Remote work officially enshrined in Belarusian labour legislation

Amendments to the Labour Code, including those related to remote work, will be in force in Belarus from 28 January 2020

The Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus has been amended with a new chapter regulating relations between employers and employees who work remotely.

Remote work is work done by an employee in a place other than the employer’s place of business and via information and communication technologies that are used for work itself and also for communicating with the employer. This means that employees are completely free to choose where they do their work, with communication between them and the employer carried out via information and communication technologies (e.g., PC or tablet).

Attendance at the employer’s office is not required, except for concluding an employment agreement, when the employee must be present in person. However, personal attendance is not required for familiarizing the employee with the procedure for dismissal.

Employment relations with remote workers are regulated by general provisions of labour legislation to the extent not covered by the special chapter. This means that either an indefinite-term or fixed-term employment agreement can be concluded with the employee (as well as a contract). However, in addition to the usual terms and conditions, an employment agreement should contain, for example, terms and conditions regarding exchange of electronic documents and information between employee and employer, the procedure for progress reporting by the employee, and the procedure for providing the employee with equipment, data security facilities, software and hardware facilities required for work.

Despite the remote nature of the work, the employee’s working hours must be agreed and fixed in the employment agreement. At the same time, the employee alone may be allowed to determine these ‒ a possibility that must be clearly stated in the agreement.

The new edition of the Labour Code also specifies the rules for document exchange between an employer and an employee who works remotely. A document that does not require the employee’s signature can be sent electronically without additional formalities such as an electronic signature. If the document requires the signature of the employee, it can be sent in electronic form with or without electronic signature, but must be followed up with a hard copy of the document sent by registered mail with return receipt to the employee within two working days.

The new amended Labour Code comes into force on 28 January 2020.

Source: National legal Internet portal of the Republic of Belarus (NLIP) 27.07.2019, 2/2658


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