WFH Should Come Under Labour Laws to Bring Transparency in Work Culture

Noida, India – Feb 9th, 2020 – Mr. Shyam Verma, CHRO, JK Technosoft, asserted that it is high time, hybrid work model should not be kept restricted to companies’ internal policy and laws must be codified by the government to bring transparency in basic rights, obligations and responsibilities of the employers and the employees in the WFH model.

It is soon going to be almost a year that the majority of organisations across sectors, around the globe, have resorted to remote working or hybrid work models. But with unspecified work hours, connectivity issues and at times even inconvenient work environments, the remote work culture has its own share of challenges too.

Though the new labour laws, which were passed by the government last year and are scheduled to come into effect from April 1, 2021, does mention work from home (WFH); industry leaders say if reforms are implemented for remote working, it will go a long way in addressing the gaps in the hybrid work models.

New Employment Laws

Speaking on the impact of the new employment laws on the functioning of organisation, Shyam Verma, CHRO, JK Technosoft, said, “WFH has never been new to our work culture and we have clearly outlined the new normal policy stating the guidelines and mechanism for governing the hybrid work culture.”

“We have always been an organisation strictly adhering to the laws stated by the government and the draft standing orders on work from home issued by the Union Labour Ministry will further help us legally formalize parameters for remote work and service-related matters,” he added.

Inclusion of WFH Under Labour Laws

Keeping in view the changing work culture, Verma from JK Technosoft asserted that it is high time, the hybrid work model should not be kept restricted to companies internal policy and laws must be codified by the government to bring transparency in basic rights, obligations and responsibilities of the employers and the employees in the WFH model.

He further said, “There are many questions that arise under the work from home culture which are not answered by our current labour laws, such as whether the employer is liable to provide the employee with all the facilities in the WFH set-up, protection of confidential information while employees are working from home, how to manage employees’ performance, standard ways to record leave and attendance, hours of work, etc.”

Therefore, there is a need for a set defined policy by the government body that would address these questions or resolve conflicts and avoid anyone taking unfair advantage of the remote work culture, he said.

Advantage of Including WFH Under Labour Laws

Highlighting that including work from home under labour laws would be beneficial for both employers and employees, Verma said, “Including remote work models under labour laws would encourage employees, especially females, to take up flexible job roles that do not require them to necessarily be in office.”

Moreover, “this would motivate organisations to divide their workforce between physical and digital workforce depending upon the nature of work, without worrying about the reasons that prevent them from adopting the work from home culture. This would further promote companies to tap into talent from small towns and remote parts of the country,” he added.

Addressing the Existing Gaps in Remote Working

Till the time regulation of remote working is not clearly defined, Verma said organisations must draft an internal policy which should clearly state the rules for communication, monitoring, performance management, reporting requirement, working hours, regulating the use of personal devices for work purpose, etc.

Also, “it is advisable to create a culture of openness and accountability even in a remote work environment that would keep an employee motivated and enthusiastic. It is important to provide the employees with mentorship and flexibility in their work schedule so that they themselves figure out the right balance between their personal and professional life,” he said.

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