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April Saturday

Telecommuting on the rise worldwide; Cuba is no exception



HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 1 (ACN) Since the early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it an increase in remote work modalities all over the world.

A report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) on social and employment prospects in the world (2021) reflects how online work has spread, mainly through digital platforms that offer a wide range of services.

According to the research, the presence of these web- and location-based tools increased globally from 142 in 2010 to more than 777 last year, whereas web-based online platforms tripled during this period.

Both workers and companies can benefit greatly from them: the former by finding in them a source of employment opportunities, and the latter by accessing that workforce, both globally and locally. However, the text clarifies that their growth is concentrated in a few countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Other countries find it more difficult to generalize this type of work, which requires a technological infrastructure as well as a minimum of skills on the part of the users. However, given its importance, many governments are committed to investing in the development of infrastructure and digital skills.

In Cuba, a blockaded country with technological limitations, widespread access to web-based digital platforms is not possible, but there are alternatives based on Act No. 116 of the Labor Code of 2014, which states in Article 24 that the contracts must mention the place of work agreed between the parties, as well as the number of working hours and vacation provisions.


This modality is understood as a work regime in which employees perform their duties alternating physical presence between the workplace and home, while their exchange of information is based on direct communication with bosses and colleagues, and not necessarily on information technologies.

Meanwhile, what is known as telework does require an Internet connection, since the employee is always at home getting instructions through technological devices.

The tightening of U.S. blockade forced the country to go through an energy scarcity in September 2019 that greatly limited access to fuel for transport, so telecommuting became a viable alternative.

Later, in 2020, the plan to fight COVID-19 in Cuba established that this modality was essential to protect the country's employees in the midst of the epidemiological situation.

Data provided by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTSS) have it that in 2020 more than 629,000 Cubans embraced telecommuting, and with good results at that.

Although telework has been less common because it requires greater Internet connectivity, both modalities were implemented in almost all sectors of the economy, particularly in agencies having the necessary infrastructure such as the Ministry of Communications.

MTSS executives recently emphasized that the large-scale application of these forms of work has succeeded, inasmuch as it allowed for energy savings and in some cases better performance indicators.

Decree Law No. 370 on the Informatization of Cuban Society lays down in Article 59 that the Ministries of Communications and of Labor and Social Security should take action to develop telework.

The development of infrastructures and skills to use the new technologies and a solid, fair and clear legal basis between employers and employees are requirements that Cuba must fulfill in order to achieve greater and better results with this form of employment.

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