Hybrid working has become an integral part of the modern workplace. The world has evolved, and so has the way we work. Many organizations are embracing hybrid work models, where employees spend a portion of their workweek working from home. But what does this mean for you as an employee, and what should your employer take care of? We've compiled answers to frequently asked questions and practical tips for you.
1. Do I have the right to work from home?
No, there is no legal right to work from home. However, as an employee, you can request to work from home. Your employer typically cannot reject this request without providing a written and justified explanation. There does not need to be a compelling business interest to reject the request.
2. Is my employer responsible for my ergonomic home office setup?
Absolutely! Dutch law places the responsibility for a safe and healthy workspace, even at home, on your employer. This is enshrined in the Dutch Occupational Health and Safety Act (Arbowet) and the Civil Code. Your home office should be ergonomically set up, and your employer should ensure this happens. This may involve providing you with guidelines on how to ergonomically arrange your home workspace. Additionally, your employer should offer or reimburse for ergonomic equipment such as a desk, chair, and monitor.
3. Can my employer face fines if home offices do not meet the requirements?
In principle, employers are obligated to ensure that home offices meet ergonomic requirements. If your employer fails to do so, the Inspectorate SZW (formerly the Labour Inspectorate) can impose fines. Thus, fines can indeed be levied if home offices do not meet legal standards.
4. Is my employer liable for accidents or health issues related to remote work?
Yes, your employer can be held liable for accidents or health issues stemming from an improper or unsafe home office setup. Therefore, it is crucial for employers to ensure that home workspaces are ergonomically sound and secure.
5. Is a remote work agreement mandatory?
While there is no legal requirement for a remote work agreement, it is advisable to document remote work arrangements in writing. A remote work agreement can clarify expectations and responsibilities for both the employer and employee.
6. Am I entitled to a remote work allowance?
There is no universal legal obligation for employers to provide a remote work allowance. However, the possibility of receiving an allowance may depend on the specific circumstances and agreements within your organization. It is recommended to discuss this with your employer.
In summary, hybrid working is the new norm, but it doesn't mean you're on your own. Your employer has a duty to provide an ergonomic home office setup and a safe working environment, even at home. Don't forget to engage in a conversation with your employer to ensure that you can perform optimally, regardless of your workplace. Together, you can strike a healthy balance between work and home life. For more information, you can also refer to (Dutch) Arboned.nl and the (Dutch Flexible Working Act) Dutch Government. Happy hybrid working!