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In our recent Employment Law update, we looked at the huge increase of employees working from home due to the pandemic. We looked at some of the upsides and downsides of employees working from home.

Regardless of the ups and downs of the situation, it is likely that home working is going to be here for some time and possibly this will be the way going forward for many people. Here we take a look at some of the aspects that employers should consider with home working.

What do I need to consider contractually when employees are working from home?

1. Amending the employees place of work in the contract of employment. If it is a temporary variation, then that needs to be made clear.

If it is a permanent variation, then that needs to be made clear. Thought needs to be given about what home working means. Is it all the time or part of the time? Can you require the employee to attend work and if so on what basis? Careful thought should be given to that.

2. What will the employee’s hours of work be? Are you still requiring them to work fixed hours or will there be flexibility? If there is flexibility do you make it clear when they have to be available. Have you set provisions for rest breaks?

3. What is the position with expenses? An example is travel expenses. If the employee’s place of work is home, can they claim travel time to the office? What happens about the use of broadband and gas and electric and so on?

4. What about confidential information, what will happen to documentation they have at home? Have you put arrangements in place to make sure they are secure?

What about health and safety?

Much of the rest of it comes down to health and safety. So, issues like:

1. Has the employee got a safe working environment? Have you carried out risk assessments to their workplace?

2. Do you have the right to enter their home to do the assessment?

3. Will it increase stress levels for employees working from home and how do you monitor that if people are at home and you do not see them as we do in the workplace.

What about insurance?

Thought also needs to be given to insurance. Is the equipment provided to them insured? What if they have visitors to their home? All of these are considerations.

What do I need to do?

If you haven’t considered the points above, it’s time to get the contractual position agreed, address the health and safety position and review the insurance position.

Do you need help with any of this? 

We can help you with the contractual position and put you in touch with an expert health and safety consultant.  For more details, contact Lisa Lenton on lisa.lenton@precepthr.com, or by phone 07469 153048.