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Homeworking

18-06-2020


Homeworking has suddenly become the normal for a vast number of businesses across the country, but as we work towards going back to workplaces where possible, what points should be considered if home-working arrangements are to become more permanent?

This page highlights some points to consider and includes some resources that may be useful for your business.

Contractual points

Varying the place of work is a change to the employment contract. Given the government guidance the previous changes were absolutely necessary, but as restrictions ease you will need to consider whether continued home working is permitted or what changes need to be agreed.

You will also need to consider whether any variation to the working hours is required.

Confidentiality & data protection

You will need to ensure that you have robust confidentiality procedures in place to protect your business information that would now be outside of the workplace and ensure compliance with data protection requirements.

Health and Safety

Employers owe a duty of care to employees health and wellbeing while they work from home in the same way as when they are in the office, so ensure appropriate risk assessments have been carried out, that the employees have suitable equipment and remind them to take regular breaks.

Practicalities

Check whether there are any restrictions at the employee’s property preventing them from working from home or whether any additional insurance or planning permission is required. Consider how they will be managed and how regular communication will be maintained.

Should there be a trial period?

Benefits/risks

Whether long term homeworking is right for your business will depend on a number of factors, both from the business and employees point of view.

The benefits can include: reduced overheads, increased productivity, skills retention, flexibility, better motivation and better ability to cope with disruptive global pandemics!

The potential risks to watch out for include: loss of control, need to change management styles, data security and dependence on technology.

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Homeworking policy & questionnaire

Download our suggested template homeworking policy here for you to consider alongside our questionnaire to help identify areas of concern for returning employees to work following the current crisis.

If you would like to discuss how to implement a home working policy and distribute a questionnaire please contact me directly for an editable version and if required, further advice.


Julie Taylor

Partner
Employment Law

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