Managing HR Policies For Remote Employees
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. After all, HR policies are still required for remote employees.
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, but the health and safety of staff working from home still remains the responsibility of their employer. Your HR policies need to consider remote employees.
If the homeworking arrangement looks like it may be permanent, any employer needs to ensure that the home 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 try and protect their staff as much as possible with an HR policy for working from home. An effective WFH HR policy should include or encourage management to undertake training in the different ways they can help remote 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.