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Colombia: Reshaping the Implementation and Regulation of Teleworking Modality

Author: Angélica Carrión

Decree 1227 of 2022 modified Decree 1072 of 2015 and added some extra aspects as for the implementation and regulation of teleworking modality.

In particular, the general changes included in the new decree refer to:

  • Employment contracts for teleworkers shall contain, inter alia, description, restrictions and responsibilities for equipment and software, the mode of teleworking, working hours and the teleworking modality, and the description of minimum job requirements in terms of ergonomics and technology aspects.
  • The obligation to incorporate teleworking in the Internal Work Regulations and in the Manuals of Labour Functions and Competences was eliminated.
  • A list of obligations was identified for the employer, the teleworker, and the Occupational Risks Administrator.

In addition, the new aspects included by Decree regarding Teleworking introduce the following:

  • The implementation of telework shall not be made conditional on prior inspection of the workstation, the requirement of information systems for telework monitoring and that the Ministry of Labour implements the corresponding information system, provided that there is agreement between the parties for it. The above does not exonerate the employer from the obligation to comply with these requirements after the implementation of telework.
  • The right of reversibility of teleworking is maintained for both the employer and the teleworker. The aforementioned faculty will not apply to teleworkers hired for the first time.
  • The parties shall endeavour to make the time and mode of performance of the contracted work more flexible. This flexibility shall not affect the effective rest of teleworkers and their right to disconnect from work.
  • Implement a telework policy that contains, among other aspects, the identification of positions and application requirements, guarantees of equal treatment, identification of equipment and tools, for the development of telework, communication channels for the reporting of accidents, and occupational illnesses, coexistence committee, human resources and joint occupational health and safety committee, and the prevention measures at work.
  • The teleworking policy will be mandatory for those employers whose Internal Work Regulations do not contain issues related to the proper use of equipment, software, and information management.

 Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel

  • To bear in mind, the employer must provide the computer equipment, software and digital repositories and programmes required for the development of teleworking, unless it is agreed that the teleworker will make available his or her own equipment, programs, and tools. In the latter case the parties may agree on the monthly value to be recognised as compensation to the teleworker for the use of his or her personal tools.
  • The parties shall agree on the monthly allowance cost to be recognised by the employer for the purpose of compensate for the costs of internet, fixed and mobile telephony and energy. However, the parties may agree not to pay this allowance, so that it is the teleworker who assumes the total value of the internet and energy services.
  • If supplementary telework is implemented, the parties may agree on a hybrid model of work in order to meet the needs of employer, allowing for two or three days a week to work at home and the rest of the days to work face-to-face.
  • Companies must report to the Ministry of Labour the number of teleworkers associated to them, with the aim of registering the hiring and new developments of teleworkers.