Opposition party proposes new rules for remote work

Illustrative photo: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay, CC0

Due to the record numbers of new Covid-19 cases in the Czech Republic, the government has called on companies to allow their employees to work from home where possible. However, under the current legislation, home office is only voluntary and cannot be ordered so easily.

Deputies from the Christian Democratic Party have now put forward a proposal that could change the current situation, allowing the government to enforce work from home under certain circumstances, the daily Hodpodářské noviny reported.

“During the coronavirus crisis, work from home has proven to be a necessity in many firms, but its anchoring in the Czech legal system is very vague”, Christian Democrat deputy Vít Kaňkovský, one of the authors of the proposal, told the daily.

Under the proposed legislation, companies should be allowed to order their employees to work from home in certain situations, including a state of emergency or in the case of natural disasters, such as floods or fires.

The proposal also suggests that employees with children below the age of 15, people with physical disabilities or pregnant women should be allowed to work remotely if they ask for it.

Companies should provide employees with the necessary technical equipment for online communication and reimburse their remote work expenses, such as electricity and internet bills, suggests the proposal.

Hospodářské noviny points out that while the overall electricity consumption in the Czech Republic dropped last year, household electricity consumption, fuelled by the pandemic, reached the highest figure since 1996.

The legislation stipulating the rules for working from home will be debated in the lower house in three weeks’ time at the earliest. The Christian Democrats would like the amendment to come into force as soon as in July this year.