Implementing working from home and remote work flexibility into existing positions in your business could affect your employer liability.
With the fresh start of a new year, it’s the perfect time to closely examine how your liability may have been affected by the events of the previous years, and how you can move forward into 2022 with a renewed outlook of what can work.
As a core responsibility of the employer, you must be certain that your employees’ health and safety are protected in the workplace is a priority. When it comes to remote working, the workplace landscape changes considerably and will vary depending on the worker’s conditions.
Despite this, employers like you must protect your employees’ wellbeing and safety from the risks involved in the premises that the employees work (even in their own home).
If there are employees in your business who will be consistently working from home or who usually work remotely, you as the employer need to consider what your liability may be.
Keeping in mind that the welfare of your employees is a paramount concern, as an employer you may consider:
- Ensuring that the work expected of employees from home can be done so safely and free of potential harm
- Making changes to the work or task so that it can be conducted safely from home
- Equipping your employees with the tools and equipment necessary to complete the work safely (which could include ergonomic computer equipment)
- Making arrangements to install heavy company equipment into the workspace of your employee, rather than leaving it to the employee.
- Giving employees the relevant information or training employees to operate all equipment provided to them safely.
- Making reasonable accommodation for employees who might have disabilities in relation to the work that they are expected to perform.
- Taking additional steps to ensure your employees’ mental welfare, including wellbeing check-ins, accommodations, etc.
Try to find ways through which employees can interact with one another whilst working remotely. This might be as simple as remote office drinks, online meetings, skype/zoom calls to keep connected etc. Another step that you may need to take is to ensure that remote workers in your business have access to mental health support and that they are aware of how they can access these measures if they are required.
Keeping these things in mind will not only protect employers from liability but ensure that your employees remain a productive and critical component of your business this year.