Working from home still represents one of the most important measures to flatten and contain the COVID-19 epidemic. However, a relaxation of the current measures regarding teleworking is not yet a reality, and the question also arises as to what extent teleworking will continue to be part of the work landscape after Corona. That's why we're once again briefly outlining the main principles of teleworking for you.
1. CLA Telework
Since the beginning of this year, a CLA came into effect for companies that have not yet established telework policies or agreement frameworks. This CLA imposes some minimum rules that employers and employees must adhere to when initiating telework in the company during the corona era. However, it seems likely that even after the corona era, these rules will be declared applicable as a general telework framework.
The CLA stipulates that the employer must lay down certain agreements with his personnel, specifically as regards the following matters:
- The equipment the employee uses to telecommute: Does the employer provide equipment or is an expense reimbursed ?
- Working hours: Should the same hours be respected as in the office or will deviations be allowed?
- (Un)availability and (un)accessibility: When should the employee be available/available?
- Check: In what ways will the employee be monitored for his/her performance?
- Wellbeing at Work: How should work at home be organized in a safe and healthy way?
The employer must clearly communicate the agreements made on the above matters to its employees. This can be done, for example, via e-mail, but also via the company intranet or via (digital) meetings.
It is noteworthy that the CLA itself does not provide for sanctions. However, the Social Penal Code does provide for a fine for companies that do not lay down rules on teleworking, and this regardless of the nature of the homework. In the first instance, however, many companies can expect a warning.
2. Telework action plan
The Flemish government has also drawn up an action plan to guide employers and employees towards sustainable teleworking. With this action plan it wishes to inform, sensitize and support. One of the pillars of this action plan is a subsidy for Flemish companies to finance a training course on teleworking. Companies that intend to make use of this can apply for ESF support until April 30.
Examples of eligible courses:
- Problem-solving skills in digital environments
- organizing webinars
- learning to work with digital collaboration platforms
- online collaboration
- efficient online meetings and consultations
- digital networking
- communicate online
- Maintaining commitment while telecommuting
- remote management
Training must continue between 01/09/2021 and 30/11/2022.
Financial support consists of a 50% intervention in eligible training costs and is up to 80,000 euros.
Teleworking is now an integral part of our working environment, however much many people long for the good old office hours. Regardless of whether the CLA can be considered permanent, it is certainly advisable to set up a sophisticated home working policy. Good agreements make good friends, even when working from home.
Do you need advice on how to best frame these rules or do you need more information on the subsidies that are available for telework? Feel free to contact our social and subsidy experts via the number 051 26 82 68 or via e-mail to email@example.com.