The coronavirus pandemic has forced some employers to transfer workers to remote work.

Remote control allowed not to stop work processes – IT workers, accountants, managers, teachers from home solved all the same tasks as in the office. In a survey of Bitrix-24 analysts, 72% of employers in Russia are satisfied with the work of their employees at a distance.

Companies that like this format of work can switch to telecommuting – partially or permanently. We will tell you why and how.

What are the options for remote work

Remote work is called the work of an employee outside the office, that is, not on the territory of the company.

There is no term “remote work” in Russian legislation; instead of it, there is “remote work” in the labor code. In life, these two concepts are perceived as synonyms. However, within the framework of the legal framework, an employer can only draw up an employment contract for remote work.

A person can work remotely according to the law, if the employer concludes with him one of three types of contracts: on remote work, home work, or a civil law contract – GPC.

In Russian legislation, distance work is considered to be work that an employee performs via the Internet and not on the employer’s territory. The employee performs remote work only himself, and the work is intellectual. Art. 312.1 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation

Home work is another concept from the labor code. This is also remote work that an employee performs at home under a contract. Home work involves physical labor and the production of something, and the materials and tools for work are provided by the employer. The homeworker can involve family members in his work. Art. 310 Labor Code of the Russian Federation

A GPC agreement is an agreement to perform work or provide services that is governed by civil, not labor law. Under this contract, a person can perform certain types of services, for example, advise on legal issues.

An employer may be tempted to conclude a service contract instead of a teleworking contract to reduce the tax burden. After all, this makes it possible to save on contributions for sickness and maternity insurance, not to pay for vacations and not to provide other guarantees provided by the labor code. But if an employee regularly performs some duties, and the company controls him and pays wages, then these relations can be recognized as labor relations, even if they are not formalized by an employment contract.

The labor inspectorate can fine an employer-organization for evading an employment contract in the amount of 50,000 R to 100,000 R, and the tax authority will charge additional insurance premiums for the employee and penalties for late payment.

In addition, the employee himself can go to court and receive payments due to him in accordance with the labor code, as well as compensation for legal costs.

How telecommuting is different from office work

When working remotely, the company agrees with the employee how they will interact – by phone, e-mail, messenger. And through these means of communication, the employee receives all the tasks of the employer. Meetings can be held through video communication services, such as “Zoom” or “Skype”, reports are sent electronically.

A remote worker does not need to come to the office even sometimes. Moreover, if the employee has such an obligation, then the employment contract must be reissued into a regular one and the condition on remote work must be removed.

In all other respects, a teleworker is no different from an office worker – he has all labor rights and obligations, he is also entitled to all types of vacations, sick pay, guarantees related to family circumstances.

At the same time, you can work from home, a cafe, a coworking space – from anywhere, as long as there is a stable Internet connection for communication with colleagues.

Pros of telecommuting for the company

A study by the ADP Research Institute shows that telecommuting workers can be more engaged than those who go to work every day. Here’s what else good telecommuting can give employers.

Save your office budget.  When working remotely, the employer significantly saves on rent and cleaning of the office, utility bills and equipment. He does not need to conduct a special assessment of working conditions, spend money on fire safety.

It is not necessary to carry out training and instruction on labor protection with remote workers. True, it is necessary to conduct instructions on working with the equipment, if the employer provides it. h. 2 tbsp. 312.3 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation

There are other costs that the employer no longer has to bear with remote workers, such as drinking water, office supplies and furniture.

Choose a team across the country.  With telecommuting, an employer may not be limited to employees who live in the same city as them. You can hire a person from anywhere in the country and not spend money on moving him to the place where the organization’s office is located.

Reduce labor costs.  The level of salaries in different regions of the country is different, so an employer can find qualified employees for less money. For example, a payroll accountant from the regions may agree to work for 25,000-30,000 RUR per month, while in Moscow you don’t even need to look for a qualified specialist for that kind of money.

Increase job satisfaction.  A remote employee can determine the pace and mode of work himself, unless otherwise provided by the employment contract, and decide how to make his work more productive. He saves time on the road, money on dinners in cafes and on buying office clothes. All this has a positive effect on his job and employer satisfaction.

Remote job risks for the employer

Telecommuting has enough advantages to think about implementing it. Sometimes, as with the coronavirus, it becomes the only option available. But before switching to remote work, the employer should weigh and take into account the possible risks.

Remote is not for everyone.  A payroll accountant can do his job well from home with the appropriate software and remote access. But a hairdresser will not be able to cut a client’s hair remotely, and a master will not fix a Wotsap technique.

It is difficult to dismiss for violation of labor discipline.  On telecommuting, the employer does not directly control the employee’s workplace. This is why it will be difficult to prove that the person was absent, even if they did not get in touch for more than 4 hours.

It is difficult to influence the quality of work.  It is sometimes difficult to achieve the right work environment at home. Especially if the family has small children and pets, or the home environment itself interferes with work. It is difficult for an employer to influence these circumstances, but the poor performance of an employee affects the work of the company as a whole.

You can reduce these risks, for example, by prescribing a probationary period in an employment contract. In three months, you can get to know the employee well and decide whether to continue working with him or not.

There is a risk of employee burnout.  If a person does not know how to control himself or, say, is too responsible for work, forgets to rest and switch, then burnout will not take long. Various tools can help to cope with this, for example, the HR department can make recommendations for employees and their managers.

How to accept a person for remote work

To issue a remote worker, you need to get a standard set of documents from him: passport, SNILS, diploma, work book, if any, military ID, if the employee is liable for military service. Art. 65 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation

If the future employee cannot bring the documents to the office and transfer them to the personnel officers, he sends them in two ways:

  1. In electronic form – each document must be signed with an electronic enhanced qualified signature.
  2. By registered letter with notification – you can send paper copies of documents certified by a notary.

Then the employer sends the employment contract, issues an order for employment, provides local acts for review – everything is as usual. Copies of local acts can be sent on paper, having previously certified, or sent by e-mail and to any messenger.

If the employee and the employer sign the employment contract electronically, the employer is obliged to send him the completed contract on paper within three working days. h. 2 tbsp. 312.2 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation

Record of employment in the work book during remote work can be omitted if the employee and the employer have agreed on this. In this case, the length of service is confirmed by an employment contract and electronic data on labor activity, which the employer surrenders from 2020. h. 6 art. 312.2 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation

If the employee wants to have an entry in the work book, he must send it to the employer by registered mail with notification, and he will make the appropriate entry.

The employer will keep the work book until the employee is fired or until the transition to an electronic work book.

What to look for when drawing up an employment contract remotely

An employment contract with a telecommuter is drawn up, as usual, the surname, name and patronymic of the employee, his position, salary, guarantees and compensation are prescribed in it.

The employer needs to pay attention to the following points.

Place of work.  An employment contract with a telecommuter must state that he performs his work remotely, outside the employer’s location.

The name of the organization and the locality of its registration are indicated as the place of work. The workplace, that is, the place where the person will do his job, does not need to be specified.

Sample employment contract for teleworking

Work and rest hours.  An employment contract may establish a working time regime, then the employee will have to adhere to it.

If the employment contract does not say anything about the work and rest schedule, the remote worker determines it himself. It is important to take into account that in this case, the employer will not be able to fire a subordinate for absenteeism who has not been in touch for more than 4 hours during the day without good reason. Art. 312.4 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation

How the report is provided.  In what time frame, how an employee should report on the work done – all this should be indicated in the employment contract.

For example, it may stipulate that the employee must send a monthly report – electronically and on a specific date. The employer must approve the form of this report and determine the procedure for filling it out.

Hardware and software.  The employer can provide the employee with the equipment and software necessary for the work, or reimburse the costs if the employee uses his funds. In any case, these points must be spelled out in the employment contract. Art. 188 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation

Grounds for dismissal.  You can part with a teleworker for other reasons not specified in the labor code. These grounds must be spelled out in the employment contract. For example, it can be stipulated that an employee can be fired if he has not submitted a report on time more than two times. Art. 312.5 Labor Code of the Russian Federation

How to sign a remote work contract

The legislation allows “exchange of electronic documents”, but this does not mean that you can exchange scans or photographs of signed documents in instant messengers or by e-mail. Such documents will not have legal force.

An agreement on teleworking must be signed with an enhanced qualified electronic signature (ES), which must be present for both the employer and the employee.

Each of the parties receiving an electronic document must electronically inform the other about it. For example, an employer sent an employee a bonus order by email. The employee must send a response letter: “I, such and such, received the order for bonuses, read it, signed it,” and attach a document signed by his electronic signature to the letter. You can first send a confirmation that you received an order for bonuses, and the next letter – a signed document.

If an employee does not have an electronic signature and you need him to sign paper documents, then there are three options.

Meet in person  and hand over documents from hand to hand in the office or elsewhere.

Send documents by mail or courier.  Shipping costs are usually covered by the employer.

Call the employee to the office.  If an employee lives in another city and is called to sign documents, then the organization must reimburse his expenses, since this is considered a business trip.

How to fire a teleworker

A remote worker can be dismissed on the same grounds as an office worker – at the initiative of the employee, at the initiative of the employer, or by agreement of the parties.

At the initiative of the employer, you can be dismissed due to the reduction of the position, the liquidation of the organization or on the grounds prescribed in the employment contract. For example, if the employee did not systematically fulfill the plan and did not get in touch with the employer for a certain time.

The dismissal order must be drawn up on paper and sent to the employee by registered mail with notification, even if the document was sent electronically.

Is it possible to employ a resident of another country

According to the Ministry of Labor, an employer cannot conclude an agreement on remote work with foreigners and Russians living in other countries. This is explained by the fact that Russian labor law does not apply on the territory of other states. This rule also applies to residents of the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union – EAEU. In such cases, they usually conclude a civil law contract indicating the period and scope of work or services.

You can work with the citizens of the EAEU as with self-employed, if the person has not worked for the company for the last two years, and this taxation regime suits him.

How to transfer an employee from the office to remote work

The employer can transfer employees who worked in the office to telecommuting – by agreement with them.

For this, the parties sign an additional agreement to change the labor conditions. They indicate that from a certain date the employee will work remotely, set the operating mode, equipment and programs that the parties will use, and the procedure for submitting reports.

Example of an additional agreement on the transition to remote operation

If the changes in the contract are quite voluminous, you can formalize them with an additional agreement on the presentation of the labor contract in a new edition. In this case, the employer does not need to issue an order for transfer to another job, because the transfer to remote work is not considered a transfer under the Labor Code. The second option is to terminate the old contract and conclude a new one, this time about remote work.

In any case, a new employment contract or additional agreement will enter into force from the moment of their signing, or at the time specified in these documents.

Things to remember:

  1. In Russian legislation there is the concept of “remote work”, there is no “remote work” in the labor code.
  2. For remote physical labor, there is the term “home work” – this is when an employee produces something using materials and tools provided by the employer.
  3. An employment contract with a teleworker should not have a workplace, but there may be a work and rest schedule.
  4. The employment contract must specify how the parties will communicate, what programs the employee should use and how the employee should send reports.
  5. If the employment contract is signed electronically, the employer must send a paper copy to the employee.
  6. An employee can be dismissed on the initiative of the employer by reducing the position, liquidating the organization or on the grounds specified in the employment contract.
  7. Foreigners who are outside the Russian Federation are not registered under an employment contract with the condition of telecommuting, but a civil contract can be signed. The article was prepared by the writers of the service pay Somebody to do my Mission pay to do my assignment