A Checklist for Employing Staff who Work from Home

  • Price: £3.60
  • Published: March 2017
  • Type: Business Information Factsheet
  • Format: PDF

Many employers employ staff who carry out their work activities and responsibilities at home (often referred to as 'homeworkers') in much the same way that they would in an office or workshop unit. Their employer is responsible for providing and maintaining any equipment they require and has the same obligations towards their employment rights and health and safety as it does towards employees who work on the business or organisation's premises.

Under the Employment Act 2002 and the Work and Families Act 2006, some employees are able to request the right to work flexibly, which can include working at home. If an employee has a child under 17 years of age (or a disabled child under 18 years of age) or is a carer of an elderly, disabled or sick adult, their employer must consider the request seriously and only reject it if there is a valid business reason to do so. See BIF 374, A Guide to Handling Flexible Working Requests, for further information.

Employing staff who work from home may save floor space and cut administrative costs, but it also has a number of significant practical implications for an employer:

  • Materials and equipment may need to be transported between different homeworking sites and the employer's premises.
  • The management of workloads and performance standards of employees who work from home needs to be carefully planned and organised.
  • Several issues relating to health and safety, insurance and security need to be considered.

This checklist covers the key legal and practical issues for dealing with employees who work from home, whether they are new to a business or are existing employees who are changing their working patterns or arrangements.

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