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Cryptocurrencies in Ireland by J.D Scanlon & Company Solicitors
Cryptocurrencies — also known as digital currencies or virtual currencies — are a form of digital money. They allow payments to be made electronically and function in a similar way to standard currencies that use physical cash. However, unlike standard currencies that can be exchanged physically using notes and coins, cryptocurrencies are only exchanged electronically using lines of computer code.
In Ireland, the Euro has legal tender status. The Euro is the country’s officially recognized currency. Euro must be accepted as payment of a debt. Cryptocurrencies on the other hand, do not have legal tender status. This means there is no legal obligation for them to be accepted.
Note that cryptocurrencies are unregulated and decentralized. This means that no central bank guarantees them or controls their supply.
Cryptocurrency does not appear to fall within any of the categories in section 2(1) of the Payment of Wages Act 1991 (“the 1991 Act”) which provides the modes of payment of wages that are permissible in Ireland. Therefore, cryptocurrency should not be used to pay employees’ salaries.
The Irish Central Bank is investigating the possibility of issuing a central bank digital currency. Such a digital euro would be backed by the European Central Bank. However, this has not yet Occurred.
About our legal partner
J.D. Scanlon Solicitors & Company - Centrally located in Tullamore and in the heart of Dublin City, J.D Scanlon & Company have over a quarter of a century’s experience handling both public sector and private clients. The firm has achieved the Gold Standard for the past eleven years in independent audits carried out by the Institute of Legal Research and Standards.
Teleworking regulations in Spain by Delvy Law & Finance
Rules and regulations for employers regarding telework and remote working are governed by Law 10/2021 of July 9 2021 (the “Legislation”). For the purposes of the Legislation, a distinction is drawn between teleworking, which is is defined as work that is carried out through the use of computer or telematic systems and remote working which consists of work carried out at the worker's home or at the place chosen during their working day or part of it on a continuous basis.
When is teleworking or remote working considered?
To be considered telework or remote work, the worker must perform at least 30% of their working day under either of these working modes. This is calculated by using a reference period of three months. For temporary contracts, the worker must spend the equivalent duration of their contract in either of these modes of work. Workers under 18 years old, who are under apprenticeship or who are undergoing a period of recognised training, may telework or work remotely if they perform part of their role on site.
How does the Legislation regulate teleworking?
The possibility of teleworking or remote working and whether the employee’s role can be performed under either modality is agreed between the company and the worker. This decision cannot be unilaterally imposed by either party and the specifics and conditions of this arrangement must be agreed, recorded and signed in a "telework agreement" prior to the worker commencing work activity under this modality. The agreement must also be registered with the State Public Employment Service within ten days of the agreement’s effective date.
What terms should be included in the telework agreement?
The Legislations provides the following guidance:
- Duration of the telework agreement.
- Schedule that the worker will carry out under this modality.
- Exact place (full address specification) where the worker is going to telework.
- Workplace to which the worker is assigned.
- Amount of compensation for the expenses derived from teleworking to the worker and how the worker will be remunerated.
- Inventory of the company's own tools made available to the worker to telework.
- Distribution of working time indicating the percentage of the working day that will be carried out in person and remotely.
- Worker’s notice period in the event that they want to terminate the remote work agreement.
- Information security instructions applicable in teleworking.
- Business Control measures in the event that any of these activities cease to exist.
- Procedure description in case of technical difficulties that prevent remote work.
- Equal treatment and non-discrimination of remote workers
Employees who work remotely will have the same rights as workers who work onsite and may not suffer any discrimination or prejudice in their working conditions, namely in regards to remuneration, job stability, working time, training, and professional promotion. In the salary supplements, the expenses derived from remote work will have to be added so that these people are not penalized for exercising this type of work.
Company’s payment of teleworking expenses
The employer will bear the costs involved in remote work, including the costs of the tools necessary to carry out the work activity. A collective agreement may establish mechanisms to compensate for such expenses. This rule also applies to those workers who were already teleworking before the publication of the Legislation. No compensation or more beneficial rights will be implied nor will any of their prior rights disappear or be absorbed.
When do you have to sign a telework agreement adapted to Law 10/2021?
Companies that already had telework workers before October 2020 were granted a period of 3 months to adapt the content of their agreement. In the event that the conditions of teleworking are regulated according to a collective agreement, a new agreement must be signed when the collective agreement loses its validity. If the agreement does address duration, the Legislation must be applied within a year, or a maximum of 3 if agreed between the signatory parties.
Priorities and preferences when working remotely
There are workers or worker groups that have priority when it comes to accessing telework (if compatible with their position), for example those with the right to breastfeeding, victims of gender violence and victims of terrorism. The moment the circumstances that enabled teleworking cease, workers have the right to reverse this modality and return to their face-to-face jobs.
Modifications in remote work and reversibility
The decision to telework will be voluntary and reversible for both company and worker. Any request for reversal must be communicated in advance and in compliance with the notice period established in the agreement. The default position is that remote workers will be prioritised to fill vacancies that arise for on-site roles. The non-adaptation of a worker to telework, the refusal to change their working modality or the request to reverse telework will not be valid causes for dismissal. The most contentious point in negotiations is the minimum percentage of telework to be considered remote work (established by law is 30% of the total working day during a period of 3 months). For example, if the worker performs at least about 2 days of telework a week, the company would already be obliged to sign a telework agreement.
- The Legislation regulates a series of rights that must be guaranteed to remote workers:
- Right to training - guaranteed equal access and the necessary training to telework.
- Right to professional promotion - all workers must be informed in writing of of any new opportunities, even if they are face-to-face.
- Right to receive appropriate work equipment - workers will be given the necessary equipment to telework according to the inventory indicated in the Remote Work Agreement.
- Right to be compensated for incurred expenses - the employer must compensate the direct expenses related to the equipment and means linked to its work activity. Specific supplements may be included in the collective agreement.
- Right to a flexible schedule - the worker may alter their working hours, if agreed with the company, and by respecting the regulations of work and rest.
- Right to privacy and data protection - The company may not require the installation of programs on devices owned by the worker, nor may it require the use of these computers to telework. Through collective bargaining, these aspects can be defined further.
- Right to digital disconnection - Workers will have the right to disconnect from their devices outside their working hours. The company must guarantee the latter and must limit their use of business communication tools during rest hours.
- Collective rights - Workers must be guaranteed access to communication with workers' representatives and their organized activities.
About our legal partner
Delvy Law & Finance - is a young and dynamic law firm born in Barcelona’s 22@ district that specializes in the areas of commercial law, intellectual property law and finance, information and communications technologies, as well as tax and labor law. Their aim is to be the “reference when it comes to covering the legal, financial and tax needs of disruptive technological companies and startups”. They focus on advising entrepreneurs, investors and startups and can advise you throughout all the different growth stages (seed phase to growth phase, closing funding rounds and eventual exit).