Ruth Mitchell

Firms warned over home working

Companies offering staff the ability to work from home need to be aware of the legal issues involved in doing so, a law firm has warned.

Lawyers are warning businesses that they remain liable for the health and safety of their employees even when they are working from their own home.

Companies should also consider amending employment contracts and insurance provisions, and set up a formal homeworking policy and manual.

Sikin Andela, partner and employment lawyer at Glovers Solicitors, said: “Swapping the office for the home can allow for a more attractive work/life balance and save on travel costs and rent, which in the current economic climate is an important factor.

“However the consequences you could face if you don’t consider the legal issues connected with homeworking are substantial.”

Bosses should also ensure that any attempt to monitor employees working from home does not outweigh the intrusion into their personal affairs and that such information is only used for the purpose for which the monitoring was carried out.

Sikin Andela said: “Employers need to remember that homeworkers are still employees and that the fact that they’re working from home makes no difference to the rights or responsibilities that apply in the office.”

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