Hybrid work models – legal regulations

The Labour Law from 2014 regulates working from home and remote work. However, after the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic in 2020, these legal institutes gained special importance in the legal system of the Republic of Serbia, and numerous legal issues arose in connection with their application. In such conditions, a special challenge arose to solve issues related to the way of introducing the possibility of working from home by employer, fulfilment of obligations from employment contract by the employer, as well as the possibility of monitoring employees in conditions of working from home. In terms of the employer’s obligations, the issue of providing equipment for work, compensation for employee’s transportation allowance, as well as the obligation to pay food allowance has become particularly important. An additional task is the regulation of injuries at work and the employer’s liability, both in the situation when the injury occurs in the employee’s private premises, as well as injuries that occurred in the situation when the employee worked from public places, restaurants etc. For this reason, it is advisable for the employer to define what is considered safe work and to provide information about it to the employee. Working from home also imposed the need for more detailed regulation of the duration of working hours, since the employee does not stay at the employer’s premises. In what way the employer has the possibility to supervise the work of the employee, how to inspect and record presence of the employee at work, whether the accepted model of control of the employee’s work is allowed, are just some of the questions that need to be considered from the aspect of labour law, as well as from the perspective of personal data protection. A particular challenge for employers is to find a method of monitoring the employee during work, which intrudes on privacy to the smallest possible extent. Another area that has become a global trend in the field of labour-legal relations is the introduction of a four-day work week. In this regard, it is necessary to determine to what extent the existing legal framework provides a basis for such a change and whether this type of work model is achievable in our country.

Keywords: work from home, remote work, injury at work, safety at work, four-day work week

Translation: Milica Nenadić

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