Diamantopoulou hails telecoms deal for home workers

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Series Details Vol.7, No.6, 8.2.01, p8
Publication Date 08/02/2001
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Date: 08/02/01

By John Shelley

HOME-BASED telecommunications employees should be guaranteed minimum workplace standards under an agreement reached between trade unions and employers groups this week.

Under the deal, telecoms firms pledge to ensure that health and safety rules are followed in the home as much as the office and that home workers have the same access to training and career development as their office colleagues.

The accord also commits employers to provide, install and maintain any equipment needed for work and prevent 'teleworkers' becoming isolated from a social environment.

Visits by managers or other staff would only be by prior appointment, according to the guidelines.

The European Commission welcomed the agreement. It considers working from home as a key means for increasing flexibility in the job market and bringing people who would not normally have employment back into the world of work.

"These telework guidelines are a clear sign one of our leading industrial sectors, telecommunications, is fully committed to responding to the challenges of the knowledge society," said employment Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou.

Although the guidelines are not legally binding, telecoms operators and trade unions are expected to take them up in their collective bargaining practices.

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