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Remote and home working

Flexibility for both employers and employees

By being open to flexible working businesses can encourage equality of opportunity and work-life balance. This may include employees working from home on a permanent basis or splitting their time between the office and home.

Remote Working

Working from home, or remote working, is a type of flexible working arrangement. 

Some employers will have existing policies that allow for remote working. If not, employees can make appropriate flexible working request. 

There are many different terms used to refer to homeworkers including agile workers or off-site workers and it is important that both parties are operating on the same basis of understanding when using different terms to describe working away from the traditional office or role environment.

Working at home, or remotely, can mean that employees have a better work-life balance, and in some circumstances it can also be a reasonable adjustment for employees with a disability (see our section on Disability Discrimination for more information).  In addition, it can have a number of benefits for the business, including increased productivity, reduction in overhead costs, and employee retention.  Equally there can be some drawbacks, such as damage to team culture, duplication of equipment, a loss of ability to manage and support remote workers.

In addition to the impact on the working environment, there are other factors that an employer must bear in mind, including:

  • Carrying out an appropriate risk assessment to ensure that the homeworking environment is suitable;
  • Making sure confidential information and personal data will be appropriately protected;
  • Considering whether additional or specialist equipment is required and, if so, who will be responsible for providing it;
  • Consider whether additional insurance is required or planning consent needed if the employee is to work from home;
  • Make sure any tax consequences are understood.

News

Remote Working

Back with a Bump: The Legalities and Practicalities of Agile Working

As the summer draws to a close, employers in all sectors are beginning to welcome staff back to offices and other physical workplaces. However, the pandemic has shifted expectations on all sides, with agile working (involving a mix of home and office working) increasingly becoming the norm in certain sectors. Recruitment Working from home has…

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CoronaVirus

Update: “Long Covid”

“Long Covid” refers to the fact that some people seem to suffer from the effects of Covid-19 for significantly longer than others, sometimes for weeks and months after first contracting the illness. Long Covid undoubtedly presents difficulties for employers managing staff absences and decreased performance or productivity from employees who are suffering from an illness that…

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Managing A Return To The Workplace

Today sees England move to Step 4 of the Government’s COVID roadmap.  Social distancing and mask wearing rules are no longer mandatory in public spaces, but the Government has failed to clarify what steps it expects employers to take before welcoming staff back to offices and other workplaces.  Managing a successful return to the workplace…

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