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With working from home now critical for many UK businesses, you may need a work from home policy. Fast.
Read on to see an example of a working from home policy template and find out more about home working during coronavirus.
Why do I need a coronavirus working from home policy?
Coronavirus has made working from home a priority for thousands of businesses. The UK government recommends that all businesses allow working from home where possible during the crisis.
Working from home guidelines let your staff know who’s eligible for home working, and who‘s not. Your policy also sets out how you expect employees to perform while working remotely.
Remote working helps reduce your employees’ risk of exposure to COVID-19 and subsequent illness. But there are other benefits of remote working to your business, too. These include:
- Lower overhead costs, with a potential decrease in rent, utility bills and business rates.
- Business continuity, with your people still working during the crisis.
- Happier, safer and more productive staff, with no more commuting.
- Improved staff retention, as happy staff are more likely to stay.
How long should a coronavirus-related working from home period be?
The government has not set an end date for coronavirus-related working from home.
Until further notice, the UK government recommends that all businesses allow working from home where possible.
Work from home policy template
With the above in mind, you may want to let staff work from home as soon as possible. If so, you need to draft a work from home policy.
Where do you start? Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than making sure employees have a laptop and an internet connection.
Below is a sample work from home policy to show you what’s involved in letting staff work remotely. You should consider if you need a permanent or occasional working from home policy.
You may also want to create a temporary working from home policy specifically for coronavirus.
Read the home working policy template for guidance or contact us for advice on 0800 028 2420.
Work from home policy guidelines
Our work from home policy applies to employees who may be asked to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis. This policy ensures that, where possible, working from home is viable for as many employees as possible.
When can employees work from home?
During the coronavirus crisis, employees may work from home if their job permits it. Your line manager will decide whether your job permits home working.
Working from home policies
The business classes employees as working from home, or telecommuting, when they work outside of the business premises. The business may ask you to work from home:
- Full time.
- On certain days.
- By dividing time between office work and a remote location.
Any working from home arrangements granted due to the UK government’s guidance on coronavirus are temporary.
Who gets to work from home?
If their job permits it, employees can work from home during the COVID-19 crisis if approved by their line manager. Your line manager will consider the following factors when approving a home working request:
Is the employee in a ‘high-risk’ group?
- Can they fulfil their work duties remotely?
- What cybersecurity/data privacy challenges does remote working pose?
- Will working from home hinder collaboration with other team members?
- Do employees have access to the right equipment or software?
- Is the employee’s home suitable as a working environment?
During the COVID-19 crisis, your manager may ask you to work from home. If you wish to work from home, you should:
- Contact the relevant manager, who must consider the factors outlined above before approving the request.
- If working from home for over a week, then managers and staff should discuss how this affects business goals, schedules, and deadlines.
Your manager must approve your home working request before you begin working from home.
Compensation and benefits
In most cases, employment terms aren’t affected by working from home.
End of work from home template
Disclaimer: Our work from home policy template provides a basic guideline. It should only be used as a reference point for your business. For your policy, you may need to consider additional laws and best practice. Peninsula UK will not assume any legal liability should it arise after this template has been used.
The right to request flexible working
After 26 weeks of service, employees have the legal right to make a ‘statutory request’ for flexible working.
So, in certain circumstances, you may receive a statutory request to work from home. You have a legal duty to consider whether to allow remote working, but you don’t have to agree to the request.
However, it’s important to remember that, during the COVID-19 crisis, the government recommends that businesses should allow employees to work from home where possible.
For anything else…
Looking for expert advice to help your staff work from home due to coronavirus? You can get in touch with us for help. Call our HR helpline on 0800 028 2420 or click here to book a callback.