On July 11, Law 10/2021, of July 9, on remote work came into force. This Law includes the regulation of teleworking in Spain, in which the main novelty is that it increases the sanctions provided for non-compliant companies.

Article 2 of the Law describes the regulated concepts:

remote work: "form of organization of work or carrying out of the work activity according to which it is provided at the home of the worker or in the place chosen by the latter, during all or part of their day, on a regular basis."

Telecommuting: "That remote work that is carried out through the exclusive or predominant use of computer, telematic and telecommunication media and systems."

face-to-face work: "that work that is provided in the workplace or in the place determined by the company."

As for the area of application, the teleworking or remote work law applies to workers who voluntarily provide their paid services, on behalf of others and within the scope of organization and management of another person, natural or legal, undermined by non-employer or employer and who are regularly carried out remotely.

It is considered that the work is carried out regularly at a distance when in a period of 3 months this modality represents a minimum of 30% of the day. Or the proportional depending on the duration of the employment contract.

Main characteristics of teleworking in Spain

The main characteristics of the Law on teleworking or remote work are:

• Remote work is voluntary for the worker and for the employer.

• The remote work agreement must be in writing. 

• Requires the signing of a remote work agreement, which can form part of the initial contract or take place at a later time, without being imposed. In any case, it must be formalized before remote work begins.

• The decision to work remotely from a face-to-face work modality will be reversible for both the company and the worker.

A series of rights for workers, who are regulated in this Law, such as:

Right to training: Companies must adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the effective participation in training actions of people who work remotely.

Right to professional promotion: People who work remotely will have the right to professional promotion. The company must inform them, expressly and in writing, of the promotion possibilities that may arise.

Right to sufficient endowment and maintenance of means, equipment and tools: People who work remotely will have the right to the provision and adequate maintenance by the company of all the means, equipment and tools necessary for the development of the activity. Likewise, precise attention will be guaranteed in the case of technical difficulties, especially in the case of teleworking.

Right to payment and compensation of expenses: the development of remote work must be borne or compensated by the company. In addition, it may not imply the assumption by the worker of expenses related to equipment, tools and means related to the development of their work activity.

Right to flexible hours: Respecting the mandatory availability times and the regulations on work and rest time, the person who performs remote work may make the established service provision hours more flexible.

Right to adequate time registration: The time registration system must faithfully reflect the time that the worker dedicates to the work activity. It must include, among others, the start and end time of the day.

Right to occupational risk prevention: People who work remotely have the right to adequate protection in terms of safety and health at work.

Right to digital disconnection: People who work remotely, particularly teleworking, have the right to digital disconnection outside of their working hours.

For the provision of teleworking, an express agreement must be signed that is regulated in article 7 of the law, and whose minimum content is as follows:

1. Inventory of the means, equipment and tools required for the development of concerted remote work. This includes consumables and furniture items, as well as specifying the useful life or maximum period for their renewal.

2. List of expenses that the worker may have due to the fact of providing services remotely. Form of quantifying the compensation that must be paid by the company. As well as when and how to make said compensation, which will correspond, if it exists, with the provision included in the applicable collective agreement or agreement.

3. Working hours of the worker and within it, if applicable, availability rules.

4. Percentage and distribution between face-to-face work and remote work, if applicable.

5. Work center of the company to which the remote worker is attached and where, if applicable, they will carry out part of the work day in person.

6. Remote workplace chosen by the worker for the development of remote work.

7. Duration of notice periods for the exercise of reversibility situations, if applicable.

8. Means of business control of the activity.

9. Procedure to follow in the event of technical difficulties that prevent the normal development of remote work.

10. Instructions issued by the company, with the participation of the legal representation of the workers, regarding data protection, specifically applicable to remote work.

11. Instructions issued by the company, prior information to the legal representation of the workers, on information security, specifically applicable to remote work.

12. Duration of the remote work agreement.

The modification of the conditions established in this agreement must be agreed between the company and the worker and formalized in writing prior to its application.

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