A Brief Introduction About the Telecommuting Agreement
A telecommuting contract is drafted when a company decides to keep the worker as an important team member while allowing them to carry out work from home or other non-office locations. The employee will be able to execute work from home with an internet connection, computer, and working phone.
The agreement helps both employees and employers to know their duties that they are supposed to follow until the end of the contract. The employee telecommuting agreement involves all the necessary terms and conditions that each party has to stick to. These conditions include the work hours of the employee, breaks they can take, payment, number of days they will work, and other necessary details.
Who Takes the Telecommuting Agreement?
The contract is signed between an employee (the person who agrees to perform work from home for a particular company) and the employer (the person who hires the remote working employees). Most companies want the employees to execute their regular office chores on specific hours from home.
All clauses should be clearly written in the contract. The additional clauses can be added, given that both parties agree with it.
Purpose of the Telecommuting Agreement
The main purpose of drafting the telecommuting agreement is to protect the worker and company from confusion. Should there be any dispute concerning the working hours or reimbursements, the telecommuting checklist and agreement can be used as evidence.
Furthermore, the contract should be read and signed by both parties so that the company and employee enter into a legal employment deal.
Contents of the Telecommuting Agreement
Contents of the agreement include:
- Duration: The duration of the agreement refers to the period of the agreement. The agreement should clearly specify the start date of the deal and the end date.
- Hours: The company decides the time when the employee is supposed to log into their PCs and perform office work. This section also specifies the number of holidays, lunch breaks, and business days. If an employee is salaried or covered under the federal law, he is exempt from OT pay. However, if you pay your employees per hour, then they will be eligible for OT pay and therefore, clauses should be drafted in accordance with the state laws.
- Resources and Equipment: The employer must provide the employee with all the necessary tools that are needed to execute the work. The equipment that will be provided to the employee should be documented and any equipment as may be required should be provided to the employee. Clauses that outline employee meeting once a particular period should be mentioned. At this meeting, all the required work, deliverables, expectations, and the resources required for completing that work should be given.
- Reimbursement: Under this section, the terms and conditions concerning the payment should be stipulated. The employer will only be liable to pay the amount decided by both parties. Furthermore, the mode of payment should also be specified in this section.
- Confidentiality: The employer can ask the employee to keep all the details and documents assigned to him during the telecommunication period confidential. The employee is responsible for maintaining privacy and ensuring that the employer’s confidentiality is maintained during the contract term. The employer can keep the confidentiality clause in effect after the contract termination. Liability clause is crucial in this agreement. You should have a clause that delegates the liability to the employee for any damage caused to self or company-issued property during the telecommuting.
- Termination: The contract can be terminated by any party at any period. Once terminated, the employee will be responsible for returning all the equipment and documents to the employer.
- Terms and Conditions: As long as the telecommuting policy is in effect, both parties agree to follow the mentioned terms and conditions. Should any party breach any term of the contract, they will be subject to penalty.
- Violation Penalty: The agreement can include the additional clause stating the penalties each party will suffer should they violate any term.
How to Draft the Telecommuting Agreement?
A telecommunication agreement form should be designed carefully under the supervision of an attorney. It must be reviewed and signed by both parties. Each party must check the sample telecommuting agreement to get an insight into the contents of the form. Here are some tips for drafting a telecommuting contract.
- A well-drafted agreement starts with an introduction of each party and specifies the duration of the contract.
- The obligations of each party must be clearly specified in the contract to avoid any future confusion.
- It should contain termination, confidentiality, work hours, duration, and other necessary clauses.
Each party is responsible for reading the agreement thoroughly before signing. To avoid any chaos, you must go over every clause to ensure that all terms and conditions are appropriate. Once read and understood, the parties can sign the contract to commence the telecommunication deal.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Telecommuting Agreement
As much as telecommuting policy is useful, it comes with certain drawbacks. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of the remote work agreement.
- Flexibility in Work: the remote work agreement allows employees to complete the office-based task flexibly. As long as the contract is, in effect, employees can enjoy a great level of flexibility.
- Legal Deal: By signing this agreement, both employee and employer can rest assured that they will get into a legal deal.
- Avoid Confusion: a thorough and well-drafted agreement will avoid confusion and disputes. Even if any dispute occurs, the parties can use the agreement to fix the issue.
- A telecommuting contract can be terminated by any party without any prior notice.
- Drafting a contract is not only an expensive but time-consuming procedure. Furthermore, it isn’t a legal necessity to follow telecommuting policies and procedures before finalizing a deal.
What Happens in Case of Violation?
Depending on the intensity of the violation, the punishment or compensation can vary. The party that violates the term should be subject to penalty. Failure to work at the given time, inability to pay the employee and any other contract violation(1) could result in the termination of the agreement.
Make sure that you read all the terms before signing the contract to avoid disputes and contract violations.
Employers are responsible for checking the telecommuting agreement template and drafting a comprehensive contract that covers all the necessary clauses. Any worker that plans on working from home should get the telecommuting document signed by each party to avoid future chaos.