The Regulation on Remote Working entered into force with its publication in the Official Gazette No. 31419 and dated 10 March 2021 (“Regulation“).
What does the Regulation Say?
1.The form and the content of the agreement
- Employment agreements related to remote working will be made in writing.
- The agreement must include the description of the work; the method of conducting the work; the duration and the place of work; matters regarding the salary and the payment of the salary; working tools provided by the employer; equipment and the obligations regarding protection of the equipment; the employer’s communication with the employee; and provisions regarding general and special working conditions.
2.Arrangement of the working environment
- If necessary, arrangements regarding the location of remote working will be completed before the work starts. The method of covering the costs arising from such arrangements will be determined jointly by the employee and the employer.
3.Suppling and using materials and working tools; covering the production costs
- The employer must provide the materials and working tools required for the production of goods and services, unless otherwise agreed in the employment agreement. The principles of use and maintenance and repair conditions of these materials and working tools will be communicated clearly to the employee.
- In case of the working tools are provided by the employer, the employer must deliver the working tools list indicating the costs of these on the date of delivery in writing to the employee. A signed copy of the document submitted to the employee will be kept by the employer in the employee’s personal file. If the list of working tools is annexed in the employment agreement or on the date of the employment agreement, the condition of preparing a written document will not be sought.
- The issues related to determining and covering the required expenses directly related to the production of goods or services arising from the performance of the work must be specified in the employment agreement.
4.Determination of working periods and communication of the employee with the employer
- The time interval and duration of remote working will be specified in the employment agreement.
- Within the framework of the limitations stipulated in the legislation, the parties may change the working hours and overtime work upon the written request of the employer, in accordance with the employee’s consent and legislative provisions.
- Communication management and the time interval between the employee and the employer will be determined by the employee and the employer.
- The employer must inform the employee about the operating rules and the relevant legislation regarding the protection and sharing of the data related to the workplace and the work. The employer must take the necessary measures for the protection of the data.
- The employer must determine the definition and scope of the data to be protected in the agreement.
- The employee is obliged to comply with the operating rules determined by the employer in order to protect the data.
6.Taking measures regarding occupational health and safety
- The employer is obliged to inform the employee about occupational health and safety measures; to provide the necessary training; to provide health surveillance; and to take the necessary occupational safety measures related to the equipment provided by the employer by taking into consideration the nature of the work done by the employee.
7.Occupations that cannot performed remotely
- Works that involve hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials; processing these materials or working with the wastes of these materials; or that carry the risk of exposure to biological factors cannot be performed remotely.
- For works carried out by public institutions and organizations through service procurement in accordance with the relevant legislation and for the units, projects, facilities, or services that have strategic importance in terms of national security, the public institution and organization responsible for the unit, project, facility, or service, or the public institutions and organizations receiving the service on these units, projects, facilities, or services will determine which works are not suitable for remote working.
8.Transition to Remote Working
- The employment relationship can be established directly with a remote working agreement, or if the employee and employer agree, the employee’s employment agreement can be converted into a remote working agreement.
- The employee is able to request in writing to work remotely. The employee’s request will be evaluated by the employer in line with the procedure specified in the workplace. While evaluating the request, the employer will consider if the request is suitable due to the nature of the occupation and the employee and other criteria determined by the employer. The employee must be notified of the request’s evaluation result within 30 days. An employee transferred to remote working can later request to work at their workplace again. The employer will consider the request as a priority.
- Furthermore, if the remote working will be applied to the whole or part of the workplace for compelling reasons, the employee’s request or approval will not be sought for the transition to remote working.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working practices have become quite common in Turkey. This Regulation aims to eliminate some question marks about the principles of remote working.