WFH Employees: Work from Home is not all that new phenomenon, it has been there since very long but not at mass scale. There were certain occasions and emergencies when the employees where permitted to work from home. But with the advent of Covid-19 pandemic followed by global lockdown, the companies, especially IT companies started operating completely through WFH methods. Today, over the last one and half year, this has become the norm and is turning out to be much successful.
With the concept likely to stay for longer time, and new threats of virus staring at the world, there is a need for legalising the timing and also providing benefits for people doing WFH. The government of India is preparing to bring a legal framework to protect employees in the new normal of WFH.
According to the sources at Union government, discussions were going on to ascertain ways in which India can regulate WFH, which is expected to become a norm going forward. It is reported that a consultancy firm was being roped in to determine ‘future of work’ in the backdrop of the pandemic and the benefits it brings to all the stakeholders.
Notably, the Union government had in January this year formalized WFH for the services sector through a standing order. This order had allowed employers and employees to mutually decide on the work hours and other service conditions. However, this move was being seen as a token exercise as the services sector, which largely comprises IT and ITeS had already started the following work from home to employees under special conditions.
Now, the government wants to bring a comprehensive formal structure for all sectors. The latest move comes at a time when other countries put in place such frameworks. Recently, Portugal passed a law for the greater protection of employees working away from the company premises.
The government is forming an expert committee to come out with a comprehensive framework for all those involved in WFH. The framework can bring in new guidelines for fixing work hours for employees and payment of additional expenses incurred by them towards electricity and internet usage because of working from home. This framework will define the liability of employers towards employees working from home.
The idea is to provide a legal framework for the new models of work that have emerged during the pandemic, such as work from home or hybrid working to protect employees from the highly infectious Covid-19.
If the Union government come up with a framework and legalise the WFH, it is likely to benefit all the people and will have more productivity for the companies!