Types of teleworking
In principle, there are two types of teleworking. We can make a distinction between, on the one hand, regular telework, where an employee can regularly work from home or outside the company, for example, every Friday or every Wednesday afternoon. A legislative framework has been in place for regular telework for some time. On the other hand, there is occasional telework that, as the word suggests, is infrequent and on a non-regular basis. This is the case, for example, when there are serious public transport delays, or if there is heavy snowfall, but also during the current corona crisis.
What if there is an accident at work?
There is a legal presumption that an accident that occurs because of and during execution of the work, is effectively an accident at work. This therefore means that it is assumed that the accident has occurred during working hours and at the workplace, even though that is the employee's own home. That is in favour of the victim.
However, until early 2019, that legal presumption only applied to regular telework.
Until that time, occasional teleworkers had to be able to prove that it was an accident at work, which could cause problems in relation to insurance cover. The change in legislation addresses this problem. Since 27 January 2019, the presumption applies to both regular and occasional telework. And that is a good thing, particularly because the current corona crisis falls under the heading of 'occasional telework'.
The only condition that has to be met is that there has to be written evidence that permits occasional telework. Nevertheless, no specific conditions are attached to this. A simple email or text message are therefore more than sufficient. Furthermore, either the employee or the employer can initiate this.
Working hours and workplace
When providing consent, it is recommended that the working hours, workplace and period of work are included in the communication concerning telework. If this information is not communicated, the usual working times apply as evidence of the accident at work. That can be important if the situation deviates from the general employment and, all too often, that is the case, particularly during this corona crisis.
What about the commute to and from work?
The commute from and to the workplace, even if that workplace is the home, is insured for the distance from and to a child's school or childminder/nursery, and for the distance from and to the location where employees buy and/or eat meals. Since the change in legislation, these routes are considered to be normal commuting routes.
What are the insurers currently saying?
Considering the legal requirement, insurers are supposed to offer cover within the scope of the occupational accident insurance. However, today there are also many insurers that highlight certain points for attention, or that automatically scale up the guarantees if you, as a business, creatively look for solutions in order to keep your business running. For example, if your company temporarily expands as a result of coronavirus (i.e. home deliveries in the food service sector), it is a good idea to inform your broker of this.
If you have any questions about accidents at work when teleworking, or if you would like to find out whether your employees are properly insured, please contact your account manager or one of our specialists at email@example.com.