Trabajo en casa en Colombia

New Remote Working Law in Colombia

The new Remote Working Law (Law 2088) came into force in Colombia on 12th May this year and establishes the duties and rights of workers and employers in regard to this way of working, which has become more and more common over recent times due to the health crisis caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.

The new regulations establish that the case of an employee having to work from home must be considered as an exceptional situation, and the workplace and legal conditions established at the start of the employment contract must not be altered. It is different to teleworking, which was decreed in Law 1221 in 2008, which states that this second way of working is a permanent arrangement, in which the employee is able to work outside of the company’s headquarters, with technological assistance.

Both public and private sector workers, with the exception of those who fall under special constitutional orders, are able to adhere to the remote working regulations, which the law defines as the temporary undertaking of workplace operations or duties outside of the location in which they are usually executed, with preferential use of communication and IT technology.

The law understands that remote working meets the principal fundamentals of the Social State based on Rule of Law and the fundamental rights of the people, with the governing general principals of the Employment Law. In this regard, during the time in which the employee carries out their activities, under the scope of remote working, they will have the right to receive the salaries and social welfare that correspond to their employment status, with these not being altered by the contracting parties.

For the implementation of remote working, the employer must train and develop their employees’ digital skills for the undertaking of their tasks and must also send a written notice of when the remote working period starts, specifying for how long said situation will be implemented. The regulations also state that the employee may use their own equipment and work tools providing that this is in agreement with their employer, if not, the latter must provide all the equipment, software and tools required for remote working. The employer has the power, according to the legal regulations on the matter, to establish liability criteria in regard to access and care for the equipment, as well as the custody and reservation of the information.

The regulations acknowledge workers’ rights, which include two minimum monthly salaries and transport expenses support, this payment is granted under the name digital connectivity support. However, it must be noted that the connectivity and transport support payments are not accruable.

The applicable remote working criteria, according to the regulations, include the harmonious coordination and the constant communication between the employee and employer, where the latter must provide the applicable tools for the reporting, monitoring and assessment of the work. On the other hand, the law establishes within its criteria, that the employee has the right to disconnect, preventing the employer from giving orders or instructions outside of regular working hours, in order to protect the personal, family, and working life of employees.

The implementation of remote working due to exceptional or special circumstances will be extendable for periods of three months, under the same conditions which will remain in force. The regulations will grant the employer the power to unilaterally end this agreement when the circumstances that require said situation are brought to an end.

In terms of social security, the employee will continue to enjoy the same benefits and guarantees established in their employment contract, as well as their association and union rights. The Health and Safety Manager of the company must provide programmes to support the physical and mental health of employees, as well as their workplace safety. Likewise, the employee must also report to the directing authority where the remote working activities will be carried out from.

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