05 Dec What laws regulate remote working conditions?
Remote working conditions have become more accepted in the workforce since the global pandemic hit in March 2020. Most workers are aware that this shift from strictly in-office work to more virtual workspaces has affected the workplace in many ways, and it is the responsibility of employment laws that regulate the employer-employee relationship to adapt to these changes.
As remote working can be accomplished anywhere in the world, a different city, province, or country; the laws that govern both employers and employees will be dictated by the physical location of the workplace. For example, if you are working remotely from Ontario and your office is based in Quebec, the employment laws that you will be expected to follow are those that govern Quebec workers. However, if you usually live and work remotely in Quebec but are currently visiting Ontario, you will still be required to follow Quebec employment laws.
When an employee moves between many remote locations, the Employment Standards Act (ESA) outlines that the work completed will always be in response to the original place of business. So, if the worker performs their role with a workplace located in Ontario but often travels outside of the province, any work that is completed will be an extension of the role based in Ontario.
If the employee is working out of a different country than their current workplace, what currency they will be compensated in could be a pressing question. Employees that work for a Canadian company will most likely be paid in Canadian currency, however, it may differ for some provinces or territories.
When the employee pays income tax, the amount of income tax they must provide will be dependent on how and where they hand in their work. If the employee submits their work to their employer in person (even if they work remotely), they will have to provide the amount of income tax based on where the business is located. If it is difficult to pinpoint the place of business, it can be characterized as the setting in which the employer rents, owns, or leases the property, and where at least one employee receives their payments. If the employee does not submit their work to their employer in person, they will provide the income tax required in the area where they receive compensation. This could be a general location where the employer submits all wages for their entire team.
There are many extra variables that an employer must consider with remote work that could become overwhelming. To establish some consistency and control, employers can prepare employment contracts for future remote workers. Employment contracts for remote conditions can include any limitations to proximity of the remote location to the place of business, whether the employee is a long-term or short-term remote worker, how productivity will be monitored, required hours, any supplies necessary for the role, privacy policies etc.
However, deciding beforehand what laws oversee the employee is not at the discretion of the employer. It is completely at the discretion of the laws governing where the work is being completed and the location of the place of business.
If you are a remote worker and have experienced a breach in your employment agreement with your employer, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.