The European Agreement on Telework: Making Way for a New Way of Working
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of telework has gained immense popularity. Teleworking, also known as remote working or telecommuting, involves working from home or any location outside the traditional office environment. The increasing adoption of telework has led to significant changes in the way we work, with governments and organizations recognizing its benefits and adopting telework policies and regulations.
One such regulation is the European Agreement on Telework, which was signed in 2002 by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises Providing Public Services (CEEP). The agreement defines telework as “a form of organizing and/or performing work, using information technology, in the context of an employment contract/relationship, where work, which could also be performed at the employer`s premises, is carried out away from those premises on a regular basis.”
The agreement aims to establish a legal framework for telework across Europe and to ensure that teleworkers receive equal treatment to office-based workers. It recognizes the importance of maintaining work-life balance, ensuring the health and safety of teleworkers, and providing appropriate training and support.
The agreement also highlights the need for employers to provide teleworkers with the necessary equipment, such as computers and telecommunication devices, as well as to ensure that they have access to the same information and training as office-based workers. Employers are also required to compensate teleworkers for expenses incurred when working remotely, such as electricity and internet bills.
Besides these requirements, the agreement also emphasizes the importance of clear communication between teleworkers and their employers. It specifies that teleworkers should have access to the same communication channels as office-based workers and should be included in all relevant meetings and decision-making processes.
The European Agreement on Telework is an essential step towards promoting the adoption of telework across Europe. By providing a legal framework for telework, it offers a greater level of protection to both workers and employers. Telework can provide significant benefits, such as increased productivity, reduced commuting time and expenses, and lower carbon emissions. However, it also poses challenges, such as ensuring proper communication, avoiding isolation and ensuring the mental and physical well-being of teleworkers.
In conclusion, the European Agreement on Telework is a crucial step towards achieving a more flexible and sustainable way of working. As telework gains more popularity, it is important for governments and organizations to adopt policies and regulations that protect the interests of teleworkers while ensuring smooth operations for employers. Adopting and implementing the principles and guidelines of the European Agreement on Telework can help achieve this objective and pave the way for a new era of work.