In every civil society, certain rights have been put in place to guarantee equity and fairness for all. The same goes for every workplace. Every employee has certain rights that they are entitled to that provide a safe and non-toxic environment where they can thrive and excel. These rights affect diverse aspects of workplace ethics in relation to the employee. This includes pay, health, safety, bullying at work, discrimination, entitlements, breaks, and much more.
As an employee, it is vital that you know and understand:
- The terms and conditions of your employment.
- Your rights to health and safety, and against bullying and discrimination.
- Your access to precautionary gear and safety equipment.
- And most importantly, where to get help if any of the workplace challenges listed above arise.
Having substantial knowledge of these rights can protect you if the situation arises.
How Can the Workplace Rights of a Remote Worker Change?
With recent global developments, advancement in technology, and ongoing world crises, the need for many more employers and their employees to create a remote working arrangement, both formally and informally has arisen. More arrangements have been made to cater to and support a large percentage of workers to work remotely.
But do these developments truly benefit remote workers? Does it cater to their rights as workers or have their workplace rights been sidelined? In cases like this, it is easy for a lot of employers to get carried away with the concept of remote work, that they fail to extend the appropriate workplace rights to their employees. Many workplace rights and privileges were created to mainly cater to workers in the physical workspace and therefore, tend to leave out virtual workers.
What this means in essence, is that:
- Typical rights such as access to health and safety may be cut off or reduced since they may no longer report to the office.
- Suitability of the worker’s remote working environment for their type of work may not be considered.
- Discrimination or stereotyping (which may affect decision-making) may occur against those that work remotely.
- Breach of employee privacy may occur due to excessive surveillance from the company.
- There may be blurred lines between work hours and off-hours (instigated by the employer) since the employee now works virtually.
This should not be so because rights in the workplace should cover all employees, not only those at the physical workspace. Remote workers have workplace rights and entitlements just as well as the employee who reports at the office.
Knowing your Rights as a Remote Worker
Before you begin to examine your rights as a remote worker, it is important that you meet the standards of a remote worker as recognized by many companies. A remote worker is someone who works outside of a traditional office. This could be anywhere, your bedroom, favorite coffee shop, or lounging by the poolside. What matters is that the job gets done. If this description fits you, take a look at these important rights you ought to know and exercise as a remote worker.
- You have the right to a private life and family life. Although your employer has the right to monitor you, you must be adequately informed and aware of it. This covers emails, internet access, telephone calls, data, and images.
- You have the right to see any information that has been recorded about you.
- You have the right to adequate health care and safety support from your employer.
- You have the right to reasonable working hours and at least 20minutes of rest breaks.
- You have the right to a standard employment contract.
- You have the right to the enjoyment of just and favorable conditions of work.
As a remote worker, always remember that it is within your right to request for fairness in any working condition. Employers and HR need to work together to ensure that the welfare of every employee is adequately catered to. This would create a balance in workplace rights for all types of workers, remote or not.
Alex Capozzolo is the owner of the Brotherly Love Real Estate blog and a content writer for the real estate industry. Our focus is on helping people through one of the most important investment decisions of their lifetime by seamlessly providing fast, honest and professional real estate services.
About the Author: Alex Capozzolo is the co-owner of Brotherly Love Real Estate.