Six months after its approval, the Executive Branch has not yet regulated the Teleworking Law. Companies that already work with this regime They have until next February 20 to adjust to the provisions of the new regulations.
The Law 19,979 on the Promotion and Regulation of Teleworking – project originally submitted by the Senator of the Colorado Party, Carmen Sanguinetti- It was promulgated on August 20, 2021 after its approval in Parliament.
According to him Advice Labor Monitor, in the accumulated of 2021 the calls with the remote work option were 5,997, which represented 17% of the total for the year. The activities that had the most teleworking proposals were technology, Human Resources (HR) and communication-marketing. Calls to work remotely grew 226% in 2021, compared to 2020, when 9% of calls had offered this modality.
The report explains that “due to the health situation that the world has been going through since the beginning of 2020, the labor market has changed and adapted to a new reality. One of the new features that already existed, but has taken hold and grown considerably in the last year, is the remote work option.“.
the senator Sanguinetti reported to The Observer that the government is working on regulation and that she is particularly holding meetings with Tomas Teijeiro, Labor Inspector General of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTSS), but did not specify dates for the law to be regulated.
The situation of the companies
The lawyer Leonardo Slinger, of Guyer & Regulesindicated to The Observer that the period of six months agreed in the Telework Law is for employers to comply with the provisions but it is not a deadline for the government to regulate the law.
“It would be convenient if it were (regulated by law) but what a company can do is prepare the addendum and establish what has been agreed without prejudice to the adjustments that must be made once the regulation is issued”, he explained.
Labor argued that “most companies and workers are waiting for the regulation to prepare the addenda”. An addendum is a document added after the signing of a contract to add or modify its terms.
For its part, Alberto Baroffio, partner of the Ferrere Lawyers firm and advisor to companies on labor and social security issuessaid to The Observer that it is important to differentiate whether companies “are teleworking due to the pandemic situation or if there is already an effective and definitive change towards teleworking”. This is because the law It refers to definitive and not transitory changes.
“If the company is teleworking these months because there is a pandemic, it is one thing. Yes now you have a definitive plan to telework there if you have to comply with the standard within 180 days that expires on February 20”, he explained.
The partner of the Ferrere Abogados study indicated that companies that have not yet defined adopting the teleworking modality can definitely “remind your employees of the terms under which they are telecommuting during the pandemic” and convey that it is a transitory situation that – as the cases of covid-19 decrease – could change with new working conditions that could be going back to the office and new terms of teleworking defined from the post-pandemic.
For their part, companies that have decided to adopt teleworking definitively must regulate it in writing. “It is necessary to regulate the supplies that are going to be given to the worker, the schedules and where the work is going to be carried out. It is worth documenting how the employment contract will be fulfilled so that, in addition to being carried out giving rise to the satisfaction of the employee’s needs, the company’s needs that determine the hiring are fulfilled.”, he explained.
And I add: “The same with respect to regulating how it will be controlled, what are the working hours in the week, in what form and the way in which those hours are reported.”.
Another of the important points highlighted by Baroffio has to do with article 11 of the law that refers to the occupational safety and hygiene, since many companiesthey have not advanced in definitively documenting this because they are concerned that the obligations established by the regulation could be very broad”.
Along these lines, he indicated that it would be convenient for those companies that need to document the teleworking situation regulate that point. “Not to say what the conditions are, but to establish that eventually, if the regulatory conditions are not met by the company because the standard established by the Ministry of Labor is unattainable, it will be without effect. Agree in that document the reversibility of the modality”, he pointed.
For Baroffio, the regulatory decree of the Executive Power should “include a rule” specifying that during the pandemic period the 180-day period that companies had to comply with the regulations is not computed. This is because companies “are not in a position to be clear about whether or not the change to teleworking is going to be definitive given that the situation is not normal.”
“The MTSS should clarify that the 180-day term only runs for those who took a definitive change and not, for example, for those who are telecommuting due to pandemic issues. Or specify that this 180-day period is not running until the decree is issued or while the pandemic lasts, ”he added.
In addition, he added that the regulations do not establish a consequence for their non-compliance, so it will be regulated “by the general regulations that establish that the Ministry of Labor can sanction the company”.
“No having regulated the situation within 180 days, it is very unlikely that it will sanction any company for not having that fulfilled”, considered the expert.