Employers will have to pay a minimum compensation of 28 euros per month to each of their employees who are teleworking, according the first ministerial decision of its kind signed by Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis.
The decision will implement the recently passed legislation on labor, and sets the minimum amount for covering the cost of equipment, telecom services and use of the domestic working space.
Notably, that compensation cannot be paid instead of the worker’s salary, as it constitutes expenditure in cases where working from home has been agreed between the employer and the employee, either upon hiring or at a later point in time.
The decision specifically determines that every month employers must pay their teleworkers at least €13 for the use of domestic working space, €10 for covering the cost of telecommunication connectivity, and €5 for equipment maintenance.
The minimum amount of compensation has been determined based on a special cost study implemented by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the ministry. It represents the application of the recent labor law that for the first time laid down the terms, conditions, rights and obligations of people engaged in teleworking.
The decision clarifies that working remotely has to follow an agreement between the employer and the employee, with the exception of reasons of public health or if a worker’s health is at risk; in those cases the employer is obliged to accept a request from employees to work from home (barring any other serious factors).
Of course despite the major increase in teleworking over the two Covid-19 lockdowns, this system of employment is currently only used by major enterprises such as service and technology providers, banks and enterprises with commercial activities.
According to the latest figures, which date to August, in Attica alone the number of employees working remotely amounted to 122,082, while in the rest of the country the number of teleworkers came to just 14,002.
The ministerial decision dictates that the compensation for telecom costs not be paid if the employer covers them directly via a separate contract with the internet supplier.