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This Remote Work Agreement is used to change or adjust an employee's 'Place of Work' under an existing contract of employment.
The Covid 19 Pandemic has expedited existing trends towards remote work in the Irish employment market. 'Remote work', otherwise known as 'teleworking' refers to the practice whereby employees perform their contractual duties from home or from a non-office location. The benefits of remote work for both employers and employees have motivated the Irish government to make remote working a fixture of the Irish labour market by creating a statutory right to request remote work. As such, the number of employees working remotely or in a 'hybrid' fashion is only set to increase.
This Remote Work Agreement is designed to facilitate employers in managing this transition, to ensure they meet their ongoing legal obligations under Irish Employment Law, while satisfying their legitimate business interests.
The Remote Work Agreement sets out the key terms and conditions associated with any remote working arrangement: its commencement date, duration, trial period, working hours and other associated employee's obligations arising thereunder. Under Irish Contract Law, any variation to a core term or condition of a contract of employment, must be agreed to by both parties. A change in the employee's designated place of work represents a variation of such a core term, for which the consent of both parties must be acquired. This Remote Work Agreement, once signed by the employer and employee, is a statement of both parties' assent to the variation in the employee's place of work. It makes clear that no other terms or conditions of employment are altered by the employee's transition to remote work unless expressly stated.
Despite the change in the employee's work location, the employer's legal obligations to that employee endure in respect of health and safety, working hours and annual leave. As such, this Remote Work Agreement incorporates the relevant provisions of the Health and Safety Act and Organisation of Working Time Act, and makes clear their ongoing applicability during the remote work arrangement.
As most businesses operating in the Covid 19 Pandemic are already aware, an employee performing their contractual duties in a non-office setting presents certain logistical and operational challenges for the business. The most glaring of these challenges come in the form of: performance management, health and safety, data protection and security.
This Remote Work Agreement allows the employer to proactively address these matters. General parameters for health and safety, data protection and performance monitoring are established. The user can then individualise the specific employee obligations in these spheres to reflect their individual business needs.
How to Use this Document
This document can be used by employers who have agreed to allow an employee to transition to a remote working arrangement, on a temporary, permanent or trial basis. This document can be formatted as a letter or a standard two party contract. The document has the same legal effect irrespective of the format.
It is important to note that this Remote Work Agreement should only be used in respect of an existing employment relationship. It operates to vary an existing contract of employment. This document taken in isolation is not a complete contract of employment as certain core terms and conditions are omitted.
The agreement should be signed by both the employer and the employee to render it a legally binding adjustment to the employee's contract of employment. Both parties should keep a printed copy of their agreement for their business and personal records.
This document observes the norms of Irish Contract Law. It directly incorporates several pieces of Employment Law legislation, namely: The Terms of Employment (Information Act) 1994, The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, the Display Screen Regulations 2007.
This Remote Work Agreement contains provisions relating to privacy and data security, which recall some of the key principles applicable to data processors under the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.
It is also written in contemplation of the forthcoming Right to Request Remote Work legislation set to take effect in 2022. This document integrates the core principles of the finalised Bill.
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Other names for the document: Remote Working Contract, Agreement for Remote Work, Variation to Contract of Employment: Remote Work, Teleworking Contract, Contract to allow Distance Working for Employee