Employees and employers should be flexible, sensitive, and practical to each other’s situation when working from home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
There may be a requirement for ongoing changes to working arrangements during the pandemic, such as changes to government rules or employees’ circumstances.
When making decisions about working from home, employers and employees must stay in contact regularly.
Employers should also talk with any employee representatives or trade unions. Suppose an employer has an existing agreement with a recognised trade union about working from home, for example, an agreed homeworking policy. In that case, they must consult the trade union if they’re considering any changes.
The pay of employees and other terms and conditions of their employment stays the same, apart from working from home temporarily.
Staff working from home will still be covered by the law on working hours. Employers will need to talk to any representatives of their employees or the staff directly about who covers any additional costs that they might have while working from home. Suppose an expenses policy for homeworking has been previously agreed with a trade union. In that case, the employer must approve any changes with the union.
Employees will need to check with their home insurer, mortgage provider, or landlord that there are no issues with them working from home.
Employers should remind their staff to check this.
Employers should ensure their insurance covers employees working from home too.
Employees need to have the right equipment and technology required to work from home effectively. Things employers, representatives, and staff, should agree on include (but not limited to):
Employers should have in place clear policies for using work equipment and technology at home, including:
Employers should regularly check with employees working from home to assess how technology and equipment are performing and make any required improvements.
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