The Spanish Workers Statute is a legislative code applicable to employees who, on a voluntary basis, provide paid services within the scope of organization and management of an employer. Therefore, its main objective is to establish a regulation of the employment relationship between the employer and the employee that arises from the signing of an employment contract.
The European Framework Agreement on Teleworking, of July 16, 2002, defines teleworking as a form of organization and/or performance of work, using information technology in the framework of a contract or performance of work, in which work that could also be carried out on company premises is carried out outside these premises on a regular basis.
The change to teleworking does not affect the employment status of the workers, but only modifies the way in which the work is carried out. Since the company can voluntarily offer the staff teleworking, if an employee who meets the requirements of teleworking accepts the offer, and the company then denies it, they will have to do so in a justified manner.
Recent pandemic brought to light a different way of working with its specific issues, the Spanish Workers’ Statute on frontpage due to this new trend.
For example, if an employee has a role in the company that, despite meeting the requirements for choosing teleworking, their presence at the premises is absolutely necessary for any reason (let’s say, the secretary at the entrance to open the door to greet people that want to enter the company), the company should justify their decision not to concede teleworking to that employee. So, the worker’s role within the company may require them to stay at the premises.
On the other hand, it is acceptable to move from teleworking to the traditional working modality in the company facilities as long as the teleworking had not been agreed in the initial contract, but in a subsequent agreement, and always by individual agreement or collective one (European Framework Agreement on Telework 16-7-02 art.3).
Teleworking allows a variety of work activities – even full-time – for those who are in a situation of absolute permanent disability or highly disabled. Therefore, teleworking is configured as an incentive for the desirable social reintegration of workers with diminished capacity.
If the company and the worker agree on the teleworking modality, such agreement must be made in writing.
By law, remote workers also have the same rights as those who provide their services at the company’s workplace. Only those rights that are required to be carried-out in the employer’s offices are excluded. For example, the concept of overtime and the employer’s obligation to pay them are exactly the same in the case of teleworking as in the case of face-to-face work in company facilities.