Remote work trends and new employment rights around the world

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in remote work globally. Some countries have implemented new laws, like abolishing qualifying periods for remote work and introducing digital nomad visas. Employment rights related to remote work are becoming permanent in some places, with tax allowances and regulations to prevent overworking. Different countries address remote work challenges, including timekeeping measures in Brazil, disconnection rights in Chile, restrictions on working hours in Norway, and requirements for in-person meetings in Portugal. In Ukraine, remote work became a necessity due to infrastructure destruction caused by Russian attacks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made remote work the norm, but the right to request flexible or remote work arrangements varies depending on an individual’s location.

The UK recently abolished the 26-week qualifying period for remote work, allowing it on day one of employment. Some countries have taken this a step further, moving to other countries with digital nomad visas, such as Spain, which offers tax breaks. Analysis by global insurance broker Lockton of changes to employment law shows that pandemic-era rights are becoming permanent, such as the UK’s tax allowance to offset home working costs. Criticisms of remote working include employees working excessive hours, which Brazil is tackling with electronic timekeeping. Chile allows employees to disconnect from work for 12 hours, while Norway forbids homeworkers from working at night or on Sundays. Portugal requires employees to meet employers in person every two months. While in Ukraine, due to the destruction of 140,000 buildings caused by Russian attacks, millions of people have been forced to adopt remote work as a necessity.