Amendments of the Labour Act – home office

As a result of the development of the modern labour market, amendments to the Labour Act were introduced, which we wrote about earlier in our articles. Amendments to the Act provide more quality and modern legal framework that guarantees better conditions for employees. The Act is scheduled to enter into force on January 1, 2023.

CONFIDA Croatia provides an overview of one of the most significant changes  – the possibility of working from a separate location (home office).

Work from home (at a separate workplace)

With the adopted amendments to the Act, work from home can be performed as permanent, temporary, or occasional if, based on the proposal of the employee or employer, the employee and the employer agree on such type of work, provided that the nature of the work and the low risk determined in accordance with the regulations on occupational safety, that enables. An employee who works in the employer’s premises, in order to harmonize work, family obligations and personal needs, can propose to the employer an amendment to the employment contract, which would regulate work from home for a certain period of time, especially for:

  1. health protection due to diagnosed illness or established disability,
  2. pregnancy or parental obligations towards children until the child reaches eight years old and
  3. providing personal care to a member of the immediate family or a member of the household.

In the event of extraordinary circumstances resulting from disease epidemics, earthquakes, floods and similar phenomena, the employer may, in order to continue business activities and protect the health and safety of the employees and other persons, agree to work from home without changing the employment contract with the employee. In case such work lasts longer than 30 days from the beginning of the extraordinary circumstances, the employer is obliged to offer the employee an employment contract with mandatory content in the event of work at a separate workplace.

Obligations and rights of employees who work at a separate workplace

In case of an employee’s request to the employer to amend the employment contract by which work from home would be regulated, the employer is obliged to respond to the employee, and he can reject the request for a justified reason only, which must be explained in writing to the employee, no later than 30 days after receiving the proposal.

An employee who has agreed with the employer amendment of the employment contract temporarily may propose to the employer that, before the expiry of the time for which the amended employment contract was concluded, he performs the work again at the employer’s premises.

Obligations and rights of employers towards employees who work at a separate workplace

 The salary and other material rights of the employees who work at a different workplace must not be set at a lower amount than the salary of an employee who works in the employer’s premises on the same or similar job. The employer is obliged to adjust the amount and deadlines for the execution of work in a way that does not prevent the employee from using daily, weekly, and annual leave within the established scope. The employer has the right to enter the premises of the employee’s home or any other premises about which the employee has informed the employer, for the purpose of maintaining equipment or carrying out predetermined supervision related to the employee’s working conditions, if this is agreed between the employee and the employer and only at the specific time agreed with the employee.

Mandatory content of the employment contract in case of work at a separate workplace

An employment contract concluded in writing, by which the employer and the employee agree to work at a separate workplace, in addition to the information from Article 15 of the Labour Act, must also contain additional information about:

  1. the organization of work that enables the availability of employees and their unhindered access to business space, information and professional communication with other workers and the employer, as well as third parties in the business process,
  2. the method of recording working hours,
  3. means of work for the performance of work that the employer is obliged to acquire, install and maintain,
  4. compensation for expenses incurred due to the performance of work, which the employer is obliged to compensate to the employee if the work at a separate workplace is contracted as permanent or in a case when the period of work at a separate workplace lasts longer than 15 working days continuously,
  5. the method of training and professional development of the employees,
  6. the way of exercising the right to employees’ participation in the decision-making process, and
  7. duration of work at a separate workplace.

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