Remote Work and Legal Issues Explained

Seda Cecen

Seda Cecen

11 min read

2021-04-14T

Remote Work and Legal Issues Explained

In recent times, working has become more difficult in the office. Even though this pandemic situation has destroyable outcomes, it also gives people opportunities to go beyond local services. The managers are inclined to get across the country and expand boundaries, and Companies hire international employees to achieve specific goals. The organizations will have enormous benefits, and the situation brings that. There are several circumstances that people can encounter problems with remote work, which is the crucial aspect of the legal issues. 

Every work has legal problems and solutions. Besides, remote work is much more problematic than office work because the worker can be from another state or even a different country. For this purpose, parties need to know their rights and obligations. Legal implications are necessary for remote works, but there are some points that leaders and employees should be careful to sign a contract with each other. Each issue needed to be regulated carefully because of both employee and employer protection. 

Privacy and Security on Remote Work

When people work remotely, they do not have a chance to establish a physical attempt at a meeting. They have to use all communication tools to give a report or take on a task. Usage of these communication tools can be insecure or unconcealed, so it leads company secrets or employees’ information to leak. The most sensitive information of both parties needs to be protected by strong policies. Both the worker and manager will be damaged from it. In addition to, privacy and security must have priority.  

Moreover, there are known companies experiencing data breaches from black hat hackers, and the companies have to be conscientious in order not to be one of those hacked organizations. In that sense, the companies should carry the responsibility of informing every person in their organizations about privacy and security policies. 

Integration to the policies, the companies, and their employees should use VPN when using public Wi-Fi. Also, they can use 2-factor authorization for their mail accounts. Besides, the computers of employees should contain encrypted hard disks to protect their personal data. 

Payroll Distribution

The companies make sure to pay every employees’ wages to the belonging states’ regulations if they have remote workers from other states. There are some specific requirements that the company should know the following pieces of information to comply with state’s laws;

  • Minimum wages
  • The information that is in to appear on paystubs
  • Payday frequency
  • Paycheck delivery
  • Payroll deduction
  • Overtime calculation
  • Payroll tax calculation 

The companies should take advice from their payroll departments or services to adapt to state regulations. Equally important, these tasks should be given to the person concerned with them precisely because those requirements are crucial for remote workers. 

International Labour Regulations

The organization can hire both national or international workers. That means the employees can be onboard from different states or different countries around the world. For those circumstances, the company has to correspond to the regulations of the states or international. The human resources department should check the employees’ situation and what laws will be applied to them. Otherwise, the company does not have an HR department, they obtain a consultant in charge of internal employees’ regulations with a background. 

Welfare and Security

Even though remote employees are not physically present at the office, it does not mean that the employer does not ensure the health and safety regulations. The remote workers can encounter some hazards, and this danger is identified by the employer itself. The employers are also responsible for the implementation of precautions to checking the risks and reducing them. Again, the managers can charge anyone who has experience in risk management or take responsibilities together. As well, there should be an operation for investigating and reporting incidents, injuries, or other kinds of illnesses, which are occurred during work time. 

However, the workers should take care of their safety and welfare because they are already working from far, maybe from home or something. They need to be careful about themselves. In some way, companies cannot be responsible for all manner of damages. The company also has to regulate and sign the contract about “remote workers injuries and illnesses,” and the labor agreement’s intercepts should be appropriate for any state or country. 

Organizations can take precautions to ensure their employees to best services. For instance, the company may deal with payable health or hospitalization services according to their needs. Also, they can provide the employees’ health and safety training remotely. In addition to that, the company can ensure the employer’s personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Hiring Process

When the company hires an employee or gives job postings, they carry the risk of legal complications. In order to eliminate the risks, they have to determine what kind of employees they are looking for and which qualifications they should have. There are some matters which are associated with the needs of employees who have to be careful when applying for the job, or the employers have to be cautious about that topic when they are hiring.  

Compensation; some states or countries have their compensation regulations, and they need to be determined before the onboarding process. The company will decide whether the location which is applicable or the company needs to know the rules of the employee’s state or country. 

Age; the organization must remark the required age, like young, old, or specific range of recruitment. The reason why determinacy is crucial for candidates, their motivation for applying for the right job, ensures them to be more productive and energetic characters, or if they are not appropriate for the job, they can search for any other jobs. 

Suppose the employers are looking for an employee who has fluent language skills and a smooth accent. In that case, they must ask for it because, especially in the remote world, people from other countries could not have enough pronunciation skills that the employers are looking for. The employer should remark this kind of talent, or if it is not, employers have to ignore it when they are hiring. 

There are several topics that can be problematic for both parties, but if the employer gives the right directions to the participants, the applicants can enroll in the situation appropriately. The employers make sure everyone can be involved in the hiring, and they need to understand the hiring process regulations. 

The companies, organizations, or even small business managers have to give responsibilities of legal issues to the experienced or the employee who is entirely focused on the topics. So they cannot face the struggles of legal problems in their companies. When the issues arise, the officers will know their duty, and the person will solve the problem quickly. 

What are the Requirements of Having Successful Security Policies?

You already read above why the companies need security policies, but also there are some steps on how they conduct these policies to the companies. 

Security policies consist of dual ways to ensure that policies. The first and foremost deal is preventing the external threats to conduct the integrity of the network. 

The external threats will be coming from technological devices. So, the hackers want to reach the company’s documents. These technology-oriented centuries especially for remote workers, have to use PCs, and reaching devices can be easy for them. The companies have to take precautions in order not to be hacked. When they keep their security of data sets, they will reduce the risks of external threats. The companies can use antivirus software, filters for emails, etc. 

Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) adjust workers’ behaviors calls for tact and diplomacy. That policy protects both employee and employer from liability if they demonstrate inappropriate activities were undertaken in violation of that policy.  

The company needs to specify the risks. The risks can occur because of inappropriate use, or they can be sent or receive large amounts of attachments or files. Likewise, because of the lost employee productivity or computer downtime, the company may lose thousands of dollars per month. They can determine their risk by using report or monitor tools. A lot of security product producers permit evaluation periods for their products. The company can take advantage of these opportunities. On account of, the employees want to know that their activities are recorded. On the contrary, the employee would not allow recording their activities from the company. Even more, they can perceive this as an invasion of privacy if it happens without their permission. 

The second option of determining the risks is following the people or organizations who are using these systems. The people focusing on that system can be a guide for the other company. Also, there are many guidance aspects like books, sales representatives, etc. 

Furthermore, the policies should be appropriate to legal requirements. According to location, jurisdiction, and data holdings, there should be specific standards to ensure security. Primarily if the company collects the personal data of workers, these standards are necessary for them. In order to reduce security risks, the company has to have security policies if they encounter a security breach. 

The other relation between risk and security issues is about their equalizations. This is because if the company has more cyber attacks, they need to protect their data as much. So, the risk and security levels are almost equal. Even though the companies must protect themselves from black hat hackers, they should not exceed the security issues because the excessive security processes can be an obstacle for smooth business operations. 

Additionally, the workers should involve the process of policy development to make it easier to adapt and apply the rules. The company only can inform them about the policy and changes or new features. The telling brings about compliance if people understand its necessity. 

The employees also need to be trained by their employers. Commonly, the companies ignore the training sections, or they can under appreciate the training. Nonetheless, according to the AUP implementation process, the staff have to be trained. The training is seen as a practice and practice that makes people ready to work, and it gives a chance to experience. Thus, people obtain an opportunity to ask questions, and these questions can help identify the policies and adjust the details to be more useful. 

The company has to be sure about whether the employee has read, signed, and understood the policies. In the same way, they need to repeat these processes to be confident and keep their mind clear about the procedures. If necessary, which is primarily for remote workers and large companies, the company should obtain an electronic delivery and track signatures for the documents. Secure electronic transactions are vital for remote and a company that has many workers. 

To prevent corruption, the company will take precautions, but also they need to set penalties and announce these to the workers. The employee has to obey rules and should not corrupt. The company will enforce the laws, even if they do not set in the right way or haphazard compliance is approximately as bad as no policy at all. 

The security policy is dynamic because of developmental technology. The workers need to keep pace with changes. The companies ensure the adaptation environment by using open communication systems. 

As a last option, beyond all other things, the company can buy the security tools to ensure the protection of employees’ personal data and secrets of the company. The investment in tools to ensure the company’s security policy will be one of the most effective and efficient purchases they will ever make. 

Taking everything into consideration, remote work is absolutely relevant to legal affairs. Both the employee and employer have to be sensitive about legal necessities. Mostly they are in a relation between technological protection. Then, privacy, hiring, payroll, and health are the critical points for the agreements. There are many details about jurisdictional thresholds, and both parties must obey the rules. Remote work gives a chance, and also, there are some requirements to protect their data from black hat hackers. 

*This document should not be assumed as a legal advice. These informations may always change, please contact with our team of attorneys to confirm.

References 

Law Studies

Flexjobs

CNIL

UNCTAD

Seda Cecen
Written by Seda Cecen

Related Articles