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Wednesday 25 March 2020
by Jackie Emson


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1 Introduction 

1.1 In response to the current situation relating to Coronavirus, the Company may implement temporary homeworking for some or all of its staff, dependent upon certain factors. 

1.2 The decision as to whether to allow temporary homeworking in relation to any given role rests with management.   

1.3 The decision to allow homeworking on a temporary basis in the current circumstances does not confer any permanent change to any employee’s terms and conditions of employment and should not be taken to indicate that the Company will agree to requests for homeworking in any other circumstances in the future. 

2 Suitability for homeworking 

2.1 In determining whether any given role is suitable for homeworking, the manager may take into account any or all of the following: 

2.1.1 whether it is a stand-alone role and, if so, whether it can be carried out effectively from a home location; 

2.1.2 whether it is a supervisory role, and whether it entails a high frequency of delegation and supervision; 

2.1.3 how much attendance in the office is reasonably required (e.g. the jobholder may be required to work from the office in certain circumstances, such as deputising for absent colleagues and during certain parts of the business cycle); 

2.1.4 the revenue responsibility of the role, and the potential for adverse impact in this regard; 

2.1.5 whether close supervision is required; 

2.1.6 whether the ratio of homeworkers to office workers in the relevant work group or department is workable; 

2.1.7 whether the role can be carried out at home from a physical point of view, e.g. whether sufficient workspace and a suitable work environment can be provided at home. In the event of a change of home address, the new home address must also meet these requirements; 

2.1.8 whether colleagues’ work flow will need to change to accommodate the role being carried out from home; 

2.1.9 whether the main functions of the role can be carried out from home from a logistical point of view, particularly in relation to administrative support roles; 

2.1.10 whether there are any costs implications, including whether homeworking is in this instance affordable, and whether the costs outweigh the benefits for the Company; 

2.1.11 whether the prospective homeworker can take reasonable steps to ensure security of Company equipment in his or her home; 

2.1.12 whether the prospective homeworker can guarantee confidentiality of information at home; and 

2.1.13 whether the prospective homeworker’s household/home insurance policy or any other relevant provision prohibits working from home. 

2.2 A line manager may, at his or her discretion, make an agreement to homeworking arrangements conditional upon successful completion of a specified trial period. 

3 Homeworker’s guidelines 

The Homeworker must adhere to the policies and procedures contained in the Employee Handbook at all times 

3.1 Employee Handbook and Contract of Employment 

The Homeworker must adhere to the provisions of his/her Contract of Employment and the policies contained in the Employee Handbook at all times. 

3.2 Hours of work 

3.2.1 Hours of work will be as set out in the main statement of terms and conditions of employment unless otherwise agreed with the Homeworker’s line manager on a temporary basis. 

3.2.2 Where a  homeworker is entitled to a daily lunch break (as detailed in their Contract of Employment) it is the homeworker’s responsibility to ensure that this is taken, and it must be taken between the hours of [Insert hours] unless otherwise agreed with the homeworker’s line manager. 

3.3 Place of work 

The homeworker’s temporary place of work will be his or her current home address. Where this changes, it is the responsibility of the homeworker to notify the Company. A minimum of four weeks’ notice of change of address must be provided. 

3.4 Office attendance by designated homeworkers 

In some circumstances a homeworker will be required to attend, or work from, the office from time to time for the purposes of attending meetings or briefings. In addition, a designated homeworker may be required, on reasonable notice being given to him or her by the employer, to work from the office during key points of a business cycle, to deputise for absent colleagues or in other relevant circumstances. The extent of this requirement will be particularised as far as practicable at the time of confirming homeworking arrangements, but attendance at the office may be required at any time at the employer's discretion provided reasonable notice is given. 

3.5 Travel costs of homeworkers 

3.5.1 All business trips undertaken to and from the home address of a designated homeworker will be refunded in line with the Company’s Expenses Policy. 

3.5.2 Travel to and from the home address of a designated homeworker to and from any of the Company’s office locations will not be refunded and is payable by the designated homeworker. 

4 Equipment and workstation 

(Amend as necessary) 

The Company will not provide any ad hoc homeworker with computer equipment (additional to that used in Company premises), furniture, dedicated telephone line for use at home or Internet connection, unless agreed by the company where he or she is unable to work on Company premises for an extended period due to circumstances occasioned by the Company. Ad hoc homeworkers will be reimbursed for all telecommunication and postage costs directly attributable to work provided relevant itemised telephone bills and receipts for postal expenses are submitted in accordance with the Company’s Expenses Policy. The homeworker must identify business calls on itemised bills before submitting them through expenses. (amend as applicable) 

5 Insurance 

5.1 All Company property provided to homeworkers for use in their home will be covered under the Company insurance policy.(delete as applicable) 

5.2 Any homeworker provided with Company property at home must not do, cause or permit any act or omission which will avoid coverage under the Company insurance policy. If in any doubt as to whether particular acts or omissions will have this effect, the homeworker should consult his or her line manager immediately. 

5.3 Homeworkers who hold a household/home insurance policy should notify their insurer of their homeworking arrangements and are responsible for ensuring that those arrangements do not breach any policy condition, restrictive covenant affecting their home address, local authority planning restriction or mortgage condition. 

6 General liability 

6.1 As owner/occupier of his or her home, the homeworker remains responsible for ensuring: 

6.1.1 the safety of any visitors to the premises, as well as any other family members, particularly children; and 

6.1.2 that the general fabric of the home and its fixtures and fittings, including in any area in which the homeworker works, are maintained in a safe and functional state for performance of work there; e.g. electrical sockets and other parts of a homeworker’s domestic electric system are his or her own responsibility. 

7 Confidentiality 

7.1 In accordance with the Company’s policies and procedures from time to time in force, the homeworker is responsible for maintaining the security and confidentiality of any business-related resources/equipment or information to which he or she has access. In particular: 

7.1.1 the homeworker must take reasonable steps to restrict the access of family and friends to work equipment, materials, documents and other data in order to: 

(a) avoid damage or loss, and 

(b) maintain business confidentiality; 

7.1.2 the homeworker must ensure that all confidential material that requires disposal is shredded or, in the case of electronic material, securely destroyed, as soon as any need for its retention has passed; and 

7.1.3 the homeworker must take reasonable care of work-related information and Company property when travelling to or from home. 

8 Data protection 

All homeworkers must comply with their duties and obligations with regard to confidentiality and data protection under the Company's Data Protection policy. 

9 Communication and meetings 

9.1 To allow for their proper supervision and management, line managers will, where appropriate, involve homeworkers in meetings or consultations. Homeworkers are required to attend such meetings. If a homeworker cannot attend a scheduled meeting for good reason, he or she should notify the person organising the meeting in advance of this fact. 

9.2 In addition to regular meetings, line managers will ensure that regular contact is made between the designated homeworker and members of his or her team, and homeworkers should also ensure that they communicate appropriately with their line manager and team. 

9.3 Homeworkers are expected to be working from their home office, unless they are attending meetings, during the agreed hours of work, and should be contactable during these times.  It is not acceptable for homeworkers to undertake personal duties during working hours, unless during their lunchbreak.   

9.4 Homeworkers must use the shared calendar to record all appointments and meetings and ensure that if they are away from their place of work, their manager and any members of their team are aware of their movements. (amend as appropriate) 

10 Holidays and time off 

10.1 Homeworkers should adhere to the standard company procedure when requesting holidays (detailed in Employee Handbook) and provide minimum notice as detailed in the procedure. 

10.2 Any time off required for other reasons (such as dental or medical appointments) must be authorised by the homeworker’s line manager according to the standard company procedure detailed in the Employee Handbook.  Such time-off must not be taken during working time unless such authorisation has been given, even if the designated homeworker intends to make up the time outside their working hours.  

11 Monitoring and review 

11.1 The temporary homeworking policy and the need for employees to work from home will be reviewed on a regular basis. 

11.2 In the event that the Company deems that the homeworking arrangement is not operating effectively, or if the Company deems that it is no longer necessary to continue homeworking, the Company will advise those working from home to revert to working at their normal place of work.