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20 June, 2024
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House plenary votes on teleworking bill, what's at stake?

What you need to know about the plenary's decision


In a decisive move, the House plenary convened this afternoon to cast their votes on a groundbreaking teleworking bill, aiming to establish a robust framework for regulating working conditions in the evolving landscape of remote employment.

Representatives from across the political spectrum joined the discussion, highlighting the substantial enhancements made to the bill. Their collective sentiment echoed the belief that if implemented effectively, the advantages would be far-reaching.

Worth noting is that the current legislation falls short of covering the public sector. However, there's a government commitment to extending teleworking regulations to the public domain by 2024, possibly through a fresh legislative initiative.

Crucially, teleworking remains a voluntary endeavor, allowing flexibility for both employers and employees.

Key Provisions Unveiled:
The legislation meticulously defines teleworking as the remote provision of work through technology, encapsulating various employment contracts. This can unfold either from the employer's premises or any other location.

Applicable to employees of public legal entities and local authorities, the legislation also sanctions voluntary teleworking, contingent on mutual agreement between employers and their workforce.

Navigating Exemptions:
Employers receive the green light to implement telework for public health reasons, subject to the approval of the Minister of Health. This provision proves especially pertinent when employees face health risks in on-site work settings.

Employer Commitments Outlined:
To foster a conducive teleworking environment, employers are obligated to shoulder teleworking-associated costs and provide requisite technical support. Furthermore, they must promptly communicate any contractual or employment alterations due to telework within eight days of its initiation.

Upholding Employee Rights and Protections:
The legislation staunchly protects labor rights, curbing discrimination against employees opting out of telework. It also mandates employers to assess the performance of teleworking staff while respecting privacy and data protection.

Additional safeguards include mandatory teleworking risk assessments, the right to disconnect from electronic means beyond agreed working hours, and the deployment of inspectors to ensure seamless implementation.

Empowered by the legislation, the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance gains authority to issue decrees on safety rules, technical intricacies, and inspection protocols tied to teleworking.

Aligning with the Republic of Cyprus's commitments in the recovery and resilience plan, the regulation of teleworking in the public service is slated until the conclusion of 2024.

Addressing Apprehensions:
The legislation explicitly prohibits continuous monitoring through intrusive methods. Health-related telework disputes are slated to undergo medical consultations adhering to defined regulations.

Parliamentary Perspectives Unveiled:
Chairman of the Labour Committee, Andreas Kafkalias, underscores that the legislation doesn't introduce teleworking as a novel employment form but diligently regulates its working conditions. He views it as a gratifying framework, emphasizing improvements in employee rights and privacy.

Across party lines, MPs acknowledge the benefits of teleworking but raise concerns about potential wage pressures. They stress the vital need for effective implementation and robust oversight.

Minister's Triumph:
Labour and Social Insurance Minister Yiannis Panayiotou hails the House of Representatives' decision as a pivotal moment for the country's labor market. He sees it as a testament to unity, dialogue, and consensus, fostering progress and prosperity.

[With information sourced from CNA]

Cyprus  |  law  |  telework  |  remotework  |  jobs

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