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Settlement of remote work. An employers’ nightmare? “We’re in for some chaos”

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The latest amendment to the Labor Code provides that the employee will have the right to demand reimbursement of part of the energy costs from the employer. In the opinion of the experts of the Northern Chamber of Commerce in Szczecin, it will be a nightmare for employers and companies either “they will drown in their bills or they will give up remote work completely”.

In the opinion of experts from the Northern Chamber of Commerce in Szczecin, the change in the Labor Code introducing a refund for part of the employee’s electricity bill may mean the end remote work. In the communiqué issued by the Chamber, we can read that the draft does not simplify the issue of settlement and may potentially complicate the subject.

– During the pandemic, remote work was booming. After three years, we see that entrepreneurs avoid it as much as possible. Of course, hybrid work is used in many situations, and the act opens the door to it more widely. However, I think that for many companies it is a last resort, not an element of a permanent organization – says Anna Sudolska, an expert on the labor market, quoted in the release.

Settlement of remote work is a problem for lawyers and HR departments

The Northern Chamber of Commerce indicates that the popularity of remote work among employers is declining. Most entrepreneurs in the region have already ordered a return to their offices and three years after the outbreak of the pandemic, only a fraction of companies use remote work on a regular basis.

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The Chamber considers the amendment to the Labor Code to be a late draft and estimates that even more entrepreneurs may be discouraged by the rules for settling employee costs introduced in it.

– Employers are wondering how to settle the equivalent for remote work, how to settle employee costs or at what level to set a possible lump sum. It has been assumed that the cost of an hour of computer work at home can be estimated at about PLN 0.30 per hour. We are talking about energy consumption. On the scale of a whole day or week, we are talking about amounts of a few or a dozen zlotys – says Marek Jarosiewicz, attorney at Wódkiewicz & Sosnowski.

In Jarosiewicz’s opinion, the first months of the act’s functioning will be problematic for law firms and HR departments.

– In many companies, organizational regulations are already being changed quickly, so that employees have clear guidelines on what the possibility of remote work or hybrid work looks like – adds the lawyer.

Read also: The employer will add to the electricity bill. Here is the possible amount

Amendment of the Labor Code. Changes needed but overdue

In the opinion of experts from the Chamber, the effect of the proposed changes is that entrepreneurs “or they will drown in papers, bills and applications to be settled sent by employees or give up remote work altogether.

– This is not an easy situation, because entrepreneurs will not want to receive bills for energy or gas from their employees. So it will be easier to block remote work than to make your life difficult by settling it, predicts Anna Sudolska.

– Remote work in many companies has not worked out and entrepreneurs assess it either neutrally or negatively. This is due to the assessment of effectiveness or problems with teambuilding and creating well-cooperating teams – adds Sudolska.

Łukasz Żak, a lawyer and labor market expert, states that the proposed changes are needed, but at the same time very late. A certain fact related to remote work has been sorted out.

– The control aspect is important here: is the employee sober while working remotely? Does he perform his work in the place he declares? This is important from a security point of view. It is a tool for controlling remote work, which can make it more appreciated by employers and make it more effective, says Żak, adding that regulations regarding employee-employer relations are never easy.

We are in for a period of chaosthe employer will take care of optimizing work efficiency, and employees will certainly strive to ensure that remote work remains in companies – adds Łukasz Żak.

Read also: The employer will add to the electricity bill. Here is the possible amount

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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