Belarus: Social distancing in the eyes of employment law

How to document work from home under the COVID-19 situation

At the moment, no emergency measures binding on employers have been taken on the governmental level in Belarus. Despite this, in order to stop COVID-19 spreading and not to interrupt normal business activity, many companies are switching to a remote working regime using information technologies.

According to current legislation, an employee can be transferred to remote work only by agreement between employer and employee. This initiative may come from both the employer and the employee.

To be transferred to remote work a number of legal formalities related to change of key employment terms must be met. Moreover, the employer and the employee must sign an annex to the employment agreement containing the terms and conditions of remote work.

Among these are: terms and conditions regarding exchange of electronic documents and information between employee and employer, the procedure for progress reporting by the employee, the procedure for providing the employee with equipment, data security facilities, software and hardware facilities required for work, and issues on performing work for hire.

It also seems advisable to set the employee’s obligation to be in touch during working hours – to answer calls and e-mails, messages in the employee’s or the employer’s special software. Moreover, the annex may specify the period during which the employee will work remotely.

In the future, transfer of employees back to the normal regime must also be performed in line with the requirements of the Belarusian Labour Code.

Transferring to remote work does not affect the amount of compensation paid to employees.

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