European Employment Law Update 2021: Flexibility and teleworking

European Union - 

This edition of the European Employment Law Update is perhaps one of the most innovative editions that have been published in recent years. In fact, some of the regulations analyzed in this guide seemed impossible to apply just a few years ago.

The adoption of measures to curb COVID-19 in the vast majority of countries in the world has completely changed the lifestyle to which we were accustomed. The labor and employment sector has been, together with the healthcare sector, the one that has had to adapt itself more quickly to the new circumstances. In particular, the pandemic has forced to accelerate the process of teleworking that had begun in European countries.

Teleworking was intended by Governments to respond to the needs of family conciliation, which is so necessary in an aging Europe with serious demographic problems. Today, however, it has become a basic health recommendation. It has been shown that greater adaptation of national legislations to teleworking translates into better protection against the pandemic. This need has led certain European countries to pass laws regulating teleworking in the shortest possible time and also an EU Directive is in the process of being drafted.

It is clear that teleworking is here to stay and that, after the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be an everyday reality that will be present in many companies both in the public and private sector.

Although each country has regulated teleworking according to its economic capacity and industrial network, there are important similarities and common points throughout all European legislations. We will address such points in this guide trying to highlight the relevant regulations and rights linked to remote work and flexibility schemes, which seemed unfeasible only a few months before the outbreak of the pandemic.

This guide has been elaborated by all the law firms included on the European Employment Group of the World Services Group. We hope it will be useful and, as always, the contacts of the different firms are included so that you can contact the authors for further information.