Amendments to the Labour Code

On 29.03.2024 an Act amending and supplementing the Labour Code was promulgated in the State Gazette No 27. The changes entered into force on 01.04.2024. In this article is summarising the most important changes.

  1. Requirements for the content of the employment contract in case of remote work

In addition to the essential elements of the employment relationship (working hours, remuneration, amount of paid annual leave, etc.), the place of remote work shall also be specified in the employment contract. The employee may point out more than one place of remote work (the hybrid model – working from home and from the employer’s office). Upon request of the employee, the employer may allow amendment of the distant workplace for up to 30 working days per year. The amendments also oblige the employee to provide a workplace that allows the work to be carried out without risk to health and safety.

  1. Obligation for the provision of information

An employee who performs remote work must provide the employer with written information about the characteristics of the workplace. On the basis of the information received, the employer will be able to evaluate whether the workplace may be used for fulfilment of the work required and whether it corresponds to the rules and regulations on occupational safety and health established by the company.

  1. Employer’s financial liability

The liability of employers in the event of an occupational accident where the employee who performs remote work has failed to comply with prescribed occupational health and safety rules and regulations is reduced.

  1. Requirements regarding information systems to assign and report work

Where the employer uses such systems, the respective information shall be provided to the employees. Hence, the employees may avail of the possibility to request a human review of automated decisions taken when they affect employees’ rights.

  1. Right to uninterrupted rest

The changes introduce the so-called “right to disconnect”, i.e. the employee’s right not to communicate electronically with the employer during regulated time-offs, in order to avoid disrupting statutory rest periods and to improve work-life balance opportunities. Conditions under which this is permissible may be agreed in the individual employment contract.

  1. Employers’ responsibility for guaranteeing employees’ remuneration in the case of subcontracting chains

Joint liability for guaranteeing the payment of an employee’s remuneration is introduced by the new regulations and it applies to the contractor and the subcontractor under a service contract where the subcontractor acts as employer. The contractor shall not be liable where it has accurately and in good faith performed or is performing its obligations under the contract with the subcontractor.

  1. Changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act

In order to guarantee the rights of employees with regard to health and safety at work when working remotely, changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act have been adopted.

In accordance with the amendments, the employer’s obligations to (i) provide occupational health and safety and equal protection from occupational hazards to employees who work remotely; (ii) provide employees who work remotely with the necessary information about the risks to their health and safety and the measures to be taken to eliminate, reduce or control those risks; and (iii) provide instruction and training to employees who work remotely, are explicitly regulated.