Remote working was legally regulated for the first time by the amendment made in the Labor Law Numbered 4857 (Law) on 06.05.2016. Remote work is regulated at Article 14 of Labor Law.
Remote working is defined in the following manner at Article 14/4;
"It is a business relationship based on the principle that the worker fulfills his / her job performance within the scope of the work organization created by the employer at home or outside the workplace with technological communication"
Obligation of the Employee in Remote Work
- The employee is obliged to perform his or her job at home or outside the workplace without coming to the workplace physically under the scope of the work organization.
- The loyalty duty of employee to the employer continuous.
- The dependency element that is the constituent element of the employment contract between the employee and the employer continues to apply.
- The employee is obliged to comply with the employer's instructions, although employee is not at the workplace.
Obligation of the Employer in Remote Work
- The employer's duty of paying wages continues during remote work.
- The employer cannot act differently to remote employee from the worker who actually works in the workplace, unless there is a substantial cause.
- The employer is obliged to inform remote employee about occupational health and safety, to provide necessary training, to provide health surveillance, and to take necessary occupational safety measures related to equipment supplied to work. For example, if the employee is working in front of a computer in employee' home, the employer must take necessary precautions and train employee in accordance with the provisions of the "Regulations on Health and Safety Precautions when Working with Displayed Vehicles"
All rights and obligations of the parties arising out of the Law remains same for the remote worker except for the requirement of being physically at the workplace.
The Elements of the Remote Work Contract
Remote work contract shall be made in writing. Employment contract for remote work shall include definition of the job, manner of work, the time and place of the work, the payment of wages and salaries, the equipment provided by the employer and the obligations related thereto, the employer's communication with the worker and general and specific working conditions.
It is regulated in the Law that the procedures and principles of remote work, suitable works for remote work, the application of business rules on the protection and sharing of data and other matters shall be determined by the regulation issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (Ministry).
The Ministry has not made any arrangements regarding the issue yet, thus many issues related to remote work are still uncertain. Therefore, in practice, any accident or illness that the remote worker may face while working shall be deemed as occupational accident/ illness.
You should contact your occupational health and safety specialist even the employee is working at a remote place and ensure that the employee receives the required training on occupational health and safety and is under health surveillance.
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.