Job Safety in Case of Remote Work

Mariana Petcu

9 minutes read

Health and safety at work, including remote work and hybrid work.

In the context of the pandemic, Romania has witnessed a genuine explosion of remote work or teleworking, as defined in the Romanian legislation.

According to Eurofound, in July 2020 the percentage of those working remotely in our country had reached 22 – 24%, as opposed to less than 1% in 2019.

Work from home is regulated by the Labor Code under Title II, Chapter IX, and the rules for carrying out the activity by the employee in the teleworking regime are provided by Law no. 81/2018 on the regulation of the teleworking activity.

If we refer to working from home, which can also have the characteristics of teleworking, it is closely related to one’s level of education, but also to the quality of housing.

According to Eurostat 2019 statistics, almost 45.8% of the Romanian population lives in overcrowded housing, which in many situations makes it difficult for employees who work from home to perform their work duties.

An alternative that can solve this inconvenience is the special arrangement of spaces meant for carrying out the daily activities of an employee or where different business meetings, workshops, seminars, etc. can take place. On the Romanian market, you can find such solutions, including through the remote.pluria.co network.

Health and safety at work, the remote system

In most cases, remote work or teleworking involves tasks that are performed at the office through the use of electronic equipment. This is why it is considered that it poses very few risks from the perspective of health and safety at work (OSH). However, employers are required by law to ensure the protection of employees.

The alternative offered by companies that provide spaces for remote work also presents the solution to problems related to OSH insurance. Those who make such spaces available could be an extra guarantee for compliance with optimal working conditions.

If the employees’ work is not carried out in their own offices, according to Law no. No 81/2018, employers should at least assume the following obligations:

  • to provide the means of information and communication technology and/or the safe work equipment necessary for work completion, unless the parties agree otherwise;
  • install, check and maintain the necessary work equipment, unless the parties agree otherwise;
  • ensure that the teleworker receives sufficient and appropriate training in the field of health and safety at work, in particular in the form of information and working instructions specific to the workplace and the use of display screen equipment: when hiring, when changing the place of work, when teleworking, when introducing new work equipment, when introducing any new working procedure;
  • to inform the teleworker about the provisions of the legal regulations, of the applicable collective labor agreement, and/or the internal regulation, in the field of personal data protection.

Obligations of employees

In turn, the remote employee or the teleworker has at least the following obligations from an OSH perspective:

  • to inform the employer of the work equipment used and of the current conditions where the telework activity is carried out and to allow him access, as far as possible, in order to establish and carry out the necessary health and safety measures at work, in accordance with the clauses of the individual employment contract, or to investigate the events;
  • not to change the work safety and health conditions of the places where the teleworking activity is carried out;
  • use only work equipment which does not pose a danger to his safety and health;
  • to carry out his activity in compliance with the provisions on the obligations of workers, as laid down in the Law on Safety and Health at Work 319/2006, as subsequently amended, as well as in accordance with the clauses of the individual employment contract;
  • to comply with the specific rules and restrictions established by the employer about the internet networks used or the use of the equipment made available;
  • to comply with the provisions of the legal regulations on the protection of personal data.

Additional recommendations for employers

If you fall into this category, it is advisable to also perform the following actions:

  • a re-assessment of remote workplace risks from an OSH perspective in case of changes in the respective location(s);
  • even if there have been no changes in remote work locations, it is good to check the OSH risk assessment by the specialist officer at least once a year;
  • before hiring a person in the remote system, make sure that the person in question also has the necessary skills for the specifics of this work;
  • make sure that those in decision-making positions have the necessary skills and resources to coordinate the work of subordinates from afar.

Have you ever thought that giving employees the opportunity to work in spaces specially designed for remote work, located near their home, and equipped with everything they need, could be a way to motivate and loyalize them?


[1] According to the format of the individual telework contract in 2020.

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Written by Mariana Petcu

Contributor

I am a person interested in both: the mysteries of the deep past and the unlimited possibilities of the future. I am very optimistic by nature and I trust very much in the progress of the humanity. I am ready to get involved in activities helping people to adapt to the rapid changes that we all experience in the present and I do hope to bring my contribution as much as possible. I have a significant working experience doubled by a permanent wish to up-date, I love people, I fixe myself objectives that I can finalise and I have a sharp sense of humour.

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