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Teleworking: are you insured correctly?
Even though teleworking has existed for some time now, there has been an evident increase over the last few years. Mostly because it entails advantages for employees ànd employers alike, yet sometimes also out of necessity: just think about strikes that paralyse traffic, or terror attacks due to which certain places of work become inaccessible. But what happens if you have an accident while you are teleworking? Today, every employer and every employee benefits of a good cover for this risk as well. Below is an outline of the current state of affairs.
Teleworking is work that is carried out voluntarily and regularly outside of the business location and within the framework of an employment contract. The remote place of work could be the employee’s own home – this is homeworking – or a satellite office of the company. These are not the so-called ‘mobile teleworkers’: they are, for example, people with a commercial function who are on the road every day.
The employer offers the employee a written agreement, which contains all the arrangements regarding his/her teleworking. The rights and obligations are similar to those commonly applied in the usual place of work. The agreement also includes, among other things, the number of days the employee will/ can telework, which are the admissible working hours in such case, the way in which the employee should be reachable, and the support and compensation the employer is offering. It is also important that the employer incudes a clause for homeworking in the occupational accident insurance. We, at ADD, include it as standard.
An occupational accident is a sudden incident that occurs during the execution of the employment contract, and that causes an injury to the employee. When this happens during working hours and at the place of work as described in the contract, there is an assumption of an occupational accident. In that case, the insurer has to provide proof to the contrary. If the accident occurs outside of the recorded places of work and/or working hours, there is no assumption of an occupational accident. In that case, it is up to the employee to prove that it indeed was an occupational accident.
Caution: in the case of homeworking, the employee does not have to travel. Therefore, he is not insured for any accident ‘on the way’. In other words, if the employee takes his children to school or to nursery in the morning, he is not covered for that particular route. If an employee is working from a satellite office and, on the way there he has an accident while on an errand, cover is provided.
The insurance architects at ADD can draw up the best possible policy for your situation. As employer, you can extend your occupational accident cover with a private life cover, so your employees are insured for both work-related risks during working hours, as well as in their private life. This can be for 100% of the risk, or for a particular portion only.
It is very likely that, in the near future, the government will adjust these schemes within the framework of its efforts to achieve a better balance between work and work flexibility. We will certainly keep you up to date!
Do you have any questions? Would you like to receive a made-to-measure offer? Contact our specialist in these matters, Paul Caekebeke, or call your trusted ADD contact person.