Until recently, Belgian regulations provided for two forms of telework: structural and occasional. On 26 January 2021, a CLA came into force that creates a framework for government-recommended or compulsory telework due to the corona crisis. It is valid until 31 December 2021.
This is a supplementary arrangement; it only applies to companies that had not yet developed their own arrangement in the context of structural or occasional telework in a CLA on company level, the labour rules, an individual agreement or a telework policy on 1 January 2021.
From now on, they must make concrete arrangements on the provision of equipment that enables teleworking and the technical support for this, or on a cost allowance if the employees use their own equipment, and additional connection costs. These arrangements must be laid down in a CLA on company level, the labour rules, an individual agreement or a telework policy, while respecting the rules on social consultation, together with any other specific conditions of employment for teleworkers:
- appropriate hours;
- (un)availability of the teleworker;
- monitoring of work performance, results to be achieved and/or evaluation criteria;
- restrictions and sanctions on the use of IT material;
The employer should explicitly communicate these arrangements to the employees via e.g. intranet, e-mail or a digital meeting.
Employers who had already developed a policy on structural or occasional telework that came into force before 1 January 2021, can continue to apply this policy unchanged to recommended or mandatory telework due to the coronary crisis.
The CLA also contains provisions on the welfare of teleworkers.
They must receive information and guidelines on:
- prevention measures:
- adapting the workstation;
- working with computer displays;
- available support with regard to technology and informatics;
- the names, contact details and support provided by:
- the immediate supervisor;
- the prevention advisor for occupational safety, occupational health and psychosocial aspects from the internal or external prevention service;
- the person of trust, if applicable.
Finally, to prevent the isolation of teleworkers, the employer must take measures to maintain the connection with their colleagues and with the company.
If you would like to receive additional information on this matter, the Payroll & HR team of RSM Belgium is at your disposal ([email protected]).