The Home Office Within The Framework Of The New Law That Regulates It

Lawyer. Employment advisor of companies and chambers of business. Academic Counselor for Libertad y Progreso.

LA NACIÓN – The home office invaded our house, altered family life and coexistence, generated new spaces, new times, new habits, and imposed on us knowledge about applications, videoconferencing, lighting, sound and presentations, which replaced the work we previously did in the establishment of the company.

Covid-19 accelerated the process due to mandatory isolation, and it is difficult to go back. More than two thirds of the companies assure that they will continue with shared teleworking with face-to-face work, as in fact occurs in the central countries of Europe and in the United States.

The new Law 27,555 (BO 8/14/2020) on remote work does not contribute much in the aforementioned sense, because it was designed by the political wing of the Chamber of Deputies, with significant ignorance of labor law, without having used a legislative technique unequivocal, and with truly inexplicable contradictions. In the Senate, where they had the opportunity to make amendments, it was finally decided to approve the norm as it came from the lower house.

In a confusing context, it grants the worker the right to digital disconnection outside of their hours and during breaks and seems to be unaware of the overtime regime. The same occurs with the right to reversibility without cause and without a time limit, by means of which the worker with a simple notification can demand that the employer return to work within the establishment, unless for well-founded reasons it is impossible to comply with this legal duty.

But what is questionable and open to criticism of Law 27,555 is, strictly speaking, what we can weigh about it. In effect, it is the first labor law in twenty years that establishes rules on information and knowledge technologies, -ICTs- in parallel with the recognition of the validity of the pre-existing labor legislation.

It is a commendable first step, which will surely be followed by other rules, and collective agreements setting specific rules for each company, group of companies or activity.

Those who reacted quickly won the lead. They are the service companies or their specific areas and the technological ones, which adapted faster. They had pre-existing practices, and they hardly felt the weight of the pandemic. Some, improved services and productivity, and applied the techniques of continuous improvement, and designed the way to the new normal.Using the home office, the company reduces its total cost between 25 and 40% by computing direct and indirect

These are the ones who are already creating a new work model by combining face-to-face with teleworking, renting out real estate, reducing fixed costs, reducing costs and significant competitive advantages.

Others matured with a certain lethargy, but in the end, we all know that teleworking is here to stay, it settled down so as not to abandon us, and it took over times and spaces that we previously thought were unimaginable.

Using the home office, the company reduces its total cost between 25 and 40% by computing direct and indirect. Spaces are reformulated and a new office layout is created, spaces and operating expenses, facilities and equipment are reduced, and productivity is improved. Instead of custom desks, common use spaces are created.

The worker obtains equivalent and tangible advantages, in fact, he does not lose travel time or incur his expenses, he runs less risks, improves and optimizes free time, just like family relationships, he is self-supervised, self-controlled, and self-directed, and operates from different physical locations for reasons of convenience and opportunity. Self-esteem, self-determination and responsibility grow.

The teleworker can operate from his home (home office), he can be operating on public roads, as a nomadic operator, he can alternate hours in the employer’s establishment, and hours outside of him, he can operate from a coworking building, from an Internet cafe , from a public square, moving in a car, or from a club, or from a recreational or commercial center.

Teleworking is classified as a silver collar and a green collar, due to its relationship with information technology and because it is 100% ecological, and it also tends to democratize the links between the teams, the supervision and the management of the company.

Telematics has also come to stay in public control agencies such as the Treasury such as Customs, AFIP and ANSeS, with which it operates almost entirely by computer means. The optimization of these devices requires a process of maturation, and continuous improvement, but it is also contributing in the processes to the debureaucratization, to the existence of procedures with personal concurrence, and to the paperlessness of all procedures, (“paperless”). The transitional stage between compulsory isolation and a return to the new normal should have standards that promote the creation of genuine and quality employment and do not hinder it.

Legislation should be broad, generous, and weigh the benefits of teleworking for the worker, for the employer, for unions, for society and for the State. In any case, the old traditional legislation that is often anachronistic begins to juxtapose the legislation of new technologies, robotics, nanobotics, and artificial intelligence, as global faits. It is our choice to be connected to the future or to isolate ourselves clinging to the past.

What the legislators did not understand is that protecting is synonymous with the full exercise of freedom of contract and trade, the exercise of any legal industry that adds value and sources of work, and that work in all its forms deserves and imposes the protection of laws. This is what our National Constitution establishes. The slogan of the future is and will be at all levels to highlight the intrinsic value of everything that generates diversity and multiplicity of job opportunities.

  • The author is a labor lawyer and Doctor of Legal Sciences By: Julian de Diego