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Work from home Telecommuters need more protection, say unions

Many workers find it hard to switch off after hours.

(Keystone)

Swiss trade unions worry that digitalization and telecommuting pose a risk to wages, jobs, and working conditions. 

The Swiss Federation of Trade Unionsexternal link announced on Monday that it is drawing up a comprehensive list of demands to protect workers from employers that want to cut costs at the expense of employees. It sees a need for action particularly in terms of working from home – and especially when it comes to material costs, expenses, and liability. 

The unions are also concerned about so-called psycho-social risks, such as constant accessibility, the blurring lines between work and leisure time, and isolation for telecommuters. The federation predicts that these risks could increase with digitalization. 

Now, the federation is calling for new legislation on the following points related to working from home:  

  • Employer coverage of all expenses, including the use of private infrastructure and materials
  • Employer assurance of health and safety of workers in terms of ergonomics, air quality, light, etc.
  • Rights of employees to be unavailable outside of agreed-upon working hours
  • Better data protection on private devices, as well as on devices used for business and private tasks
  • Explicit ban on measures designed to monitor performance
  • Clear definition of liability in the event of theft

In addition, the unions want employers to grant them access to employees for the purpose of discussing working conditions.

swissinfo.ch/sm

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