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In addition to ensuring your business has effective communication strategies in place, you need to also consider the work environment your employees have set up at home for themselves, and if there are the correct control measures in place to protect them.

 
Simply fill in the following form and access your free Work From Home Guidelines: Employer’s Guide to Temporary WFH Guide.
Simply fill in the following form and access your free Work From Home Guidelines: Employer’s Guide to Temporary WFH Guide.

Do health and safety obligations apply to remote workers?

Free Work From Home Guidelines: Employer’s Guide to Temporary WFH

Employers conducting or running a business have the same health and safety responsibilities for any employees who are working remotely as they do in their usual work environment. The COVID-19 situation has forced many businesses to rethink their operations and transition to working from home.

For some, this is a dramatic change to BAU and requires adjustment to the way leaders keep in touch across the business and how your employees keep in touch with each other. In addition to ensuring your business has effective communication strategies in place, you need to also consider the work environment your employees have set up at home for themselves, and if there are the correct control measures in place to protect them.

Safety risks that exist within the home environment shouldn’t be dismissed by employers. While many find unique benefits from the work life balance of remote working, it is crucial for a business to conduct a risk assessment of the environment. Home arrangements differ, but any surrounding environment occupied by an employee should meet health and safety requirements. This can include adequate lighting, safe working procedures, policies for supporting mental health, and ensuring safety representatives have reviewed the work location.

Free Work From Home Guidelines: Employer’s Guide to Temporary WFH

Employers conducting or running a business have the same health and safety responsibilities for any employees who are working remotely as they do in their usual work environment. The COVID-19 situation has forced many businesses to rethink their operations and transition to working from home.

For some, this is a dramatic change to BAU and requires adjustment to the way leaders keep in touch across the business and how your employees keep in touch with each other. In addition to ensuring your business has effective communication strategies in place, you need to also consider the work environment your employees have set up at home for themselves, and if there are the correct control measures in place to protect them.

Safety risks that exist within the home environment shouldn’t be dismissed by employers. While many find unique benefits from the work life balance of remote working, it is crucial for a business to conduct a risk assessment of the environment. Home arrangements differ, but any surrounding environment occupied by an employee should meet health and safety requirements. This can include adequate lighting, safe working procedures, policies for supporting mental health, and ensuring safety representatives have reviewed the work location.

Health and safety concerns to ensure work health

Equipment:

Your employees cannot work safely or efficiently unless they have the right tools and equipment.

Psychological health:

Regular and effective communication between employers, teams and the wider workplace will be the key to successful remote working.

Combating fatigue:

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of getting too absorbed in what you are doing and not taking regular breaks or working even longer hours than usual when you’re working from home.

Remote working policies:

To help your business ensure that there are clear guidelines set for your employees when they work from home for extended periods, implementing a working from home policy is strongly recommended.

Equipment:

Your employees cannot work safely or efficiently unless they have the right tools and equipment.

Combating fatigue:

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of getting too absorbed in what you are doing and not taking regular breaks or working even longer hours than usual when you’re working from home.

Psychological health:

Regular and effective communication between employers, teams and the wider workplace will be the key to successful remote working.

Remote working policies:

To help your business ensure that there are clear guidelines set for your employees when they work from home for extended periods, implementing a working from home policy is strongly recommended.

Commonly asked questions on health and safety risks

Do flexible work arrangements fall under existing workplace policies?

An employee is accountable for their own health up until a point, however, it is required by law for employers to ensure the safety of their workers. If your workplace policies do not provide adequate measures to mitigate safety concerns of remote workers, you will need to update your policies and procedures to meet legal requirements.

What legal responsibility does an employer have for WFH safety?

Employers have the same health and legal responsibilities for any employees who are working remotely as they do in their usual work environment. This means safe working procedures are integrated into the businesses policies, and ensuring employees physical and mental health during their employment.

What is in house safety?

When referring to employment responsibilities, in-home safety simply relates to the general workplace maintaining the same standard of risk measurement for site staff and remote staff. This means working with the necessary safety representatives to ensure all legal responsibility is met.

What is an employee assistance program?

An employee assistance program generally offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counselling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees.

Need more help?

All advice is general in nature, for advice specific to your situation, please get in touch with one of our HR Partners.

Our team at Employment Innovations are able to offer tailored workplace advice. If you need any assistance with payroll processing, employment contracts, Modern Awards, enterprise agreements, workplace advice or require access to our full HR document library, contact us to speak with one of our HR experts.

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Download Your Free Guide on Work From Home Guidelines: Employer’s Guide to Temporary WFH

Download Your Free Guide on Work From Home Guidelines: Employer’s Guide to Temporary WFH