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Remote Work and Belarusian Labor Legislation 
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04 April   John D.  

Remote Work and Belarusian Labor Legislation 

The beginning of the coronavirus pandemic has led to the popularity of remote work. Consequently, amendments were integrated into the…

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The beginning of the coronavirus pandemic has led to the popularity of remote work. Consequently, amendments were integrated into the Labor Code of the Republic of Belarus, specifically addressing the regulation of remote work, with the changes becoming effective on January 28, 2020.

A new chapter on remote work has been introduced into the Labor Code of the Republic of Belarus, defining remote work as the performance of work functions by an employee outside the employer’s premises using information and communication technologies. This primarily encompasses computer technology, enabling employees and employers to exchange information and documents via various online platforms such as email, instant messengers, and chats.

Remote work possesses distinct characteristics. Tasks that can be executed remotely often lack tangible outcomes. For instance, janitorial or medical duties that involve patient examinations typically cannot be feasibly conducted remotely. Remote workers typically include programmers, copywriters, editors, and other professionals whose presence at the workplace is not obligatory.

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You can work legally Remote Work from Foreign Countries

The legality of working remotely from a foreign country has become a subject of recent deliberation among legal experts and government officials. Clarifications from state entities affirm that employees retain rights guaranteed by the Labor Code of the Republic of Belarus only when physically located within the borders of Belarus.

However, an employee who has entered into an employment contract within Belarus is considered to be working in compliance with Belarusian labor laws regardless of their location while performing job functions. Nevertheless, issues such as entitlement to sick leave for such employees remain unresolved.

Hence, it currently appears that working remotely from a foreign country is not legally permissible unless explicitly agreed upon by the parties involved.

Suitable Types of Employment Contracts for Remote Work in Belarus

Employment contracts for telecommuting differ from standard employment agreements. An employment contract with a remote worker must explicitly state the remote nature of the work.

For existing employment contracts where the employee transitions to remote work, it’s advisable to draft an additional agreement specifying the remote work arrangement. This supplementary agreement should detail the use of technical tools and establish the schedule for work and rest. It’s crucial to note that remote workers remain subject to general labor legislation regarding working hours, rest periods, and other pertinent regulations.

Proper Procedures for Establishing Remote Work in Belarus

The organization of remote work must be carried out in accordance with the current norms of labor legislation. The conclusion of an employment contract requires the physical presence of an employee; remote conclusion is not allowed.

Additionally, the employment contract must explicitly stipulate the remote nature of the work and include provisions such as:

  • Methods of communication between the employee and the employer during work hours.
  • Inventory of computer communication tools for exchanging messages, files, and records.
  • Work and rest schedules, including designated lunch breaks.
  • Other relevant conditions.

Distinguishing between homeworkers and remote workers lies in the location of labor function performance. While homeworkers typically operate from their residences, remote workers have the flexibility to work from any location convenient for them.

Document Exchange and Signing Procedures for Remote Work in Belarus

Employment contracts specify that the exchange of work outcomes occurs through information and communication technologies (e.g., SMS, instant messengers, email).

It’s important to differentiate between electronic documents and digitally signed electronic documents. The latter requires signatures using electronic digital signatures.

In situations requiring the exchange of text-based documents, physical copies may be sent via registered mail within two days if necessary.

Regarding disciplinary actions, employees must be personally acquainted with disciplinary orders within five days of publication, with remote viewing not permitted.

Termination of Remote Work: Procedures

The legislation dictates that employment contracts for teleworking may be terminated based on general grounds outlined in the Labor Code, without any special termination provisions.

In cases of termination, the employer’s dismissal order must be personally acknowledged with a signature. Alternatively, acknowledgment through the exchange of electronic documents is acceptable.

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Employee Refusal to Work Remotely

If the employer has valid reasons, such as concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus, they may notify employees of significant changes in working conditions, including transitioning to remote work.

Should an employee refuse to continue working under these revised conditions, the employment contract may be terminated under Article 35, Paragraph 2 of the Labor Code of the Republic of Belarus.

About the author

John D.

Content Marketing Manager

Джон Д. - менеджер по контент-маркетингу в компании EOR.by. Он вкладывает все свои силы в упрощение сложных тем. Имея опыт создания контента и разработки стратегий на местном рынке и за рубежом, Джон делится своим богатым знаниями, чтобы облегчить процессы компаний



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