Note: This policy is for use during the present coronavirus emergency. It is stressed throughout the policy that it is temporary and only applies during the present crisis. Companies may alter or adapt the policy in the light of their particular circumstances and the developments relating to the virus, including Government guidance. (please amend to suit your requirements)
This Homeworking Policy applies only during the present coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. [It supersedes for this time any other homeworking policy.] It applies to those who have to work from home during this crisis either because of Government guidance or because the Company has made the decision to ask employees to work from home to prevent the spread of infection and safeguard the health and safety of its employees.
The policy is temporary and only applies during the period of the coronavirus crisis. It sets out the main considerations that the Company and its employees should consider during this temporary period of homeworking.
[Optional] Staff may have already prepared themselves for this eventuality by taking laptops home each night in the event of being asked to work from home.
A temporary homeworking policy
It must be stressed that this is a temporary policy and only applies during the present coronavirus emergency. It does not set, therefore, any precedents for applications for homeworking under other policies. The Company’s existing policy on homeworking, which is temporarily suspended, will only apply to staff requests to work from home once the present emergency comes to an end.
Terms and conditions
An employee’s current terms and conditions as set out in their contract of employment with the Company will continue to apply during the coronavirus crisis and this consequent arrangement for the employee to work at home.
The Company will ensure that homeworkers have the necessary equipment and access to the necessary sites, including the Company’s intranet.
Personal equipment that an employee uses for work purposes at home remains their responsibility and the Company is not liable for any loss, damage, repair or replacement of any personal equipment. If an item of equipment is deemed necessary for work, the employee should contact their line manager.
All equipment used by the homeworker must be safe and fit for purpose. The employee may be asked, therefore, to complete a display screen equipment assessment.
Keeping in Touch
During this temporary arrangement, the employee’s main place of work will be his or her home. Nevertheless, they will still need to keep in touch with their Line Manager.
The Line Manager will agree on a work schedule with the employee on a daily and weekly basis. It will be up to the employee to manage their time to ensure that the work is completed promptly and satisfactorily. Persistent failure to meet deadlines will result in disciplinary action.
Colleagues may need to contact them for work updates. The employee is expected, therefore, to be available at agreed times. The employee should ensure that he or she checks the intranet regularly for any organisational news. Any problems should be communicated to the Line Manager immediately.
Costs of homeworking
The costs of electricity, water, heating, telephone, broadband and other utilities will not be covered by the Company. These costs will remain the employee’s responsibility. OPTIONAL [However, the Company will contribute [insert amount] towards the added costs for the employee working from home. This will be paid via the payroll with the employee’s salary.]
Employees must always keep the Company’s data and materials safe and secure, ensuring reasonable precautions are being taken to maintain confidentiality in accordance with the Data Protection policy.
Other practical considerations
Keeping domestic and working life separate is not always easy when working from home and the employee needs to think about how he or she will manage to persuade those who live with them not to interrupt while they are working. They also need to ensure that no-one else can have access to your computer or work files. Breach of security will be treated as gross misconduct and may lead to dismissal.
If the employee owns the house through a mortgage, he or she should check with the lender that there are no issues regarding homeworking. They should also check with the insurer that any equipment etc will be covered by household insurance. If it is not, then they must inform the Company so that proper arrangements can be made. If the employee does not inform the Company then should thefts occur, the employee may be held personally liable for replacing any stolen or damaged equipment.
End of the temporary arrangements
As has been emphasised throughout this policy, these arrangements for employees working from home are temporary to cover the present coronavirus emergency.
All such arrangements remain at the discretion of the Company.
The Company will keep employees updated of developments and of the arrangements once the risk of infection has deemed to have passed and, therefore, of the end of this temporary policy, including when employees can return to their work in the office/site.