The Rise of Remote Work and Its Implications for Employment Law
Covid-19 has brought many changes to our lives, including the workplace. Earlier, the businesses that used to resist remote work have eventually allowed their employees to continue working from home. Every essential and non-essential business had to make significant modifications to how they worked to allow for continuous operations when possible. So, the best part was that working from home became an occasional perk that allowed workers to stay home to deal with household emergencies or tend to a sick child without losing a whole workday. Also, employers have learned that offering the option to work remotely gives them access to a wider range of qualified candidates. Whether or not Covid-19 stays, it is undeniable that remote work is here to stay.
Remote work inevitably raises a number of questions and concerns for employers and employees alike. Therefore, businesses wishing to introduce remote work or improve their existing model must lay the groundwork with policies and systems in place. By doing this, businesses can ensure that the workplace runs smoothly as it does when everyone is at the office. A remote work policy should clearly outline the expectations for those working outside, such as hours or how frequently they are to contact the office. This change can create legal issues that employers must take into consideration. Therefore, you can expect implications in the employment law-
Wage and Hour Laws
When you allow your employees to work remotely, it could subject your company to wage and hour laws in the jurisdiction where employees perform work. Many jurisdictions have different laws relating to when and how employees are paid. For example- overtime, minimum wage, the timing of the pay period and paycheck disclosure requirements. Hence it is important that companies pay their employees in compliance with local wage and hour laws. Failure in doing so could expose the employer to wage and hour claims.
When you allow your employees to work remotely, you eventually open up your company to be sued in foreign jurisdictions where the employers are working. Specific jurisdiction refers to the Court exercising personal jurisdiction over a party arising over the specific matters with the foreign state. In order to confer jurisdiction against your company, court must conclude that there is general or specific jurisdiction. Likewise, under general jurisdiction, the Court may assert jurisdiction over a foreign defendant to hear all claims against it.
Like other aspects, anti-discrimination laws can differ greatly. So allowing your employees to work remotely could also subject your company to the application of anti-discrimination laws in the place where they are working. Therefore, the employers must know what laws they are potentially exposed to and understand the laws, regulations and it’s application in places where employees work remotely.
Allowing employees to work remotely can result in the company having to pay taxes in accordance with the jurisdictions where the employees are working remotely. Hence, we strongly encourage employers to talk with their tax professionals to ensure compliance with the laws.
Remote work policies may have significant legal ramifications. This is why employers must understand and adhere to these often significant differences in the laws.
Looking for employment lawyers in Surrey?
Contact our experts at TP Legal if you want to work with employment lawyers in Surrey. We are experienced in providing employment law guidance and representation to employers in all sectors. We offer clear and practical advice and deliver a seamless experience so you can focus on other essential matters.