MAKE SURE YOUR HR POLICIES COVER HOME WORKING
Employment lawyer Lisa Branker on why businesses should be checking their HR policies are fit for purpose.
With the current lockdown meaning many employees are once again WFH, we spoke to Lisa Branker, an employment lawyer at Richard Reed Solicitors in Sunderland to find out how businesses could be leaving themselves exposed by not updating their HR policies.
What should businesses consider?
Even when we are through this pandemic, many organisations may continue with allowing staff to work from home, so it’s important that all the necessary requirements are in place.
A home working policy needs to be about much more than the occasional day of working from home to let the plumber in. It needs to address the details of the arrangement including who provides the equipment needed to carry out the role and who is responsible for damage to equipment and insurance.
What about health and safety?
Well, it might come as a surprise that the health and safety of staff working from home still remains the responsibility of the employer.
If the homeworking arrangement looks like it may be permanent, the employer needs to ensure that the set-up is suitable, which could include having display screen assessments carried out, which are laid out in guidelines available from the Health and Safety Executive.
What about the mental health of staff WFH?
We know that working in isolation rather than in an office environment can affect the mental wellbeing of staff. Managers need to be aware of this and may need training on the different ways they can help employees.
There’s never been a better time for employers to refresh and review their HR policies to ensure that they are in a strong position to deal with any challenges 2021 may bring.