The Employment and Immigration Practice Team of The Law Crest LLP led by our Partner, Ose Okpeku, delivered a presentation on “Remote Working: Key Legal Considerations for HR Function”
The Employment and Immigration Practice Team of The Law Crest LLP led by our Partner, Ose Okpeku, delivered a presentation on “Remote Working: Key Legal Considerations for HR Function” to the HR and Legal Departments of Nigerian Breweries Plc. The training covered a wide range of burning legal issues associated with remote working as an integral part of a business continuity plan which most businesses have adopted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the practical measures that should be implemented in addressing same.
In seeking answers to some of the issues, the presentation considered the Home Work Convention, 1996 of the International LabourOrganisation, the 2002 EU Framework Agreement for Teleworking and the Teleworking Enhancement Act, 2010 enacted in the USA (the “Frameworks”) which constituted the major drivers of teleworking prior to 2020, in addition to the effects of digital explosion and the emergence of millennials. The reference made to the Frameworks was predominantly important in view of the fact that Nigeria currently has no legal framework on remote working. However, the emphasis on equality of treatment of remote workers and the need to achieve a work-life balance, amongst other salient provisions in the Frameworks could be used in devising a potent Remote Working Policy, particularly when the National Industrial Court may rely on the Frameworks as international best practices in line with Section 254(C) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) (the “Constitution”).
Owing to the fact that remote working has created a new way of accessing an employer’s confidential information, some of the key issues considered in the training were data protection, risks of data security being breached, balancing the employee’s constitutional rights of privacy and the need to adequately monitor the employee’s official correspondence for quality control. In addition, issues revolving around liability for injuries sustained by employees while working remotely were also considered. The presentation ended with emphasis on the need to conduct Health and Safety Audit and generally amend policies and procedures to bring remote working in line with international best practices.