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New changes regarding remote work in 2023 - how to prepare for them?

New changes regarding remote work in 2023 - how to prepare for them?

According to 92% of respondents, remote work is characterized by high efficiency - according to the Antal report "Work model and employee efficiency and satisfaction". With the growing popularity of this work model, you also need to prepare for legal changes in its field.

On April 7, 2023, new regulations setting out the requirements for remote work will come into force. The Labor Code will be expanded to include regulations concerning e.g. rules for performing work in such a model, possible inspections, the so-called on-demand remote work or the employer's refusal to do so. How should employers prepare for them? 

How to reach a compromise on the home office? 

Remote work can be performed both full-time and part-time, e.g. on certain days of the week. The place of its performance will be indicated by the employee, but it will have to be agreed with the employer. A certain group of privileged employees has been envisaged, for whom the employer will be obliged to accept the request for remote work. These include: a pregnant employee, a parent of a disabled child, an employee taking care of relatives. It will be possible to refuse such an employee only if it is not possible to perform remote work due to the type of work or its organization. Reasons for refusal should be indicated in writing. 

The employer may impose remote work in two situations. The first is the period of application of the state of emergency, state of epidemic threat or state of epidemic and within 3 months after their cancellation. The second is the inability to ensure safe and hygienic working conditions at the employee's current workplace due to force majeure. Here, the employee must submit a statement immediately before issuing the order that he has the premises and technical conditions to perform remote work. The employer may withdraw the order to perform remote work at least two days in advance - explains Paulina Szewczyk, Managing Consultant Antal, Engineering & Operations.

According to the amendment, the employee, at his request, will be entitled to 24 days of the so-called home office. Only an employee may request occasional work outside the office. The need to introduce the institution of occasional remote work was justified by the legislator with the interest of an employee who, due to special circumstances, cannot perform work in a permanent place (as examples of circumstances he mentioned the need to care for a family member or going to another town to settle personal matters). 

What employer should remember? 

It is the employer's responsibility to provide the employee with the necessary tools to perform the job. The question of what tools the employer must provide to employees working remotely depends on the specific situation and type of work. 

Necessary materials and work tools include technical equipment and materials closely related to the performance of official duties, i.e. primarily a computer, access to the Internet, paper for printing (if the employee sends letters on his own), a business telephone (if the essential part of the performance of official duties requires a telephone). If it is not possible to provide tools, the employee and the employer may agree on the rules for the use of work materials and tools by the employee. Only the costs of energy and telecommunication services are obligatory, while the employer is not obliged to cover e.g. 

When determining the amount of the equivalent or lump sum, it is mandatory to take into account the standards of consumption of materials and work tools, including technical devices, their documented market prices and the amount of material used for the employer's needs and market prices of this material. 

How to effectively prepare for changes - RPO and contracting 

The new regulations require companies to introduce business equipment, often new software, and adjust onboarding procedures. This rapid and dynamic transformation in the law forces HR departments to take some drastic measures, as companies and organizations have very little time to adapt to the upcoming changes. The introduction of new regulations regarding remote work is a huge, but important step to take. The need to take quick action by internal HR may disrupt daily duties and the planned strategy of acquiring candidates. Therefore, it is worth reaching for help from external companies that can help in two ways: 

  • RPO service (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) - handing over the entire recruitment process to an external recruiter or Rent a Recruiter - including an additional employee in the activities of the department (for a while) who will use his expertise to improve the work of internal HR 

By hiring an experienced recruiter or an entire team, the company effectively optimizes its processes. Not only does she gain access to more specialists on the market, but she is also provided with consultancy, administrative support and assistance in all HR processes for her individual needs. Thanks to the expert knowledge of the delegated consultant, his knowledge of the market, specialization and access to a wide database of candidates and networking network, you can shorten the time needed to close the recruitment process by reaching candidates passive on the market faster and more effectively. A fixed monthly payment in the form of a subscription also means a lower fee for employing an employee, depending on the contract - explains Sebastian Sala, Business Unit Director Antal, SSC/BPO.

  • Outsourcing / contracting service - a service provided by an external company that delegates the desired specialists and experts to the company - the supplier is responsible for salaries, regulations and issues related to the labor code and the client pays only to the contracting / outsourcing company 

To relieve internal departments, it is worth considering staff outsourcing. It is the separation of certain functions from the organizational structure of the company so far performed within it and transferring them to an external supplier for performance. 

Outsourcing offers many opportunities which, with the upcoming changes, can largely support internal HR departments and employers. A number of benefits include saving time and money. External contracting companies often have ready resources and databases of potential candidates/contractors. They deal with all contracts, payroll calculations, maintaining satisfaction, development paths, payroll policy, training and holidays. In addition, a company using such a service may gain access to tools that its internal policy does not provide. Thanks to a number of benefits resulting from personnel outsourcing, the employer can be sure that any changes, such as the correct settlement of remote work, will be implemented correctly and effectively - comments Dominik Kalinowski, Head of Outsourcing Antal.

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