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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure ES-2020-12/503 – measures in Spain

Preference for remote work

Carácter preferente del trabajo a distancia

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 18 March 2020 – 30 May 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
Author Oscar Molina (UAB) and Eurofound
Measure added 12 April 2020 (updated 27 November 2020)

Background information

In order to protect workers and ensure business continuity, new work arrangements will be established that allow the activity to be maintained by alternative mechanisms, particularly through remote work, and the company must adopt the appropriate measures if this is technically and reasonably possible and if the necessary adaptation effort is proportionate. These alternative measures, particularly remote work, should be a priority over the temporary cessation or reduction of activity. This is regulated in Royal Decree 8/2020 of 17 March.

Content of measure

With the aim of facilitating the exercise of the remote work in those sectors, companies or jobs where it has not been foreseen until now, a risk assessment will be made, in the terms provided in Article 16 of Law 31/1995, of November 8, on Occupational Risk Prevention, exceptionally, through a self-evaluation carried out voluntarily by the worker himself. There is no monetary support involved in this measure. The measures established in this regulation have as priority objectives to guarantee that business activity and employment relations resume as normal after the exceptional health situation. There is no specific sector / company targeted, not a specific eligibility criteria, but all companies must show they've done all what is possible to allow remote work.

Moreover, the regulation does not specify any aspect related to work organization, the equipment necessary in order to perform remote work etc.

Use of measure

There is no estimation as to the number of workers / companies involved.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social partners jointly
Company / Companies
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

Social partners were informed - and not formally consulted - on the content of this policy measure. Since the very beginning, social partners made clear to the government the need to regulate telework in order to make sure that it is carried out with guarantees.

Views and reactions

Social partners were positive about the measure.

Sources

  • 18 March 2020: Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, on extraordinary and urgent measures to face the economic and social impact of COVID-19. (www.boe.es)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Preference for remote work, measure ES-2020-12/503 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/ES-2020-12_503.html

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