Work from home spelled out in Scrabble letters on wooden desk

Work from home if you can!

30 Sep
by Suzie Business Owner & Senior HRBP

Back in March, businesses had to react and adapt quickly to the work from home directive.

This time round, it’s important for employers get all their ducks in a row to manage home workers.

Paul Kelly at Blacks Solicitors has highlighted key areas for consideration.

The contract of employment

  • Contractual terms need to be updated to reflect the new home working arrangement between the parties.
  • State what address the employee will be working from.
  • Confirm what their hours of work will be.
  • Set out what contact you expect from the employee (daily, weekly, monthly etc.).
  • If the employee has time recording obligations, what will they be?
  • What will be the process for the employee to notify head office of sickness or holiday absence?
  • In what circumstances and how regularly will the employee be required to attend the office?
  • Does the employer need the right to enter the employees home?
  • Will this be a permanent change or can the homeworking arrangement be terminated?
  • Is there a formal homeworking policy?


  • What equipment is the employer going to provide (furniture IT facilities Wifi/telephone line Secure storage, etc)?
  • Will the employer need a right of access to the employee’s home to repair and remove equipment?

Insurance and consent

  • Does the employee have consent from their mortgage provider to work from home?
  • Will the employee be in breach of a covenant on the title to their property if they work from home?
  • Are homeworkers covered by the employer’s public liability insurance?


  • Will the employee be given an allowance to purchase office equipment and sundries or simply claim things on expenses?  Will an expense limit be required?
  • Does the employer want to stipulate that home workers can only use preferred suppliers for office equipment?
  • Agree what the employer will cover as legitimate business expense (heating, lighting, ‘office improvement’ etc.)?
  • Can the cost of the employee’s travel to the office b covered by expenses?
  • Check HMRC guidance re: tax consequences for employee.

Wellbeing and benefits

  • Homeworkers should not be penalised in respect of pay and benefits due to their status.
  • Managers should make welfare calls if the employee is not in regular contact.
  • Homeworkers should always be invited to social events and receive internal updates.
  • Consider what support can be offered to homeworkers to mitigate feelings of isolation/mental health

Data Protection/GDPR

  • The home office is an extension of the workplace.
  • Employer should be satisfied that the employee’s home is suitable to ensure safety of confidential/sensitive information and that the employee’s home office secure.
  • Identify who may have access to the employee’s IT facilities/home office?
  • If the employee is using their own IT equipment, is it secure?
  • What are the arrangements for safe storage of documents?
  • Does the employee have adequate facilities to safely destroy documents?
  • How will the employee report breaches of GDPR?

Health and safety

  • Employers have a duty of care to provide all employees with a safe working environment, even those working from home.
  • Employers should conduct a risk assessment of the employee’s home workspace.
  • Working Time Regulations still apply to homeworkers (48 hour cap) so ensure that the employee takes adequate rest (monitor screen usage?).
  • The employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees even if they are working from home.
  • Employee also has a duty to take care of their own health and safety and report any issues to the employer.

A final reminder to check in on employees on a regular basis.

​Monitoring mental health, how working from home affects each individual, training and development and maintaining team spirit are all vital elements to ensure a productive workforce over the long term.

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