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April 19, 2021

Employers Home Working Safety Obligations

As an employer, you have an obligation for the safety of your people whilst they are working from home, or outside the office.

As businesses shift, maybe permanently, to work-from-home or work-from-anywhere, the line of responsibility for the workplace also changes, and goes outside “the office”.

Investments should extend beyond traditional workplaces right into people’s homes to keep employees safe (and productive).

Why should your business make these investments?

1. There are long-term costs of bad health of your employees, customers, vendors, and their families to consider. If your staff can’t do their jobs, your customers can’t buy goods and services, or your suppliers can’t deliver your products, as a business you cannot operate.
2. Consider support networks. Not a lot of people work more effectively when someone they care for is sick at home.
3. Think about the avoided costs of future health expenses. This is where there are real economic savings above just being a considerate company.
4. Think about homes as well as workplaces. Offering incentives for keeping a “healthy home” will pay off for companies since they a) would be less exposed to liability claims around the extended definition of the workplace and b) employees would flat out work better and more productively.

If work is adversely affecting the health, safety and welfare of employees, you should take appropriate steps to provide suitable arrangements.

As any period of temporary home working extends, the employer must assess whether the home provides a suitable workplace and should set minimum requirements for their work space. Employers should also have regular discussions with workers to assess whether additional steps are needed, for example where they report:

• aches, pains, or discomfort related to their temporary working conditions
• adverse effects of working in isolation, on remote IT systems or unable to access support systems provided in the workplace
• working longer hours without adequate rest and recovery breaks

Provide workers with appropriate equipment and advice on ways of working, even if the working is occasional. For example, if working once or twice per week, health issues can still occur if postures are poor and the durations are longer than brief, therefore the risks need to be correctly managed.

Limelight Workspace provides a series of options including purchase or leasing of ergonomic furniture, storage, lighting, technology and accessories. Equally, we have pre-selected bundles for an economic option. Find out more about our flexible and home working solutions here.

We have also introduced a Limelight Workspace voucher scheme makes it easy for employers to ensure compliant flexible and home working.

For more information on how we can help, please call +44 20 8447 4690 to talk to one of our workspace specialists or email our team at