The necessity to establish regulatory frameworks for telework in Cyprus has become increasingly pronounced in the modern work environment for various reasons including the existence of technological advancements which have made remote work more feasible and efficient, the operation of businesses on a global scale, work-life balance considerations and the need for businesses to maintain operations under various circumstances. This need has been notably evident in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which served as a catalyst for the rapid and widespread adoption of remote work practices. The transition to teleworking presents both opportunities and challenges, requiring careful consideration of aspects such as work-life balance, employee rights, health and safety issues, productivity metrics, and data security.

The new Law on the Framework of Telework of 2023 (L. 120(I)/2023), hereinafter “the Law”, approved by the House of Representatives on 16 November 2023, was published in the Government Gazette on 1 December 2023 and is the first Law in Cyprus regulating remote work practices.


In the said law, an optional teleworking scheme can be established upon a written agreement between the employer and the employee. Such an agreement may be executed at any time during the term of employment by amending the existing employment contract, or at the commencement of the employment relationship. Alternatively, it may be formalised through the execution of a collective agreement.

In addition to telework by written agreement between the concerned parties, telework may be applied in two other types of cases, provided that the nature of the work allows for remote execution. These cases pertain to (a) public health considerations, namely teleworking under a Decree issued by the Minister of Health, and (b) teleworking for an employee whose health is demonstrably at risk, a risk mitigated by refraining from working on the employer's premises. It is understood that in both these cases, teleworking is applicable for a stipulated period, specifically for the duration of the identified risk or as determined by the relevant Decree.

It is important to note that, the Law establishes safeguards from the outset concerning the terms of employment teleworking scenarios. These terms are not subject to adverse effects resulting from the transition to telework. The employment status and/or the employment contract of the employee remain unaffected by the alternation in the mode of work. Discrimination against an employee who does not consent to teleworking is expressly prohibited.

Telework may be structured on a full-time, part-time or any other basis, either exclusively from a place other than the workplace or in conjunction with employment at the workplace.

Employer's obligations regarding teleworking

The employer assumes the cost of the employee's teleworking, including the cost of equipment and its maintenance, telecommunications, use of the home workplace, and the repair of breakdowns. They shall also provide the employee with the necessary technical support and cover the costs of repair or replacement of equipment used during teleworking, which is damaged through no fault of the employee. Any payment of any amount to the employee for the above shall not constitute salary and shall not be subject to any tax or social insurance contribution.

Further, the employer now has the obligation to inform the employee, in writing or electronically, and through posting in the employer's internal network, within eight days from the commencement of telework, of the following:

  • Reference to (i) the right of remote workers to disconnect from the electronic means through which they provide their services remotely using technology, (ii) the technical and organisational measures taken to ensure the disconnection of the remote workers from the digital communication and work tools, and (iii) the fact of prohibition of discrimination against remote workers because of the simple exercise of their right to disconnect;
  • Analysis of costs of remote work, including costs of telecommunications, equipment, and maintenance;
  • Necessary equipment and whether the employee will buy it and ask for reimbursement from the employer or if the employer will provide the equipment, technical support, maintenance and repairs;
  • Any restrictions to the use of equipment and possible sanctions in case of breach;
  • Any possible agreement on remote work readiness, including timeframes and deadlines for remote workers to respond;
  • Risks and measures of protection and prevention on the basis of the written risk assessment;
  • Obligation to protect and secure business data and personal data and the actions and procedures that need to be followed to fulfil this obligation; and
  • Supervisor from whom the remote workers get instructions;

Even further, the employer has a duty to have a written and adequate assessment of the health and safety risks involved in remote working, in order to determine preventive and protective measures for employees, and to provide the necessary information, instructions and training to ensure the health of his employees.

The rights and obligations of a remote worker

Employees have the same rights and obligations as comparable employees who work on-site and include, among other things, rights and obligations in relation to the volume of work, criteria and evaluation procedures, rewards, access to information relating to the employer, training and professional development and trade union action.

Employees also have the right to disconnect from the electronic means through which they provide services remotely, with any discrimination for exercising this right expressly prohibited.

During employee performance evaluation, the employer must respect the employee's privacy and safeguard their personal data. Monitoring employees through the use of a camera or similar intrusive applications for performance evaluation purposes is prohibited.

Inspectorship and Penalties

Within the framework of the Law, the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance will appoint Ministry officials as inspectors. These inspectors will be entrusted with ensuring the effective implementation of the legislation, providing relevant information, reporting problems and making proposals for resolution. Inspectors will have the authority to freely enter any place of employment, excluding private residences (unless the individual consents), and conduct necessary checks, inspections, investigations inquiries or examinations. Obstructing an inspector in exercising these powers constitutes a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment of up to 6 months and/or a fine of up to EUR 10,000.

Complaints arising from disputes related to the application of the provisions of the Law shall be submitted to the inspectors who have the right to investigate and attempt to reach a settlement.

Civil Disputes arising under the Law shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal.

Any violation by the employer of the provisions of the Law constitutes an offence punishable by a fine of up to EUR 10,000.

Finally, the Law does not specify a general deadline for the implementation of the obligations outlined therein. However, it effectively lists general principles to be observed when formulating drafting remote work policies and the rights of labour inspectors.

The next steps

It is crucial for both employers and employees to gain a thorough understanding of the new legal provisions governing remote work. This knowledge is not only essential for ensuring that all parties are well-informed of their rights and obligations but also for maintaining a harmonious and legally compliant work environment. Employers, in particular, must ensure that their existing remote work arrangements, internal policies, and regulations align with the updated laws, encompassing the newly established rights and responsibilities. This includes a critical review and potential revision of current practices to ensure they are in full legal compliance. Moreover, in situations where remote work policies are not yet established, employers have to consider developing such frameworks in accordance with the legal requirements. This proactive approach mitigates the risk of legal repercussions but also fosters a structured and transparent remote work environment, enhancing employee trust and engagement.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.