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LEGAL REGULATION OF TELEWORK IN THE EU AND UKRAINE

24.06.2019 22:45

[Секція 3. Цивільне та сімейне право. Цивільне процесуальне право. Комерційне право. Житлове право. Зобов’язальне право. Міжнародне приватне право. Трудове право та право соціального забезпечення]

Автор: Arkhipova Kateryna, student of The Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University 5th year of study. 2nd group


Taking into account the scientific and technological progress and trends in the development of the information society, the standard forms of employment are less and less in demand, which increases the number of unemployed. In connection with this, there is a need for new non-standard forms of employment that would be able to modernize the labor market and labor relations. One of these is teleworking, which is the current one the pace of life of individuals. This form of employment increases the availability of labor for many categories of people (pensioners, disabled people, pregnant women, etc.), eliminates geographical difficulties (due to the Internet and other means of communication), social tension. Moreover, the employee can personally form his working regime, perform a labor function in convenient conditions, which positively reflects on its productivity and efficiency. Regarding the employer, his benefit is minimization the cost of maintaining the staff, renting an office space, paying for utilities, purchasing the necessary equipment, and so on.

The European Framework Agreement on Telework of 2002 defines Telework in article 2: «Telework is a form of organizing and/or performing work, using information technology, in the context of an employment contract/ relationship, where work, which could also be performed at the employer’s premises, is carried out away from those premises on a regular basis» [1]. Although this definition is broad, it captures the main idea behind telework which is work flexibility in space and time.

In view of the above, the main features of the telework are:

• firstly, this is a job outside the employer's location – outside of industrial or administrative premises, office, separate structural subdivisions, stationary workplaces, outside the territory or object, which are directly or indirectly under the control of the employer;

• secondly, telework involves using of information technology for fulfillment of the employee's labor function.

The number of teleworkers is growing around the world today. Europe is far behind US with regards to teleworking, however the trend is visibly increasing every year. Over the decade, the amount of people conducting work outside of employer’s premises has increased from 11.8% in 2006 to 14.5% in 2015. Every year the percentage was continuously increasing. It should be remembered that diffusion of telework and smart working in Europe is very unequal. As reported by Eurofound in 2017, the average is about 17% (sum of regular and occasional teleworkers), but in some countries there are peaks over 30% and in others – including Italy – teleworkers are below 10% [2].

Since I am from Ukraine and today the political course of my country is aimed at European integration, I would like to say a few words about teleworking in my country. First of all, we should note that in Ukraine, the phenomenon of teleworking is in its infancy, although, as we understand, in many countries of the world it has already become widespread and represents a serious competition with typical forms of employment.

Unfortunately, this form of employment is not regulated in the labor legislation of Ukraine. Although certain provisions regarding the performance of work at home are contained in the Regulations on the working conditions of homeworkers, approved by the Decree of the State Committee of the USSR and the Secretariat of the All-Union Center for Economic Cooperation and Development on September 29, 1981, No. 275 / 17-99. The draft of the new Labor Code of Ukraine also attempts to consolidate the norm on home work, which can be noted as a positive moment, which requires more in-depth study. In art. 44 «The condition of working at home» states that at the conclusion of an employment contract or later, the parties may agree on the performance of work by the employee at home (home work) if he has the necessary conditions for this that meet the requirements of labor protection, fire safety and sanitation. In addition, this norm regulates the issue of compensation for the use of own property, which the employee uses in the work and compensation by the employer of the costs associated with its depreciation [3].

So, summing up, we can note that teleworking employment of workers is an extremely necessary form of labor relations in a market economy. In 2002 The European Framework Agreement was signed by the social partners. The agreement aims at establishing a general framework at European level concerning the employment conditions of teleworkers and at reconciling the needs for flexibility and security shared by employers and workers. It grants teleworkers the same overall level of protection as workers who carry out their activities at the employer's premises. European Framework Agreement on Telework is not incorporated into directive, which results in diverse implementation across the countries. 

As for Ukraine, the segment of the remote Ukrainian labor market is only being formed, but it should be facilitated by the necessary legal, institutional, political measures to ensure the legitimacy of teleworking employment and the creation of conditions for its effective use. Therefore, the urgent need for legislative consolidation of teleworking has become obvious in my country. The effectiveness of overcoming «gaps» in the legal regulation of these relations in the future will help to increase employment and reduce the level of the unemployed. In my opinion, it is necessary to resolve the issue of teleworking in the Law of Ukraine «On Employment of the Population» and to provide for appropriate chapters in the new Labor Code of Ukraine.

References: 

1. The European Framework Agreement on Telework // website: https://www.etuc.org/en/framework-agreement-telework

2. Eurofound, Work–life balance and flexible working arrangements in the European Union, Eurofound, Dublin, 2017

3. Проект Трудового кодексу України, реєстр. № 2902, текст законопроекту від 27.08.2013 р. ( Draft Labor Code of Ukraine) // website: http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=46746 



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