How does the Telework Law affect architects?
The architects They have a profession in which it is convenient to know the new Telework Law. The experience of confinement as a result of the Covid 19 virus has forced measures and social changes that were beginning to take their steps to be accelerated. Due to this, the Spanish government released on September 22 the new Telework Law. After months of negotiations with the employers and the unions. The question is how the telework law will affect the Construction sector and specifically the world of architects.
The digital economy arising from the internet laid the foundations for the emergence of remote jobs in the 2010s, allowing global access to certain jobs. Initially it was implemented in very specific and highly qualified profiles. Gradually expanding its implementation as organization systems and computer media were developed.
Architects and the Telework Law
The case of architecture is an example of a profession that has been transformed with the use of new technologies. The architects have great possibilities of teleworking, being affected by the new law. It has gone from drawing by hand, to drawing on a computer, from line to bit. And this computerization of the profession allows the use of new technologies to distribute work. This depends on the organization of work groups in a virtual way and the control of tasks remotely. We can name certain advantages and disadvantages of teleworking in architects:
Advantages and disadvantages of teleworking for architects
- Reduction of fixed office costs
- Disappearance of labor territorial limits
- Possibility of unlimited expansion of studio jobs
- Car use reduction
- Schedule freedom
- Efficiency and use of time
- Need for specialized management software to organize tasks and review them online
- Need to establish control protocols to distribute work equitably
- Lack of an appropriate environment for teleworking by workers
- Goal control organization
BACKGROUND TO THE NEW LAW
We can establish the origin of the legislation on teleworking in the European Framework Agreement on Telework, signed IN 2002 by the European Trade Union Confederation (CES), the Union of Confederations of Industry and Entrepreneurs of Europe (UNICE), the European Union of Crafts and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UNICE / UEAPME) and the Center European Public Enterprise (CEEP). Being revised in 2009, in order to give more security to employed teleworkers in the EU.
Subsequently, in Spanish legislation, the Law 3/2012, of July 6, of urgent measures for the reform of the labor market, modified the order of the traditional work at home to accommodate distance work based on the intensive use of new technologies. Establishing the first specific regulations for Telework, taking shape as a modality of remote work.
In the Organic Law 3/2018, of December 5and, Protection of Personal Data and guarantee of digital rights, digital rights are expressly established for the first time, such as: The right to privacy and use of digital devices in the workplace and the right to digital disconnection.
Teleworking is also promoted in General Guidelines of the National Strategy against the Demographic Challenge, approved by the Council of Ministers on March 29, 2019. This rule should serve to make possible the opportunity to reverse the depopulation of rural areas, mainly due to the lack of local employment.
NEWS OF THE TELEWORKING LAW
The new law specifies the legislation on Telework, which was insufficient as it was proposed. Teleworking being included in article 13 of the Status of workers.
In which cases will it be applied?
The law will apply to activities carried out remotely for a period of 3 months and a minimum of 30% of the day. In other words, for a contract of 40 hours a week, telework will be considered when it is carried out at least one and a half days remotely.
The agreement establishes the voluntary nature of distance work, which will be established between the employer and the worker, making it possible for both parties to return to the face-to-face work situation. On the other hand, the worker may not be forced to telework, although he may not claim to do so either. Not being a cause for dismissal, reject teleworking.
How will they control our work?
The company may adopt the measures it deems appropriate for the surveillance and control of its workers, including video surveillance, as long as the regulations regarding data protection are complied with. On the other hand, the right to digital disconnection is established. In other words, the limitation of the use of digital media during rest periods, ensuring the worker's rest.
In the case of training jobs, teleworking can only be done if a minimum of 50% of the day in person.
Remote work agreement
An agreement will be established in writing of distance work between worker and employer. This agreement will later be sent to the employment office. The following minimum points are established for the agreement:
a) Inventory of the means, equipment and tools required to carry out the concerted remote work, including consumables and furniture, as well as the useful life or maximum period for their renewal.
b) Enumeration of the expenses that the worker may have due to the fact of providing services at a distance, as well as a way to quantify the compensation that the company must pay and the moment and form to carry it out, which will correspond, if any , with the provision contained in the applicable collective agreement or agreement.
c) Working hours of the worker and within it, where appropriate, availability rules.
d) Percentage and distribution between work face-to-face and remote work, if applicable.
e) Work center of the company to which the remote worker is assigned and where, where appropriate, they will carry out the face-to-face part of the working day.
f) Work place distance chosen by the worker for the development of distance work.
g) Duration of notice periods for the exercise of reversibility situations, if applicable.
h) Means of control of business activity.
i) Procedure to follow in the event of technical difficulties that prevent the normal development of remote work.
j) Instructions issued by the company, with the participation of the legal representation of the workers, in matters of data protection, specifically applicable in remote work.
k) Instructions issued by the company, prior information to the legal representation of the workers, on information security, specifically applicable in remote work.
l) Duration of the distance work agreement.
Conclusion Architects and teleworking
We can conclude that in the case of architects, the telework law does not affect us to an excessive level in the short term. Since it does not establish any obligation to assume this way of working. But it opens a regulation that did not exist in the future, providing means to those who wish to assume this type of labor relationship. It must be taken into account that the technical means already exist and that the figures of the companies underpin teleworking as the most efficient option. But you cannot change the habits of millions of people in the short term, social inertia forces a transition period that will last for years.