The Telework modality was recognized in Colombia by the Law no. 1221 in 2008 and was regulated by the Decree no. 884 in 2012. Recently, thanks to the Decree no. 1127/2022, some articles were modified and a few more were added to the Single Decree of the Labour Sector, in order to fulfill all the rules that regulate it in Colombia.
Below, we will show the most important and relevant changes that private companies have to keep in mind, in regards to both employees and employers.
1. Specification of essential elements in employment contracts:
- Technological and environmental tools, description of IT equipment and software, including restrictions and responsibilities.
- Worker’s responsibilities to take care of the work elements.
- Digital security measures that needed to be known and their fulfilment.
2. Internal Policies:
- Tasks to be done by the worker.
- Job requirements.
- Fulfillment of equal treatment arrangements.
- Equipment, programs, platforms and IT environment necessary to develop tasks by teleworking.
- Conditions on the confidentiality of certain information and internal procedures.
- Communication channels to report workplace harassment, hazards, illnesses or any other relevant circumstances.
- Action plans.
- Description of the workspace for all positions and roles.
3. Obligations of the Employer:
- Processing the telework form supplied by the Occupational Risks Department (onwards “ARL”, as per the Spanish name).
- Informing the ARL about the modalities of Telework adopted.
- Including the Teleworking modality in the Occupational Health and Safety Management System.
- Publicizing the different options to communicate to the company and report of hazard accidents or illness.
- Providing the employees all the equipment and tools necessary to carry out the telework.
- Fulfilling the legal obligation of periodical medical checks.
- Ensuring disconnection from work and a good balance between private and professional life.
- Training the workers about the prevention and promotion of occupational risks, self-care, mental health, ergonomic or biomechanical risks, as well as the use of digital security.
- Informing the workers about the restrictions on the use of equipment and computer programs, legislation on data protection, intellectual property, cyber security, as well as the sanctions for non-fulfillment.
- Adopting the Internal Telework Policy.
4. Obligations of the Teleworker:
- Participation in risk prevention and activities that promote health in working environments.
- Comply with the Law, internal rules, regulations and instructions of the Safety Management System and the recommendations of the employer and the ARL.
- Take care of one’s state of wellness, as well as provide information to the employer about physical or mental health.
- Report hazards and accidents happened during working hours or because of the job.
- Return the equipment and tools provided by the employer once the professional relation has come to an end, in the same state in which they were received, except for deterioration caused by the normal use of them.
5. Hybrid working models:
- It is possible to increase the hybrid model by increasing up to 2 or 3 days of telework a week and keeping the “traditional” work (physical work at the workplace) during the rest of week. However, it always has to be agreed by both parties.
6. Costs of services and use of teleworker-owned work tools:
- By mutual agreement, the employer may pay to the employees an additional monthly amount to compensate the workers’ expenses for internet, telephone and electricity.
- By mutual agreement, they also may agree on establish a monthly amount of compensation for the use of worker-owned work tools.
7. Teleworker Registration:
- Employers must process the digital form of the Ministry of Labor to inform the number of teleworkers.
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