Article on Remote Working as per Turkish Employment Law
In this article, we have explained the regulations regarding remote working and whether accidents that may occur during remote working will be considered as occupational accidents:
- Regulations Regarding Remote Working
Provisions regarding remote working are regulated in detail within the scope of Labor Law and Remote Working Regulation.
Pursuant to these regulations, it is obligated to execute a written agreement with the employees, who will work remotely partially or completely, stating the following elements. Such agreement may be executed by drafting an employment agreement containing the relevant provisions for new employees or an additional protocol for existing employees.
- (i) The definition of the work, (ii) method for performance of the work, (iii) duration and location of the work, (iv) provisions on salary and payment of salary, (v) work equipment and tools provided by the employer and liabilities regarding protection thereof, (iv) communication with the employee by the employer, and (vii) provisions related to general and special working conditions,
- The fact that the materials and work equipment required for the production of goods and services will be provided by the employer (however, it may be agreed otherwise),
- (In the event the work equipment will be provided by the employer) the list indicating the work equipment stating the prices of such equipment at the date of delivery to the employee (a copy signed by the employee must be kept in the employee’s personal file),
- The time period for remote working and the relevant time intervals (overtime may be conducted during remote working in accordance with the legislation),
- Method for communication in remote working and the relevant time intervals,
- If necessary, arrangements regarding the location where the remote working will be performed and the party, which will cover the expenses in this respect,
- Principles on use, maintenance and repair conditions regarding materials and work equipment necessary for the production of goods/services,
- Provisions related to determination and covering of obligatory expenses directly arising from performance of work and related to production of services/goods,
- The fact that the confidentiality provisions regulated under employment agreement will be applicable during the remote working period (and additional confidentiality obligations, if any),
- Information on occupational health and safety and information on matters that must be considered in remote working (the employer is obliged to inform the employee, provide the employee with necessary training, provide the health supervision and take the necessary occupational safety measures related to the equipment provided to the employee, in respect of occupational health and safety measures by considering the work being conducted by the employee that is working remotely).
- Occupational Accidents During Remote Working
In accordance with the legislation, occupational accident is defined as an event that has occurred (i) by the time the employee is at the workplace (ii) due to the work being conducted by the employer (ordue to the work conducted by the employee), (iii) during the times when the employee is not conducting his/her work since the employee is sent to another place and cannot conduct his/her main work, (iv) during the arrival-leave of the employee to the workplace with a vehicle provided by the employer; and that has immediately or in the future disables the employee physically or spiritually.
Within the scope of the above definition, since the employee’s workplace will be his/her house or the location where he/she is working remotely, it is a high possibility that an accident to occur during remote working will be considered as an occupational accident. In this respect, even if it is agreed by and between the employer and the employee that such accidents will not be considered as occupational accidents or that employer will not be liable for accidents to occur during remote working, such provision will not be deemed valid in case of a potential dispute.
If the occurred accident is not related to the work or duties of the employee (e.g. if the employee fell in his/her house and broke his/her leg while cleaning the house), then the accident will not be deemed as an occupational accident.