Government chaos: minister insists working from home is compulsory - spokesperson denies it

Employees who are unable to work remotely will be required to carry a document stating

Is working from home obligatory in Catalonia? The Head of the Department for Work, Chakir El Homrani, assured this Tuesday in an interview to RAC1 that companies have the obligation to allow their employees to work from home if they can adapt their operations. However, sources in the presidency have qualified this statement a little later and have indicated that the obligation is to "promote" working from home. The Councillor of the Presidency, Meritxell Budó, had already insisted yesterday that the Generalitat cannot decree the obligatory nature of teleworking with the current state of alarm approved by the Spanish government.

Despite the situation with covid-19, there are still many employees who go to work in person every day. That is why the Consell de Relacions Laborals (formed by the Generalitat, the unions CCOO and UGT and the employers' associations Fomento and Pimec) insisted yesterday in a statement that all companies that could should have employees work from home.

"Companies remain in the obligation to limit the mobility of workers by adopting systems of distance work and teleworking, as well as telematic meetings, in accordance with the measures decreed by the health authority, during its period of validity, and we recall that only if the kind of work requires working in person is mobility allowed," the organisation said in a statement. Even so, the Government itself has recalled that this obligation is limited to promoting distance working.

In fact, El Homrani had even assured that those companies that failed to comply with the obligation to telework (whenever possible) ran the risk of being sanctioned. However, presidential sources have ruled out this possibility for the time being.

What will be a requirement is that those companies where the work has to be done in person provide a supporting document to their employees so that they can make the trips to the workplace. In addition, the Consell de Relacions Laborals recommends that in these cases other measures be adopted to avoid contagion, such as staggered entry and exit times or timetable flexibility to avoid public transport peak hours.

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