The Regulation on Remote Working (“Regulation”) is issued by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services in accordance with Article 14 of the Labor Law (“Law”). The Regulation regulates the procedures and principles of remote working that has become widespread in our country due to the Covid-19 pandemic, works that cannot be performed remotely and provisions for protecting and sharing of data. Although the Regulation plays a role in clarifying the rights and obligations of employees and employers within the scope of remote working, it is thought that further details of the matter will be determined in the near future by court decisions and secondary legislation.
(i) Written agreement requirement
In parallel with the Law, employment agreements related to remote working will have to be made in writing pursuant to the Regulation. The agreement will include the definition of work, the way of conducting the work, the duration and the place of the work, wage and matters regarding the payment of wage, working tools and equipment provided by the employer and obligations regarding the protection thereof, communication of the employer with the employee and provisions regarding general and special working conditions.
(ii) Transition to remote working
The employment relationship between the employer and the employee can be established directly through a remote working agreement or an existing employment agreement can be converted into a remote working agreement upon the agreement of the parties.
The employee will be able to request in writing from the employer to work remotely. The said request will be evaluated by the employer and notified to the employee within 30 days in line with the procedure determined in the workplace based on consideration of suitability of the request in terms of remote working due to the nature of work and employee and other criteria to be determined by the employer. In case remote working is required to be applied for compelling reasons, the employer’s request or approval will not be required for transition to remote working.
The employee who switched to remote working will be able to request to work at the workplace again.
(iii) Arrangement of work environment
If necessary, arrangements regarding the environment of remote working needs to be completed before the commencement of work. The procedure of payment of the costs arising from remote working arrangement will be determined jointly by the employee and the employer.
(iv) Supply and use of materials and working tools and covering the production costs
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties under the employment agreement, materials and working tools required for the production of goods and services of the employee will be provided by the employer. In such a case, the principles of use, maintenance and repair conditions of the materials and the tools will be notified to the employee and a written list of the working tools indicating their costs will be delivered to the employee. A copy of the signed list by the employee will be kept in the employee’s personal file.
The issues regarding the determination and covering of the necessary costs directly related to the production of goods or services arising from the performance of the work will be specified in the employment agreement.
(v) Determination of working hours
The time interval and duration of remote working will be specified in the employment agreement. In accordance with the legislation, working hours can be changed by the parties and overtime work is only possible upon the request of the employer and the acceptance of the employee.
(vi) Protection of data
The employer must inform the employee on the business rules and the relevant legislation regarding the protection and sharing of data in relation to the workplace and work, and take the necessary measures to protect such data. The employer will determine the definition and scope of the data under the employment agreement. The employee is obliged to comply with such business rules.
(vii) Taking measures regarding occupational health and safety
By taking into consideration the work done by the employee, the employer is obliged to inform the employee about the occupational health and safety measures, provide the necessary training and health surveillance to the employee, and take the necessary occupational safety measures regarding the equipment it provided to the employee.