The Transformation to working Remotely: Employer and Employee Responsibilities Covered

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, every company had to make a Digital Transformation almost literally overnight. Now, our production offices are in every employee home and we have found that it works well for the company, and for most employees.

However, according to the “Homeworker Wellbeing Survey” carried out by the Institute of Employment Studies in April 2020, just two weeks into lockdown, the cracks were already showing. Various physical health problems were being reported, with nearly 60% of respondents reporting neck pains/aches and leg pains.

ACAS advice states that employers and employees should be practical, flexible, and sensitive to each other’s situation when working from home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Employers have a duty of care to their employees and should:

  • talk to their employees and workers about how they might improve working from home arrangements
  • continue to consider which roles and tasks can be done from home – this might involve doing things differently and not assuming a role cannot be based at home
  • support employees to adjust to remote working
  • consider individual employees’ needs, for example anyone with childcare responsibilities, a long-term health condition or a disability
  • write down the arrangements that have been agreed so that everyone is clear

By law, employers are responsible for the health and safety of all employees, including those working from home. During the coronavirus pandemic, it is very unlikely that employers can carry out usual health and safety risk assessments at an employee’s home. However, an employer should still check that:

  • each employee feels the work they are being asked to do at home can be done safely
  • employees have the right equipment to work safely
  • managers keep in regular contact with their employees, including making sure they do not feel isolated
  • reasonable adjustments are made for an employee who has a disability

If changes are needed, employers are responsible for making sure they happen.

Employees also have a responsibility to take reasonable care of their own health and safety. Anyone working from home should keep in regular contact with their manager. They should also tell their manager about any health and safety risks and any homeworking arrangements that need to change.

With more people working from home, employers are seeking answers to critical questions to ensure they are adhering to legislation. At FortressAS we have released “The Definitive Home Working FAQ: Your Critical Home-Working Questions Answered” which covers the answers to some of the most important and pressing questions employers have today about their employee’s homeworking arrangements.

Click here to download your complimentary copy