It has been a while now since the Prime Minister recommended that employers look at flexible options so that employees could self-isolate or socially distance themselves. One of the most popular options suggested has been home working, where possible. The advantage is that employees can avoid other commuters and reduce transmission of the virus by staying home.
Please see below considerations for employers when employees are working from home:
Health & Safety of Employees Whilst at Home
The employer still has a duty of care to the employee. Considerations should be given to asking employees to take a risk assessment regarding their home work station. Employers should also review their insurance cover for employees working from home.
Monitoring Employees’ Output
Employers can still monitor an employee’s performance and may want to put in some checks and balances with them so they understand how they are being monitored.
If employees are working from home, employers will want to take steps to ensure they have access to the required IT systems to complete work and running any tests to make sure the systems can cope with employees accessing them from home.
Confidential Information and GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulations are still in effect whilst an employee is working from home. Employers should therefore consider measures to ensure data remains secure and remind employees of the potential consequences for not doing so.
As there is no personal contact whilst working from home, employers may want to consider other methods to keep in regular communication. Employee welfare is still the responsibility of the employer and during this difficult time, employees are more likely to suffer with health concerns.
Just because employees are working from home does not mean that employers no longer have any obligations to them and employees should not be “out of sight out of mind”.