Both public sector and private sector jobs are set to be included in a new bill regulating remote working, Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou said on Tuesday.
He was speaking at the House labour committee, explaining that the government’s position is to include private sector workers, public workers, and those working for local authorities.
“I am sure that we all recognise the necessity to regulate the use of technology for remote work,” he said.
He said stakeholders were “satisfied” by the government’s decision to remove a phrase from the bill which would have required each and every government and semi-government organisation to make changes to their own regulations.
He explained that labour relations are regulated through legislation and through acts of parliament, and on occasion through decisions of administrative bodies, or through collective agreements, or a combination of multiple or all these forms of regulation.
“Our position is that these [forms of regulation] are not opposed to each other,” he said, explaining that the will not to create conflicts between the various forms of regulation was behind the decision to remove the phrase.
In addition, he said almost €7 million would be made available following the passage of the bill into law, which could “be used to subsidise the employment of workers who are currently not productive, by making use of remote working and other flexible forms of employment.
“The sooner we manage to complete the ongoing discussion [on the matter], the better,” he said.
He added, “we want to regulate the use of remote working to the greatest possible extent and in the best possible way,” and said the government had approved the framework for the regulation of flexible forms of work in the public sector.
“I am optimistic that in due course we will be able to proceed with the progression of the bill for a vote in the next plenary session of parliament,” he added.
Akel MP and committee chairman Andreas Kafkalias said “the clarification today and the finalisation of the government’s position on the matter is clearly a positive development which allows us as a committee to proceed to the article-by-article examination of the bill.”
He added that the committee wishes “to proceed as soon as possible to complete the debate and bring the bill to the house as soon as possible.”
He said the bill will be ready for a plenary session of parliament in around a month.
Disy MP Fotini Tsiridou said she was satisfied with the “political will and determination of the minister.”