With the occurrence of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the need to work from home and ordering to work from home occurred in case of exceptional circumstances where human life and health or the property of the employer are endangered.
The Employment Relationships Act (ERA-1) stipulates that work from home is work done by an employee at his home or on premises of his choice outside of the employer’s premises. In general, the employer and the employee agree for the work from home with an employment agreement for the whole duration of working time or only for a part of working time. The obligations of the employer in arranging this form of work are the adoption of the appropriate Regulation of work from home, which specifies the conditions for carrying out work from home (number of days, work reporting method, working hours,…), notification to the Labour Inspectorate of the intended organization of work at home and ensuring safe working conditions at home in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act.
In addition, the ERA-1 also makes it possible to unilaterally assign work to another location due to exceptional circumstances. In case of natural or other disasters, where such a disaster is expected or in other exceptional circumstances where human life and health or the property of the employer is endangered, the place of work specified in the contract of employment may be temporarily changed without the employee’s consent. The obligation to work from home can therefore only be temporary for as long as exceptional circumstances persist and a change of place of work is urgent and necessary. In this case, the employer is also obliged to regulate the issues of suitability of workplace, working time, provision of work resources, professional secrecy, etc. Also, the employer is obliged inform the Labour Inspectorate of the work from home as soon as possible, and ensure safe and healthy working conditions, according to the with the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The employer should fulfil the obligations when performing work from home in a timely manner, since the law prescribes various fines in case of violations.