Coronavirus – what provisions do employers need to make for home working?

Wiseman Admin2020, Covid-19, Employment LawLeave a Comment

Following the new measures introduced by the Government, many people are being advised to work from home if they can. But what provisions do employers need to make for those that are home working?

When workers are working from home, employers have a duty of care for staff, even though they are not in the workplace. The health and safety legislation requirements also apply to homeworkers, which has been confirmed by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

Equipment

It may be that in order to work from home, workers must be provided with equipment. Should this be the case, then the employer is responsible for the equipment they supply, and decisions over who will cover the running costs should be outlined as soon as possible, to avoid any confusion or conflict.

In the current situation, additional costs, including phone bills, may need to be claimed. However, evidence will be needed by employers to process these claims, but the expenses system should be explained to workers, as well as clarification over whether the costs are taxable.

Making provisions

It may not be possible for many businesses to make provisions for homeworking, because of the nature of the business or even the specific role. However, under the new guidelines, if any one person in a household has a fever or persistent cough, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days.

What about sick pay?

Employers need to be aware of their policies, with sick leave varying in each business. Some employees will have contracts that mean they must be paid their regular pay while they are unable to work.

Self-isolation presents more issues, with some workers not being sick, and therefore not contractually entitled to sick pay. At this point, it is up to employers to decide how to proceed.

For help and advice on matters relating to employment law, contact our expert team today.

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