Work from home
The amendment has introduced new rules related to regular working from home, which are adapted to the needs of the practice.
The employer and employee must agree on working from home in the employment agreement. Such work does not necessarily need to be performed from the employee's home; it can be performed at any agreed place outside the employer's workplace. It is also possible to agree that the employee will determine unilaterally the place where the work will be performed.
One of the most important changes is that the employer may determine the working hours of an employee working from home. However, the parties still have the option to agree that the employees will determine the working time themselves, in which case the employee would not be entitled to payments for certain obstacles to work and certain salary premiums.
New obligations on the part of the employer were also introduced, in particular the obligation to reimburse provably increased expenses of the employee in relation to the use of the employee's own equipment, or the obligations aimed at preventing the isolation of the employee by allowing them access to the workplace, and allowing him/her access to training to the same extent as that of employees working at the employer's workplace.
The right of the employee to disconnect was also introduced. In practice, during non-working time (e.g., during vacation, weekends, etc.) the employee would not be obligated to check his/her work e-mail or answer their work mobile phone. In addition, the employer cannot discriminate against employees working from home.
We strongly recommend reviewing and updating your current agreements regarding working from home.
Financial contribution for meals
The employer will be able to provide the financial contribution for meals to a broader number of employees. Any employer that does not provide meals in its own catering facility, or in the catering facility of another employer, must allow its employees to choose between traditional meal vouchers or a financial contribution for meals, which will be exempt from tax, social security and health insurance contributions. The employee will be bound by his/her choice of meal vouchers or financial contribution for meals for twelve months.
We strongly recommend adopting an internal regulation with details on the selection process and implementation of the employer's obligations.
Dispute over trade union organization
The employer is newly able to obtain a formal confirmation whether a trade union has a sufficient number of employees to operate at the employer. An independent arbiter can be appointed to resolve the issue, the ruling of such arbiter would generally be valid for twelve months.
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We will continue to keep you updated on any major developments that may impact your business.
In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments.