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Costa Rica Implements a Law to Regulate Remote Workers

Costa Rica has signed into law its newly-passed legislative bill related to telecommuting in an apparent effort to persuade IT-enabled services providers to create jobs for people beyond the country’s urban neighborhoods.

Under the law, employees of both private and public sector companies can work from home without commuting to their offices.

Thousands of Costa Ricans are already working remotely, but the working arrangement was not regulated. The new law sets the standards for the work-from-home policy, outlining the responsibilities and rights of both the workers and their employers.

The regulation is part of the government’s effort to reduce the unemployment rate currently hovering over 11 percent.

Costa Rican investment promotion agency, CINDE, says ‘working-from-home is a great way’ to create employment in areas beyond the metropolitan cities. Around 600 of the 850 jobs created outside the greater metropolitan areas last year are today being carried out from home, the agency added.

Jorge Sequeira, Cinde’s managing director, says telecommuting will boost employee productivity also. “Without doubt, this law will strengthen Costa Rica’s investment climate under the modern work schemes that the fourth industrial revolution demands,” Sequeira added.

Many multinational companies operating in the country had long been demanding the government put in a legal framework for telecommuting.

According to a study by the International Center to Promote Remote Work (CIDTT by its Spanish acronym), every remote worker helps his employer save at least US$517 annually.

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Moreover, telecommuting reduces air pollution in cities, as the number of vehicles on urban roads decline.

As a result, a large metropolitan city may save up to 48 million liters of fuel over a period of one year, equivalent to more than 28,000 tons of carbon dioxide, the report added.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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