UK: Employees working from home – what you need to know

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...it is important to ensure that as employers you provide a continuing safe and secure working environment, and also employees are aware of their obligations around working from home, or are now asking their employer a number of various questions.

As we have settled in again to the second lockdown many companies have staff working from home either temporarily (due to COVID), part time or even now full time permanently, it is important to ensure that as employers you provide a continuing safe and secure working environment, and also employees are aware of their obligations around working from home, or are now asking their employer a number of various questions.


Tax Relief on additional costs

Employees are asking whether their employer will contribute towards additional costs such as heating etc. Here is a great link to enable them to tax relief: https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home so that any additional costs do not have to be covered by the employer.


Informing insurers/landlords/mortgage companies

Most home insurers do not need to be informed that the individual is working from home and it won’t affect any premiums under their personal content and building insurance. The exception to this is if a business is being run from the home (which for employees isn’t the case). However, your employees may want to just make a quick call to their home insurers, mortgage company or landlord to advise that they are working from home, just so that it is recorded.

As a business many of your staff home working will have computers, laptops etc so as employers you should contact your own insurance companies to ensure that the staff and your equipment is covered under your insurances, and make any adjustments necessary to ensure all of your assets (yes that includes your staff) are covered under your current policies.


Working from home safely

ACAS have published a great editorial for employers/employees to ensure that staff work from home safely, and the responsibility of both the employer and employee in respect of H&S:

https://www.acas.org.uk/working-from-home


Work station risk assessment

For employees who are currently working from home either due to COVID (therefore temporarily), part time or permanently a work station risk assessment should be undertaken. If you would like us to provide a risk assessment template to you please contact hr@blackmountainhr.co.uk and we will be more than happy to send over to you.


Working from home or office – mental health and well being

The Government have published an insight into keeping our mental health and well being at the forefront, and provides practical advice for employees and employers alike. Please use this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19


The BBC have also recently published a great article with tips on how to be happier while working from home, which might be useful to share with your employees. See link:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54886125

Black Mountain Group

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