HC recently reported on teleworking and the risks they pose to organisations. One industry expert has responded to this and has presented policies and procedures that organisations should adopt to reduce their liability.
“Employers may encounter problems and/or exposure to liability when their employees work from
home, regularly or on an ad hoc basis,” Joel Zyngier, senior associate at Holding Redlich, said. “It’s important that all employers ask themselves and their staff a range of questions before undertaking and condoning work away from the primary business location.”
Issues include liability for injuries an employee sustains while at their home, as well as discrimination if only allowing certain employees to work from home.
Key HR takeaways
Zyngier provided the following steps:
Have a working from home policy that addresses work, health and safety matters – including requiring employees to conduct workplace safety assessments. Employers must also have an effective Work Health and Safety Policy.
Adjust the employee’s employment agreement if the working from home arrangement is going to be permanent.
Communicate with the employee in writing about the basis for and extent of the arrangement, and any employer property which is used.
Monitor and manage the employee’s performance and their ongoing interaction with the workplace and colleagues.
Have an effective IT and computer use policy, including a social media policy, which makes it clear that conduct out of hours and away from the workplace can still result in disciplinary action.
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