The Regulation on Remote Work (“Regulation“) has been published in the Official Gazette dated 10 March 2021 and numbered 31419 and entered into force on the date of its publication.
What do the Regulations Regulate?
The Regulation regulates matters such as procedures and principles related to remote work, which have become an important -and even inevitable for certain sectors- element of business life during the pandemic, jobs that cannot be performed remotely, and the application of business rules related to data protection and sharing.
Form and Content of the Employment Contract
- The employment contract related to remote work shall be made in writing.
- The contents a work contract shall include, at the minimum, provisions regarding: (i) the description of the work, (ii) the way it is done, (iii) period and place of work, (iv) matters regarding salaries and their payment, (v) work equipment that are provided by the employer, (vi) liabilities regarding the equipment and its protection, (vii) establishment of contact by the employer to the employee (viii) general and special working conditions.
Regulation of Work Environment
- If necessary, arrangements for the place where the remote work will be performed shall be completed before the work begins.
- The procedure for meeting the costs arising from the arrangement will be determined by the employee and the employer together.
Supply and Use of Materials and Work Equipment
- If otherwise agreed in the employment contract, the materials and work equipment necessary for the production of goods and services by the remote employee will be provided by the employer.
- The principles of use of materials and work equipment, as well as the conditions of maintenance and repair, shall be clearly communicated to the employee.
- In case work equipment is supplied by the employer, a list of work equipment indicating the costs of the relevant equipment as of the delivery date shall be prepared -in case they are not specified in the employment contract or its annexes as of the date of the execution of the employment contract- and a copy of it shall be delivered to the employee by the employer in writing and a copy of the document signed by the employer shall be kept in the employee file.
Meeting Production Costs
- Matters related to determining and meeting necessary expenses directly related to the production of goods and services arising from the execution of working duties shall be specified in the employment contract.
Determination of Working Hours
- The time interval and duration of remote work will be specified in the employment contract, and changes may be made to the working hours by the parties, subject to the restrictions provided for in the legislation.
- Overtime work can be performed in accordance with the provisions of the legislation, with the approval of the employee upon the written request of the employer.
Method of Communication between the Employee and the Employer
- How communication can be established in relation to remote work and at what time intervals will be determined by the employee and the employer together.
- The employer shall inform the remote employee about the workplace rules and related legislation relating to the protection and sharing of data related to the workplace and the work and shall take the necessary measures to protect this data.
- The employer shall determine the definition and scope of the data to be protected in the employment contract.
- The employee will be required to comply with the workplace rules set by the employer for the purpose of protecting the data.
Measures to be Taken by the Employer Regarding Occupational Health and Safety
- It will inform the employee about occupational health and safety measures, taking into account the nature of the work performed by the remote employee.
- It will provide the necessary training on occupational health and safety measures, taking into account the nature of the work performed by the remote employee.
- It will provide health supervision and will take the necessary occupational safety measures related to the equipment it provides.
Jobs that may not be Performed Remotely
- Jobs involving any (i) work with hazardous chemicals and radioactive substances, (ii) processing these substances work involving any waste material related to these, (iii) work with the risk of exposure to biological factors, may not be performed remotely.
Remote work may not be performed within the scope of works contracted out by public institutions and organization in accordance with the relevant legislation to be determined by the relevant public institutions and organizations and as well as departments, projects, facilities or services of strategic importance from the point of view of national security.
Switch to Remote Work
A remote working relationship can be established directly with a employment contract, or the employment contract with an employee currently working at the workplace can be converted into a remote work contract in case of an agreement between the employee and the employer.
Employee Requesting to Work Remotely;
- The employee will be able to request to work remotely in writing. The request of the employee will be evaluated by the employer in accordance with the procedure established at the workplace, and within the scope of the evaluation, the suitability of the work and the employee for remote work by their nature and other criteria to be determined by the employer will be applied.
- The result of the evaluation of the request will be notified to the employee within 30 (thirty) days by the same manner in which the request was made.
- If the request is accepted, the employment contract will be concluded.
- An employee who has switched to remote work will be able to request to work at the workplace again in the same manner, and the employer will evaluate this request as a priority.
- In addition, if the switch to remote work is implemented in all or part of the workplace for exigent factors specified in the legislation, the request or approval of the employee for the transition to remote work will not be sought.
Aslı Kınsız, Senior Associate
Burak Batı, Associate
Berk Bozkurt, Trainee Lawyer