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18 May 2020

240: Acas publishes new guidance on homeworking during the COVID-19 pandemic

Acas has published new guidance for employers and employees on issues to consider when working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key points for employers to note include:

  • supporting employees to help them adjust to remote working and discuss how their homeworking arrangements can be improved;
  • considering the needs of individual employees. For example, some employees may need adjustments to help with disabilities, or to accommodate childcare responsibilities;
  • setting clear expectations about when employees will be available to work, how performance will be assessed, and how work-life balance will be managed;
  • considering whether employees are incurring extra costs by working from home;
  • recording the agreed arrangements in writing;
  • although it will usually be impossible to undertake the usual health and safety risk assessments, employers should still check that employees feel that they can work safely and have the right equipment;
  • employers are responsible for the equipment and technology they provide for homeworking. Regular assessments of IT systems should be made to check whether improvements are needed and to ensure that employees are complying with data protection and security requirements;
  • keeping in regular contact with employees;
  • checking insurance policies to ensure they cover third party claims and business equipment when used for homeworking; and
  • reminding employees to check that their home insurer and mortgage provider or landlord have no issues with homeworking.

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