How to organize remote work during the adverse epidemiological situation?

03/04/2020
How to organize remote work during the adverse epidemiological situation?

During the adverse epidemiological situation caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, remote work is significant as a measure against the spread of infection.

In the Republic of Belarus the term “remote work” was firstly enshrined in the legislation in Chapter 251 of the Labour code of Belarus as from January 28, 2020.

Remote work is work carried out by an employee using, for work and interaction with the employer, information and communication technologies outside the employer’s location (Article 3071 of the Labour code of Belarus).

Who can carry out remote work?

The list of employees who can carry out remote work is not limited.  Remote work can be performed by specialists and managers with different qualifications, whose activity is relatively independent, and carried out using information and communication technologies (for example, lawyers, translators, journalists, editors, designers, programmers, etc.). We assume that CEOs of companies and foreigners can carry out remote work, taking into account peculiarities provided for in labour and migration law, as well as preferential regimes, for example in High Tech Park residents.

Employment relationship with a “remote” employee

  • Conclusion of labour agreements with remote employees is allowed only in person.
  • In many other cases, documents which do not require the signature of the employee can be sent via electronic file exchange. In case a written signature of the employee is required, the remote employee can be familiarized with them through electronic document exchange or with a paper copy sent by registered mail with delivery notification for within 2 working days.
  • Place of labour agreement conclusion is the employer’s location.
  • The labour agreement must include an indication on remote work. Other clauses which should be agreed on by employee and employer are provided by Article 3072 of the Labour Code of Belarus.
  • Addendums to the labour agreements can be concluded via electronic document exchange or in person. In case the addendum is concluded with electronic document exchange, a paper copy of the addendum is sent via registered mail with notification delivery within 2 working days.
  • Familiarization of remote employees with the employer’s order on termination of labour agreement can be carried out via electronic document exchange or in person. In case familiarization of employee is carried out with electronic document exchange, the employer must send a paper copy of the termination order with registered letter with notification delivery to the employee on the date of termination.

NB: Electronic document is the document in electronic form with reference details that confirm its integrity and validity. Electronic documents should be certified with one or more electronic digital signatures (hereinafter – EDS) and may contain additional data for EDS verification (Article 1 (16), Article 17 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus № 113-Z dd. 28.12.2009).

Transfer to the remote work
by agreement between parties
on employer’s request

The employer should abide by the requirements provided by Article 32 of the Labour code of Belarus (amendment of essential labour conditions):

  • presence of justified industrial, organizational, and economic reasons;
  • notification of employee not later than 1 month before the amendment of essential labour conditions;
  • employee’s consent on the amendment of essential labour conditions.

Notification and consent of employee on the amendment of essential labour conditions are not required if the employee files corresponding application.


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