Since the COVID-19 outbreak employees tend to work from home more often. As a result, employers do not have clear view over their staff and the work they perform. Nevertheless, the employer bears a certain responsibility even when employers are not working from the office. We would like to inform you about a few of the things employers need to take into account and thus what rights homeworkers have.
The employer does not only bear a duty of care regarding workstations in the office. Even when working from home, employees are entitled to a safe and healthy workplace (Art. 5.4 and 1.47 paragraph 2 of the Working Conditions Decree). This should include a laptop with separate monitor and keyboard, a good table and desk chair and adequate lighting. The home office of an employee who works in his car, for example, does not meet the standards of an ergonomic home office.
In addition, even in the home work situation, the employer is charged with the obligation to pursue policies that aim to prevent psychosocial workload (Art. 3 paragraph 2 Arbowet). This entails, among other things, that the employer must ensure that the work pressure remains limited.
Since employers have little or no control over home-working personnel, the concern often arises that home workers are working less hard. Still, an employer is not free to check on the productivity of its employees through monitoring mechanisms such as a software that monitors whether you are actually sitting at your laptop. In case an employer would make use of such mechanisms, he would be acting in violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).