Employers’ Responsibilities for Employees Working from Home

March 30, 2020

 In the current situation more employees than ever before are working from home (and even more will be following the Chief Minister’s statement last night).  As businesses have adapted to this situation, an increase in home working in the long term may be one of the unforeseen (and potentially positive) consequences of the pandemic.

It is important, however, that employers are aware of their responsibilities to those employees working from home and take steps to ensure that they protect themselves and their employees just as they would for those not working from home.

 There are four key points to remember:

Health and Safety

An employer has similar duties in respect of health and safety towards employees working from home as it does for employees working on the premises.  The employer still has a duty to provide a safe working environment.  As such, consideration should be given to risk assessments, the testing of equipment, and ensuring that employees are properly trained to work safely.


It is vital that an employer ensures that its employers’ liability insurance extends to cover those employees working from home.  Many policies will do this automatically, but it is very important that employers check their policy wording.  It is equally important to ensure that the employers’ public liability insurance extends to situations where an employee is working at or from home.

Property and Equipment

Employers will want to ensure that their employees have the right equipment to enable them to work most efficiently and effectively from home.  It is likely that employers will also need to consider what equipment an employee needs in order to minimise health and safety risks.  It is important to ensure that such property and equipment is in good working order, safe, and insured.

Data Security

Data security provisions and duties of confidentiality apply just as much to employees working from home as they do to employees working from the business’s premises.  Employers would be well-advised to remind home working employees of their obligations and the company’s policies and procedures in this regard.  Employers should also ensure that computers, laptops, tablets, etc. have up-to-date security software.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss any aspect further, please do get in touch with either the BCR Law Dispute Resolution team or the BCR Law Employment Team.

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