The Ministry of Labor issued guidelines to regulate teleworking as provided for in the Humanitarian Support Law[1]. The Decree mainly states:

Application

  • It is applicable to new teleworking contracts and to previously signed contracts.
  • Teleworking may be implemented at the beginning or at any time during the employment relationship.

Conditions

  • Teleworkers will have the same rights and obligations as on-site workers. Therefore, employers must respect maximum limits on working hours, breaks, payment of surcharges, and other provisions stipulated in the Labor Code.
  • The right to disconnect is 12 hours in a 24-hour period. The time employees have for lunch will be understood to be part of the disconnection period.
  • Remuneration may be paid on a daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis upon agreement between the parties.
  • Employers must provide equipment, guidelines, and supplies necessary for teleworking. Workers are responsible for the care and custody of such equipment and supplies as well as the confidentiality of the information that, in the performance of their duties, becomes known to workers.
  • Employers are not obliged to cover benefits such as food, uniforms or transportation not used by workers while teleworking.

Implementation:

  • Employers are required to notify workers by mail or in person of the decision to implement teleworking.
  • Employers will have 15 days to register it in the Work System (SUT).
  • If the work carried out allows for teleworking, but a worker cannot do it due to particular circumstances outside their control, they must notify their employer. If such circumstances are verified, teleworking cannot be applied.
  • Teleworking is reversible. Therefore, workers may return to working in-person at the request of their employers, unless the contract was permanently modified by mutual agreement between the parties to allow for teleworking, or, if by order of the competent authority, in-person work is not possible.

[1] Ministerial Agreement No. MDT-2020-181 of September 14, 2020. Available at: http://www.trabajo.gob.ec/acuerdos-ministeriales/

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