- as part of a flexible working request;
- as a disability adjustment;
- as part of your contingency planning.
- a whole variety of other reasons.
Employment law, health and safety, and data protection controls are just as necessary for the homeworker as they are for the office worker, and there are other issues to take into account as well.
There is no legal definition of a homeworker. Someone who answers a work-related telephone call at home may be working at home for a few minutes. But a “homeworker” is usually regarded as someone who has a regular time when all or part of their duties are conducted from home.
If your employees work from home they are covered by your normal policies and procedures, as set out in their contract of employment. But you have to make additional arrangements to cover the homeworker at home.
You need to consider:
- environment suitability
- health and safety requirements
– including eye tests, workstation assessment
- equipment provision
- insurance cover
– including employer’s liability
- rental or mortgage agreement
– check to ensure it allows homeworking
- ongoing and non-recurring costs
- tax liability
Homeworking incurs specific liabilities for the organisation, and responsibilities for the individual. So it is best to draw up a separate agreement with such staff, to ensure that important points about this type of working relationship have been mutually discussed and understood.
We recommend using a formal process, with a paper trail, so that the ‘homeworker’ and their employer review these points and record an agreement about how the arrangements will work. Clarity really helps here, before you get too far down the road. It’s much cheaper to sort out possible problems before they arise.
If you already have people on ‘homework’ arrangements that are not well documented, then we recommend that you get it sorted out right away. We have created a ‘Homeworker Agreement Application’ and a ‘Homeworking Employee Agreement’, to make this process simple and smooth. Click here to get your copy.