Employers would have to pay electricity and internet service with the ‘home office’ regulation

Note published in El Sol de México, Sociedad [Society] Section by Bertha Becerra.
Read the note in its original source

Among the obligations, we find installing and providing maintenance for work tools: ergonomic chairs, printers, computers, among others.

In order to have a broader legal regulation, the reforms to the Federal Labor Law (LFT) on telework matters were approved in the Labor and Social Welfare Commission of the House of Representatives, with changes to Article 311 and the inclusion of Articles 330-A al 330-K, in order to establish that:

“The person working under this modality is the one providing his personal, paid and subordinate services in a place other than the company’s facilities or a work center belonging to the employer and uses information and communication technologies. When 40% of the work is conducted outside the work center, it will be considered as teleworking.”

“This bill, approved by the Senate of the Republic in 2019, now brings important changes and represents significant progress in the country which, up to now and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, does not gave a proper regulation that protects the rights of the workers”, states Héctor de la Cruz, a specialist in Labor Law.

In an interview with El Sol de México, he explains that it is very possible that this bill for the reform of the LFT is approved before December 15, when legislative activities end for the year.

About the changes and adjustments, he points out that it will only be considered as “home office” when the time that worker works in this modality is of over 40% of his working hours. And he gives the following example: In the case of a working week of 48 hours, that is 8 hours per day, the worker would have to work more than 19.2 hours from home, or the place of his choosing, to be considered as a remote worker or a teleworker.

Lawyer De la Cruz explains that the employment contract must specify the amount that the employer will pay for the concept of services related to teleworking or “home office” work, which include electricity, internet, telephone services among others.

Workday hours must also adjust to the legal maximums. Therefore, companies must implement actions to measure attendance and effective service time.

Additionally, they must include teleworking as part of the working conditions, as long as the activities are compatible.

And internal work regulations must also regulate this modality, based on the LFT.

Among the employers’ obligations we have those of installing and giving maintenance to work tools: ergonomic chairs, printers, computers, among others, and assuming the costs of connection and electricity in a proportional part.

The right of the worker to disconnection is also included, that is, turning his equipment off, not answering calls or mails at the end of his working hours “This with the objective of allowing him to devote time to other personal activities”.

The expert in Labor Law, from the De la Vega & Martínez Rojas Firm, explains that the change to this modality can be made only with the worker’s consent and he will have, at all times, the right of reversibility, that is, he can decide to change to a presential modality.