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Membership Employees Switzerland

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  • Creating the best possible working conditions
  • Sustain permanent employability
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  • Individual members of all branches incl. members working in the machine industry without solidarity card pay CHF 150.- per year.
    Individual members working in the machine industry with solidarity card pay CHF 260.- per year. After handing in their solidarity card, they will receive a reimbursement of CHF 170.- (refund solidarity card: CHF 60.- and financial contribution: CHF 110.-). Net amount is CHF 150.-.
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Home office is popular – now it needs to be regulated

Thursday, 06. May 2021
Working from home has become established across all industries in the wake of the Corona pandemic. Now we need clear rules concerning home office to protect the professionals.

 

Home office is very popular as a flexible model for the future - especially among professionals in the service and knowledge professions. This is evidenced by a member survey conducted by "die plattform" (the platform), the political alliance of independent and solution-oriented employee and professional associations, to which Employees Switzerland is associated.
 
Since the time of the survey, numerous political motions have been submitted to parliament: They deal with issues surrounding the mobility and accessibility of employees as well as the effects of home office in the area of health protection. The professional costs associated with home office are also a hotly debated topic. To make home office viable in the long term and beyond the current crisis situation, "die plattform" (the platform) is calling for an accurate assessment of the legal situation and a modernization of the current labor law. The Swiss government, unlike the British (as a report in the Guardian shows), seems to be rather uninterested in this so far.
 
Not a marginal phenomenon
Home office is no longer a marginal phenomenon. This development is confirmed by the the survey conducted by "die plattform" (the platform): For all respondents, a need for more home office has emerged from the Corona crisis. The overwhelming majority (96%) said they could work well from home. Overall, 52% (as many as 63% for those used to working from home) would like to work more from home in the future, and 45% would like to hold more virtual meetings. This desire is particularly high among employed persons with children. The practiced, albeit forced, compatibility during the crisis has proven to be positive.
 
Home office generally offers professionals in service and knowledge occupations greater flexibility in work arrangements and can promote motivation, work-life balance and health, as long as the affected employees enjoy great freedom to organize their work and the labor law framework is clearly defined.
 
Clear rules are needed
The legal situation, which has remained unchanged to date, urgently needs to be reconsidered under these new conditions. Home office is not regulated anywhere in the law. If home office is to become the new normal in the world of work, it is imperative to have clarity regarding the legal framework. Three levels of action stand out in particular: the regulation of working hours and rest periods, which are defined in the labor law, the provision of the necessary infrastructure, which can be part of an agreement between employer and employee, and the guarantee of health protection for work outside the company.
 
For example, the regulation of working hours and rest periods must take better account of the needs of employees, particularly with regard to the reconciliation of work and private life. The current labor law is designed for fixed working hours in the company. It dates back to the industrial age and no longer meets the new social and labor market needs of our service society. The labor law must be supplemented accordingly for work outside the company, and the resting and working time regulations must be simplified.
 
Technical and health protection sticking points
Working in a home office is often made more difficult because of the lack of infrastructure and technology. Unlike the necessary regulations in the labor law on working hours and health protection, the compensation of expenses associated with home office work and the provision of work equipment and materials should be part of an agreement between employer and employee. Most companies will need to adapt company regulations. Questions about accessibility must also be part of such regulations.
 
Finally, special attention must also be paid to health protection when working in a home office. Protection against psychosocial risks is implicitly included in the current labor law: Thus, the employer must issue all orders and take all measures necessary to maintain and improve the protection of physical and mental health. This must also be ensured in the home office, but it can hardly be controlled by access to private premises. Here, too, individual agreements are paramount.
 
The political alliance "die plattform" (the platform) therefore calls for a modernization of the labor law, coupled with corresponding preventive measures in the area of health protection, and if necessary also an adaptation of private law. The ball is now in the legislator's court.

 

"die plattform"
«die plattform» (the platform) is the political alliance of independent and solution-oriented employee and professional associations. It advocates for strong and self-confident professionals in the service sector and knowledge professions.
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