns and apprentices on the same basis as regular employees, when expressly stipulated in their internship contract, and when expressly agreed upon by the intern, the grantor and the educational institution.
Food allowances and vouchers paid by the employer to remote employees must only be used for food purchases in restaurants or other commercial establishments.
Employers are required to respond within five days to employees’ written working from home requests. Employees may carry out their work overseas if permission is given by their employer.
The modalities of remote work must be agreed upon by the employer and the employee.
Any labor agreement between the employer and the employee requires an electronic or digital signature.
Employers should perform medical examinations for their remote employees when they are hired and on a periodic basis.
Any employer whose internal policy doesn’t include details on the use of equipment, software and information management is required to implement an internal remote work policy containing a description of the positions that can be performed through teleworking, equal treatment guarantees, necessary equipment and tools, contacts and communications channels to report harassment/accidents/occupational illnesses, and prevention measures at work.
It is possible for the employer and the teleworkers to expressly agree in the employment contracts or amendments on the reversibility of teleworking at any moment. In the absence of an express agreement, parties cannot demand or mandate the return to work in a presential way.
Employers must inform teleworkers about health and safety policies including rules for teleworking areas, the use of visual display screens, etc.
The monitoring of employee performance must be conducted in compliance with the protection of personal data legislation.
All remote employees should be able to enjoy the same rights and protections as other employees. This includes all benefits in kind that on-site workers are entitled to but excludes compensations specifically linked with the employee’s presence on-site such as a gym or parking space.
The working hours rules (the Working Environment Act) will be applicable to employees working from home. The working hours rules include not working at night or on Sundays. Employers will therefore be responsible for ensuring that the working hours rules are followed.
The rules related to the psycho-social work environment will also apply to employees working from home. Employers should therefore make sure to implement the psychosocial and physical work environment legal requirements into their own home office policies.
Employees will be required to meet in person with their employer once every two months.
Employers are prohibited from contacting their employees after office hours. Employers who fail to comply with this new rule would face penalties (amount still yet to be determined).
what to ask from the employer when working remotely?
The work arrangement section covers the type of work to be done, workflows and collaboration processes, core work hours, mandatory meetings, metrics for measuring employee performance, and other important remote work arrangement details.
Compensation and benefits
The compensation and benefits section covers details about a remote employee's pay and entitlements. How much is their monthly salary? When and how do employees receive it? Are there other employment benefits for remote employees? This section may also include subsections for overtime guidelines, a timeline for contract renegotiation or renewal, taxes, and insurance.
Computer equipment and software
Most remote work agreements have a section covering computer equipment, software programs, communication, collaboration, project management, and other relevant tools and applications for secure and efficient remote work with the employer or organization. Does the employee use the company device or a personal device while working remotely? How can they access their work email remotely? Are remote employees allowed to seek technical support?
Telephone and internet connectivity
Depending on the role, a telephone number may be necessary for a remote employee to get work done. Internet connectivity is an unavoidable expense for most remote employees to handle work, communicate, and collaborate within the team. It’s also essential when it comes to attending virtual meetings.
Travel and other expense reimbursements
Remote work agreements can also cover travel expenses as well. This section includes employee expenses incurred traveling to and from meetings with clients, on-site visits, and other necessary miscellaneous expenses. The reimbursement section outlines the process of requesting and receiving funds spent from the employer or organization.
Employers hiring remotely must ensure that the employment contracts of their remote workers provide additional protection for issues which might arise due to the nature of remote working.
Whilst employment contracts usually have confidentiality clauses, remote workers are at a greater risk of breaching their confidentiality obligations. This is especially the case for employees working remotely from a public space, such as a café or a shared working space, or if they keep hard copies with confidential information at home. Accordingly, a company can include a confidentiality clause that clearly defines confidential information and prescribes how to keep the information confidential at all times, whether at home or in a public place. The provision may require the employee to follow additional steps to protect the confidential information when remote working, such as protocols for safely disposing confidential information or securing storage cabinets at home.
Employers should make sure that their employment contracts are suitable for remote workers and should consider additional equipment, expenses and confidentiality clauses. Some other clauses employers might consider for their remote working contracts are provisions around:
In conclusion, the key benefits of an employment contract are that all the above are resolved and the employee is fully protected. A well-written employment contract can be beneficial for both an employer and employee. It will:
-Clarify job duties.
-Spell out the rights of each party.
-Give the employee better job security.
-Protect company information, like special techniques and trade secrets.
How to avoid scams while looking for an online job:
WATCH THE VIDEO
take the module 5 quiz to self-reflect on what you learned
bravo! you concluded the fifth module of this e-course
take a break before the next module and let us know how you relate to the memes we created for you