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Cabo Verde

Remote and Flexible Work Options

Learn about remote work policies and flexible work arrangements in Cabo Verde

Remote work

Cabo Verde has become a prominent figure in Africa's remote work landscape, thanks to its supportive legal framework and picturesque environment. This article delves into the regulations, technological requirements, and employer considerations that contribute to successful remote work implementation in Cabo Verde.

Cabo Verde has set up a forward-thinking framework specifically for remote work:

  • Cabo Verde Remote Working Program: Initiated in December 2020, this program provides a temporary work and tourism visa for remote workers, which is valid for six months and can be renewed.
  • Labor Code: The Labor Code provides a comprehensive overview of general employment regulations applicable to remote work arrangements.

Benefits of the Remote Working Program

  • Visa Facilitation: The program offers a streamlined visa application process for remote workers.
  • Tax Exemptions: Participants in the program are exempt from income tax and import tax.

Technological Infrastructure

Despite significant progress in internet connectivity, Cabo Verde still has room for improvement:

  • Reliable Internet: High-speed and stable internet access is vital for remote workers, particularly for video conferencing and data transfer.
  • Digital Literacy: It's crucial to equip both employers and employees with the necessary digital skills to effectively use remote work tools and follow cybersecurity practices.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers looking to implement remote work arrangements in Cabo Verde should consider the following:

  • Compliance with the Remote Working Program: Adhere to the program's guidelines regarding visa applications and eligibility requirements.
  • Employment Contracts: Modify employment contracts to include specifics of remote work, such as communication protocols, performance evaluation methods, and data security.
  • Equipment and Expenses (Optional): Although not legally required, employers may opt to supply or reimburse employees for essential equipment and internet connectivity costs related to remote work.

Flexible work arrangements

Cabo Verde's labor market offers a variety of flexible work arrangements. These include part-time work, flexitime, and job sharing.

Part-Time Work (Trabalho a tempo parcial)

The Labor Code (Código do Trabalho de Cabo Verde) provides the framework for employment contracts in Cabo Verde, including part-time work. Employees can work less than the standard full-time workweek, which is typically 40 hours. Part-time employees are entitled to most benefits offered to full-time employees on a pro-rated basis, including minimum wage (salário mínimo) and vacation time (férias). It's crucial to have written employment contracts outlining work hours, compensation, and benefit eligibility.

Flexitime (Horário flexível)

The Labor Code doesn't explicitly regulate flexitime arrangements. However, employers can establish internal policies outlining these arrangements. These policies should ensure total working hours comply with the standard workweek and adhere to minimum wage requirements. Flexitime offers employees some flexibility in their working hours within a designated core working period.

Job Sharing (Partilha de trabalho)

The Labor Code doesn't explicitly address job sharing. However, employers can draft clear contracts outlining responsibilities, compensation, and working hours for each job sharer. These contracts should adhere to general employment regulations. Job sharing allows two or more employees to share the responsibilities of a single full-time position.

Equipment and Expense Reimbursements

Cabo Verde's labor laws don't mandate employers to provide equipment or reimburse expenses for any flexible work arrangements. However, employers may choose to provide or reimburse employees for essential equipment like laptops for specific job requirements, even in flexible work settings. They may also offer partial reimbursements for internet connectivity expenses incurred due to flexible work arrangements, depending on the agreement.

Transparency is Key

It's important for employers to clearly outline any equipment and expense reimbursement policies within their flexible work arrangement agreements. Transparency helps avoid potential disputes.

Challenges and Considerations

The lack of specific regulations for flexitime and job sharing might necessitate consultations with legal counsel to ensure compliance with broader labor code principles.

Data protection and privacy

Cabo Verde's adoption of remote work necessitates robust data protection measures to ensure the security of personal and company data. While the country doesn't have a standalone data protection law, it adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) principles, providing a framework for both employers and employees.

Employer Obligations (Following GDPR Principles)

Employers acting as data controllers are accountable for implementing appropriate technical and organizational measures to safeguard personal data. They should inform remote employees about how their data is collected, used, stored, and shared during their work. Establishing a legal basis for processing employee data, such as consent or legitimate interest, is also crucial. Employers should implement appropriate security measures to protect data from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction. This could include password protection, encryption, and access controls. In the event of a data breach, the incident should be reported to the supervisory authority as mandated by GDPR regulations.

Employee Rights (Following GDPR Principles)

Remote workers have the right to access their personal data held by the employer. They also have the right to request the correction of any inaccurate or incomplete personal data. In certain situations, employees may have the right to request the deletion of their personal data.

Best Practices for Securing Data

Utilize encrypted messaging platforms and video conferencing solutions for confidential communication. Implement access controls to restrict access to sensitive data only to authorized personnel. Encrypt sensitive data at rest and in transit to minimize the risk of unauthorized access. Train remote workers on data protection principles and best practices for handling sensitive information, including password hygiene and phishing awareness. Establish a clear data retention policy outlining how long employee data will be stored and the process for secure disposal.

Cabo Verde's Specific Considerations

While not a formal law, adhering to GDPR principles demonstrates a commitment to data protection and can help mitigate risks associated with remote work arrangements. The National Regulatory Authority for Information and Communication Technologies plays a role in overseeing data protection practices.

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