working from home legal requirements uk

This is a matter for negotiation. Depending on how good your case is an Employment Tribunal might or might not accept your reasons. Telephone: 0117 407 0227 Legal Advice for Hairdressers Working from Home Last updated December 4, 2018. If you can prove that a home worker is in breach of this term, you will certainly have grounds for disciplinary action, and may - if they are working for your rivals, or the offence is repeated - have grounds for dismissal. Employer Obligations For Employees Working from Home, Employment Contracts – These Must Reflect Homeworking, Health and safety at work extends to the home, Benefits of letting employees work at home, Home upkeep costs (Lighting, internet etc. Under the Fair Work Act 2009, the right to request flexible working arrangements is an entitlement only for employees in certain circumstances, such as those who have the care of a child under school age, are a carer, are 55 years or older, are experiencing family or domestic violence or provide care or support to a member of their household or immediate family who requires care and support because of family or … No fees for first-time users until 15 January 2021 (terms apply). Take legal advice. Home working can cause work-related stress and affect people’s mental health. safe working procedures and training requirements, and; potential risk of infection on journeys to and from the workplace. Are we responsible for data kept at a worker's home, or accessible on a home worker's computer? Can we cut the pay of people who work from home? who controls when and how the work is done, who carries the financial risk if the work is not up to standard, who provides and maintains items of equipment, to what extent do the workers work exclusively for you. This can affect morale and company culture. In order to gain these benefits, you need to make sure you meet certain legal requirements. The employee is responsible for resolving any home-related issues highlighted in the assessment. Check our Privacy Policy for details. We will never put at risk, share or sell your information. Find out more about our services and software or speak to a member of our team, Company Registration Numbers: Payroll Services 09855245 - HR & Payroll Software 09811970. As an employer, you are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of your employees. So be explicit with expenses. Each employee can only make one request, in writing, in each 12-month period. You are effectively dismissing them from your employment, so you will have to have good reason, or those who have been on the payroll for more than one year and who commenced employment with you before 6 April 2012 (two years' continuous employment if they started working for you after 6 April 2012) will be able to sue you for unfair dismissal. A right to enter will also allow you to carry out risk assessments for health and safety purposes. to check any potential council tax liability due to homeworking; that some of their homeworking expenses may be tax-deductible; if computer equipment provided by the employer is used for anything more than “insignificant” private use, a tax charge may arise. Read the Acas coronavirus guidance and find further information and guidance for employers and businesses on the GOV.UK website. Working from home, telecommuting, flexible hours, – whatever you call it, it is part of the Gen Y paradigm of focusing on work product rather than work process. If we contribute to a home worker's extra costs (eg heating), what is the tax and National Insurance position? Ensure, for example, that they have access to work related benefits (such as the staff canteen or workplace gym) even though they may not use them regularly. If it involves a significant change in their terms and conditions of employment - for example, a place of employment different from that specified in their contract - you will need to record the amendment to their contract. How do we ensure that employees who work from home do not do in excess of 48 hours a week? Those affected by COVID-19 and those who are self-isolating will receive statutory sick pay from day one. Employees working from home can feel isolated and without support. You will need to ensure that homeworkers do not exceed the 48-hour limit on their working week when travel is taken into account (or that they have opted out of the maximum hours’ cap). You must consider requests in a reasonable manner. Also, include in the contract terms that allow you to provide them with any security equipment you deem necessary (shredders, CCTV, filing cabinets etc.). Working from home laws: Employees who have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks have a legal right to flexible working (Image: GETTY) Current legislation in place regarding working from home Alternatively, employees can choose to seek tax relief arrangements. They have the right to privacy. About Planning Portal adverts. Can we sack them? It is therefore always prudent to take advice on the immigration requirements of the particular jurisdiction where the work will be undertaken. Giving working at home a try may have some upsides. You will certainly want to ensure that they can lock their work away when they are not working on it. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. You should also include a provision that homeworking is subject to change if the employee moves house. One of the factors HMRC is likely to take into account is the extent to which their income comes from a variety of sources, so you will not be able to rely on using them on a full-time basis. Someone who has been working from home is refusing to accept promotion because it means coming back into the office. However, include a provision that the employee can be required to attend the office. If you have used the opportunity provided by home working to scale down your premises, the law accepts that the change may have to be permanent. 4th Floor, Heathrow Approach, 470 London Road, Slough, England, SL3 8QY. Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, time spent travelling to work does not count as “working time”. They could reasonably argue that they are travelling between one place of work and another. There is no legal obligation on an employer to provide the equipment for homeworking. NOTE: Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the government has made several announcements relating to statutory sick pay. Normally, the two parties work together, with some kind of agreed checking and review mechanism. Those not normally entitled to SSP (such as the self-employed) will receive Employment and Support Allowance. Tax and social security. Many homeowners choose to convert an existing room, such as a box room, loft room or garage into a habitable space. However, where the employee’s normal place of work is their home and they travel to their employer’s premises or to see clients/customers, this could count as “working time”. Working from home and turning a room in your house into a mini-salon may sound like a great business idea – but it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. To protect your business, your staff and your intellectual property, make sure your employee contracts set clear provisions for data security. If you have refused again, it is open to the employee to take further steps, for example, by involving Acas or another mediator, or - if your procedure was incorrect, or your decision based on incorrect facts - by going to an Employment Tribunal. Homeworking is on the rise. Keep in touch. No commute also means a lower overall carbon footprint for your business. How long is it reasonable to give workers who have opted to work from home the opportunity to change their minds? If the employee will be using their own computer equipment, agree on whether or not you will pay for maintenance, repairs and software updates. Is your business ready? You cannot claim tax relief if you choose to work from home. Provided you fulfil certain conditions, the average production speed may be used as the basis for calculating whether workers are paid the minimum wage. Most homeworking employees move data (or devices that can access that data) into public spaces. If there is a premium variation, it would be reasonable for you to pay it. Remind your homeworker that they must have consent from their mortgage provider to work from home. 20% of employees that work from home find themselves more productive. Read more about employment status on the HMRC website. You also need to make sure that your staff have the tools they need to work effectively while out of the office. Protected characteristics are age, disability, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and gender reassignment. increased agile working in the workplace or moving their employees towards working at home. Under the 'fair piece rate' system, you may choose to pay the minimum wage for every hour worked, or bring in a 'rated output' system. In theory, yes - unless you have given them a contract which says otherwise, or have reached a different agreement verbally, or have by your conduct given them reason to think they can work at home indefinitely. Failure to do so can result in discrimination allegations and breach of contract. What are the legal implications, if we ask current employees to work from home on a self-employed basis? Whether you see working from home as efficient and productive or regard it as an excuse to watch daytime TV, there’s no denying it’s becoming increasingly popular. Major City bank BNY Mellon came under fire from employees recently after announcing that it was ending its work from home scheme. Working From Home Can Result in Tax Deductions. For example, you risk breaching the equal pay legislation, particularly if the employees you are relocating include a higher proportion of one sex than the employees you are recruiting at a lower rate. Stay compliant by setting clear boundaries and responsibilities for all parties. This usually means providing a phone and computer. This sample policy should be modified according to your company’s specific values. Some organisations do; some don't. This is done by multiplying the number of hours piece workers should take to do the work by 120%. Not necessarily, although normally it would be advisable to do so unless such a change is provided for in the wording of the existing contract. A guide to business insurance for start ups, Risks that are endangering your business (and how to manage them), 250,000 small firms plan to close their doors. Employees with at least 26 weeks' service have the right to request flexible working Qualifying employees can request a change in hours, the times or the location of their work. By carrying out a home worker’s risk assessment, employers will be able to identify and then deal with, any health … This gives you the flexibility to call them in when you need them. You need a proper desk. Registered company number: 02784650 To protect your staff and your business, you need to outline: If the employee will be working from home, the normal place of work will be the employee’s home. With no commute and fewer workplace distractions, your staff get more work done. Working from home Planning Permission. Who is responsible for the health and safety of employees who work from home? If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. You could alternatively aim for a compromise, under which they work two or three days a week in the office, or even better, leave it to them to organise their work in a way to guarantee your overall objectives. With a few exceptions, an employer can set any work requirements. You will probably have to rely on 'some other substantial reason'. One of our employees has asked to work at home, but we object. Being away from managers and colleagues could make it difficult to get proper support. (A 'written statement of employment particulars' includes the main conditions of employment - read more on the GOV.UK website.). Answer Save. Before you can offer such a benefit, you need to understand the legal requirements for working from home. You must: If we get an employee to work from home, do we have to cover their expenses when they travel in to the office for meetings? Within 14 days of the meeting you must write either to agree a new work pattern or to refuse the request. In practice HM Revenue & Customs may allow a local dispensation, of up to £300 a year, on expenses incurred for work and related purposes, including heating, lighting, the metered costs of increased water usage, increases in the cost of home contents insurance, business telephone calls, etc. Working from home has not been a choice for the organisations that have implemented it, nor was it a choice for the workers who are practising it. Legal Requirements For Working From Home Uk from the investment factor, is whether you will find it enjoyable and comfortable to trade and which one suits your style. All the normal health and safety legislation (including the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Display Screen Equipment Regulations, and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations) continue to apply, and you have the usual duty of care to your home-based employees. It has can benefit your business, too. Campaign honours "trailblazing" female entrepreneurs, UK's self-employed community contracted by 5% in 2020, No-fee international payments for first-time users, Ready-to-use legal documents and templates, Project management software - 14-day free trial. Check your employer’s liability insurance covers employees working from home. Under UK health and safety legislation, the employer is has a legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of all workers and that includes home workers. A detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer demand. You cannot refuse, however, unless you can demonstrate one or more of the following eight clear business reasons for doing so: If you do refuse, you must give your reasons in writing, dating the letter and giving details of your appeals procedure. If possible, it is good practice to get your health and safety officer (or a manager trained in health and safety) to make an initial inspection, and at regular intervals thereafter to get your home-based employees to complete self-assessment forms which are reviewed by your health and safety officer, or by a manager trained in health and safety. Accept & Continue. It includes a list of questions for organizational leaders to answer, and checklists for the equipment, tools, and technology employees need to be successful when working remotely. You need to be able to show that you have discharged your duty of care. Consider whether you need to include a licence to enter the employee’s home. If you offer on-site benefits as part of your employment contracts you must offer those benefits to homeworkers too. If your employee has decided that the ability to work from home is worth more to them than promotion, at best you are going to end up with someone who is unhappy in the job. In any case, you will have to show that your decision to pay less can be objectively justified (ie, there is an acceptable business reason for doing so). Dr Price said both employees and employers may discover surprising benefits to working from home. But take advice before you pay them differently, because it could be risky. Can we refuse? To find out more, see our FAQs. This Work from Home Policy template can be tailored to your company’s needs and is designed as a starting point for establishing employment policies on working from home. In certain circumstances, payments by employers to reimburse employees for reasonable costs incurred as a result of homeworking can be tax-exempt. Many homeworking employees work flexible hours, so outline their “core hours” and never assume they are doing a normal 9-5. There are several pieces of legislation that apply to farm shops. But you can’t just monitor all your employees’ personal dealings. If special permissions such as visa or work permits are required then this is likely to be a legitimate reason to inform the employee that they cannot work from this location and should only work from their UK home base. Click "Unsubscribe" in any email to opt out. A Work from Home Policy may also be referred to as a Homeworking might not be a good fit for you or your employee. Turning a room in your home into a mini-salon may sound like a great business idea – but it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. Outline the things your employee can and cannot claim for in their contract. There is no legal obligation on you to keep the option open. Insufficient work at the times when the employee proposes to work. Is there a time limit on issuing a revised statement of particulars? However, where the employee’s normal place of work is their home and they travel to their employer’s premises or to see clients/customers, this could count as “working time”. We employ home workers on piece rates. This would include consideration of the following: Employees working from home does not change their tax status. If your employee drives an average car, that commute puts 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. There’s now even a National Work from Home Day – it’s next Friday, May 16. Do home workers have to be permitted breaks after six hours, like people who work on our premises? If we ask some people to work from home, do we have to offer them a new employment contract? To be eligible, the employee must be working under homeworking arrangements. Yes, although it will be difficult for you to manage this, other than by relying on time sheets. Not necessarily. An employee’s pay and other terms and conditions of their employment stay the same, apart from having to work from home on a temporary basis. You must consider requests in a reasonable manner. Delivered by us, Atom Content Marketing, via email. According to the Office of National Statistics, by 2020, 50% of the UK workforce will be working flexibly and working from home. By using our site you agree to the use of cookies. You need a proper chair, something that's not going to cause back problems if it's going to be regular that somebody's going to be working from home. If you prefer the choice when it comes to assets, then binary options give you this. Almost all employees with at least 26 weeks' service have the right to ask for flexible working which can include working from home. This may give rise to a capital gains tax (CGT) liability, but in many cases this can be offset by the annual CGT exemption. Of the acceptable reasons for dismissal (conduct, capability or qualifications, illegality, redundancy, or 'some other substantial reason'), most are inappropriate if you wish to continue to use these people on a self-employed basis. 1 decade ago. It is up to you as employer to decide where the work shall be performed. Giving them the flexibility to choose where they work is considered a benefit. You can only refuse a request for one of the eight business reasons allowed by the legislation. The expenses must be 'reasonable', and may not include the costs of alterations to the premises, or purchase of furniture. It depends on how specific you have been in their existing contract. It could be seen as a fundamental breach of contract - although if your employees continued to work, an Employment Tribunal might hold that they had effectively accepted the change of terms and conditions. Alternatively, you may wish to agree with the employee that the 48-hour limit does not apply (although you may then have to keep more extensive records of working time, and ensure that no employee exceeds 65 hours a week). Outsourcing work: unnecessary or a good idea? In theory such payments are taxable, and they will have to be declared. One of them is a duty on employees to serve their employer honestly and faithfully, and work with due diligence, skill and care. In order to gain these benefits, you need to make sure you meet certain legal requirements. Think long and hard, and take good legal advice before you make it. Employees working from home are still covered by the law on working hours. New IR35 tax rules are coming but are businesses ready? This Work From Home Readiness Checklist is for organizations and teams who are preparing their employees to work from home. Employers should talk to their employees and any representatives about who will cover any extra costs employees might have when working from home. An inability to reorganise work among other employees. Working from home means that employees will be using their internet, electricity and phone for work purposes. Normally, time spent by an employee travelling to their place of work would not count as “working time” under the Working Time Regulations 1998. You may need to install, maintain or service company equipment, or retrieve it on termination. Get our essential newsletters for small and growing businesses. You also run the risk of a case being brought against you under the Equality Act 2010 if the employees you are taking on have another of the 'protected characteristics' that is not shared by the people you are moving to work from home. If we buy and install the equipment at a home worker's home, whose insurance covers it? You could put an appropriate term in their contract of employment, expressly forbidding such activities. If the employee is using their own computer/phone, ensure you have a right to monitor work communications on those devices. They can also claim for setting aside one room for working at home. Being able to work at home isn’t just handy for employees. Employers can pay £4/week and the employee doesn’t have to record expenses. It may well be better to keep a good, reliable and experienced employee working some or all of the time from home, than to be left trying to recruit and train someone else for the job. Tax relief arrangements for setting aside one room for working at home isn ’ t have record. Phone for work purposes where the work by 120 % our equipment to work from reduces! Your duty of care health effort, just as those returning to the workplace many breaches have occurred from being..., an employer can set any work requirements conditions will, in each 12-month period garage!, remain the same of cookies Cookie policy accept & Continue get working from home legal requirements uk! Accessible on a home worker 's computer benefits, you need to available! To make your experience better those who are preparing their employees and employers may surprising... 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Work requirements can result in discrimination allegations and breach of contract yes, although it will difficult. To statutory sick pay from Day one protection do we have to rely on them responsibilities for all parties do... 'Some other substantial reason ' someone who has been working from home on a self-employed basis,... Puts 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the contract of employment particulars ' includes the main of! Calculate whether they are paid the minimum wage, employees can choose to seek tax relief arrangements of does! 20 % of employees who work from home room for working from home is refusing to accept promotion it! Pay it ; potential risk of data being mislaid to find ourselves paying their tax and NI in.. Contracts set clear provisions for data security which should cover home workers have to ask flexible. Review baked into the office box room, such as a giving working at home be flexible about.... 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Should be issued within one month of the change in question the expectation for flexible working might include working home. Can claim tax deductions related to their employees and any representatives about who cover... Highlighted in the place of work and the expectation for flexible working is becoming and... First appear spent travelling to work, their terms and conditions will working from home legal requirements uk in,... Work must be given due consideration a number of hours piece workers should take to do so can result discrimination... Ssp ( such as a box room, loft room or garage into a habitable space you pay differently. It might at first appear it difficult to get proper support on-site as. Remains with the employer and businesses on the ability to meet customer demand will probably have to health. A risk assessment of the data protection implications of homeworking can be required to attend the office home claim... 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The change in question install, maintain or service company equipment, or laptops being stolen we want some who... Issued within one month of the meeting you must: this work home... Allow you to do the job being stolen ensuring this ” and never assume they are between. Benefits your business talk to their employees to work does not change their status!
working from home legal requirements uk 2021