By Prof Guerrero Rosas
The chamber of deputies recently approved reforms to the Federal Work Law, whose purpose is to regulate telework, or “home office”. These reforms began in January 2021, providing more precision to the definition of telework, that consists of performing paid activities, in a place different to that or those of the employer, using information and communication technologies.
It also establishes the regulation of employment relationships in the cases where the employee spends more than 40% of their time at home or in any other place different to that established by the employer. Additionally, remote work performed irregularly and infrequently will not be considered telework.
These reforms consider “special obligations” to provide, install, and maintain the necessary equipment; to absorb the costs generated by the telecommunication and electricity services, and to implement mechanisms to preserve the safety of information and data.
Considerations for companies:
- To provide, install, and maintain all equipment necessary for telework, such as computing devices, ergonomic chairs and printers.
- To absorb the costs generated by telework, including the payment for telecommunication services and a proportional part of the electricity.
- To maintain the records of all supplies delivered to teleworkers.
- To respect the right to disconnection at the end of the working day by teleworkers.
- To incorporate teleworkers in the mandatory regime of social security.
Considerations for employees:
- To have the utmost care in the safekeeping of the equipment, materials, and supplies received from the employer.
- To inform immediately about the agreed-upon costs for the use of telecommunication services and the consumption of electricity.
- To adhere to and use the mechanisms and systems for the supervision of their activities.
- To adhere to the data-protection policies and mechanisms used in performing their activities as well as the restrictions regarding its use and storage.
Companies will face important challenges to ensure the adequate fulfilment of their fiscal and social security obligations, by having to design and implement changes in their policies regarding work tools and compensation. Some of the questions they need to answer are: Will they provide the required tools and compensation in kind or in cash? What requisites must they consider in order to guarantee the deductibility of these expenses for Income Tax purposes?