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- Working, jobs and pensions
Characteristics of homeworkers, Great Britain: September 2022 to January 2023
This publication will answers the questions of who is more likely to be working from home across demographics using both descriptive and regression analysis. Previous work in this space has focused on what the new normal looks like, which businesses are using homeworking and where in the UK homeworking is happening.
Applies to England, Scotland and Wales
Who is homeworking in great britain june to september 2022.
Official statistics are produced impartially and free from political influence.
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Working from home and hybrid working
Hybrid working is a type of flexible working where an employee splits their time between:
- the workplace
- remote working
Working from home is the most common way of working remotely.
An employee might work from home all the time, or as part of a hybrid working arrangement.
Home and hybrid working requests
How to ask for a change, respond to requests, and deal with disagreements.
Wellbeing when working from home
Including risk assessments, mental and physical health, and dealing with problems.
Home and hybrid working policies
Why employers need a policy, what goes in it, and what to consider.
Managing staff who work from home
How managers can support staff, manage and monitor performance, and keep in touch.
Training and commentary
- Events and training – flexible working (including working from home and hybrid working)
Blog – flexible working: a dream or a reality?
If you have any questions about working from home and hybrid working, you can:
- contact the Acas helpline
- get tailored support for your organisation
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Company number 03796677
- Company Overview for HOMEWORKERS WORLDWIDE (03796677)
- Filing history for HOMEWORKERS WORLDWIDE (03796677)
- People for HOMEWORKERS WORLDWIDE (03796677)
- More for HOMEWORKERS WORLDWIDE (03796677)
Next accounts made up to 31 December 2023 due by 30 September 2024
Last accounts made up to 31 December 2022
Next statement date 27 June 2024 due by 11 July 2024
Last statement dated 27 June 2023
Nature of business (SIC)
- 74909 - Other professional, scientific and technical activities not elsewhere classified
- 94990 - Activities of other membership organisations not elsewhere classified
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Latest blog posts, working from home legal requirements in the uk.
What are the legal requirements when it comes to working from home in the UK? During the pandemic, the mass transition to working from home meant a lot of changes – for employees and employers alike. And, some of these questions remain.
In this article, we will go over all the requirements that an employer needs to consider when it comes to working from home and the UK’s unique legal requirements.
- 1 Working From Home Employment Contracts
- 2 Health and Safety: What UK Law States About Homeworking
- 3 Pay and Terms of Employment for Homeworkers
- 4 Can an Employer Deny a Work From Home Request?
- 5 Work From Home Benefits for Organisations
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions About Working From Home Legal Requirements in the UK
- 7 Working From Home Is The New Normal
Working From Home Employment Contracts
There are quite a bit of employment contract elements that need to be revisited when it comes to working from home. Employers should first take into consideration the following four elements…
Working Hours: When working from home, employees may not automatically work from 9-5 (or 8-4). As an employer, you will need to set clear working hours and even clearer boundaries of ‘work time’ and ‘away time’ so that employees don’t spend more than 48 hours a week on work .
Covered Expenses: Moving from an office to a home office can incur some additional costs: lighting, internet, heat and gas. As an employer, you should discuss with your employees what expenses will be covered.
Data Protection and Privacy: As an employer, you need to have safety protocols in place for all of your employees when it comes to data protection . Update all of your data protection protocols to ensure the highest standards (without intruding on the privacy of your employees).
Place of Work: As an employer, if an employee changes their place of residence, they should update you as soon as possible. Also, notify your employees that they need to have permission from their landlords if they wish to work from home.
Health and Safety: What UK Law States About Homeworking
An employer is responsible for their employee's health and safety even if they’re working from home. So even though you can’t barge into people’s houses to conduct risk assessments, you can still implement certain measures that will help you improve their health and safety conditions:
Managers should help employees find a safe working environment where they can accomplish their work in a safe manner.
Employers should have regular contact and communication with their remote work employees in order for the employees not to feel isolated or alone.
An employer should provide the necessary equipment to employees so that they can do their jobs properly.
Pay and Terms of Employment for Homeworkers
When it comes to pay, employees who are working the same number of hours as they did when they were in the office need to be paid the same. They can’t get paid less simply because they’re working from home (if they’re working the same amount of hours).
As an employer, you need to ensure that employees don’t work more than the maximum allowed number of 48 hours a week of work.
This can mostly become a problem for some employees who can’t create a clear boundary between work time and free time when they’re working from home.
Some employees won’t have any problems adjusting to working from home, but a majority of your workforce will need some kind of assistance so be prepared to offer it.
Read our article on the importance of work-life balance and how to enable it.
Can an Employer Deny a Work From Home Request?
An employer may deny a work-from-home request from their employee if there’s a business case for rejection. The process is as follows:
The employee requests the right to work from home
The employer assesses the request in a reasonable manner
If the request is:
Granted, the employee can start working from home
Declined, the employee can go through an appeal process
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Work From Home Benefits for Organisations
There are many benefits for both the employers and the employees to work from home:
Higher Productivity: Employees who are working from home don’t have as many distractions as they would in the workplace.
Lower Overhead Costs: Companies no longer have to rent out massive business spaces where their employees come to work on a daily basis. This results in less long-term overhead for the business.
More Engaged Workforce: An employee who doesn’t have to spend at least 45 minutes on the tube daily will find themselves more engaged and more satisfied.
Frequently Asked Questions About Working From Home Legal Requirements in the UK
Here are the four most frequently asked questions when it comes to the legality of working from home:
What Should Be Included in Work From Home Employment Contracts?
An employer should at least define working hours, what expenses are covered and data protection protocols.
What Does UK Law State About Health and Safety for Homeworkers?
UK law states that an employer is responsible for their employees and should ensure that the all employees have a safe and secure place to work.
Can an Employer Refuse Working From Home?
Yes, they can. However, the employees can still make an appeal.
What Expenses Should My Employer Pay if I Work From Home UK?
Employers should cover the equipment and supplies necessary for the employee to work from home. It’s not uncommon for the employer to also cover gas, internet or electricity bills for their employees who work from home.
Working From Home Is The New Normal
Implementing a work from home policy in your organisation can be a daunting task. To open up time for more strategic tasks, like embedding hybrid work, consider an HR software to help streamline all of your other important processes. Try Personio for 14 days right now.
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A Complete Guide to Homeworking the Legal Requirements
Employer obligations for employees working from home.
Homeworking is on the rise. According to the Office of National Statistics, by 2020, 50% of the UK workforce will be working flexibly and working from home.
Right now, 4.2 million people call their house their office and the expectation for flexible working is becoming more and more in demand. Is your business ready?
Before you can offer such a benefit, you need to understand the legal requirements for working from home. You also need to make sure that your staff have the tools they need to work effectively while out of the office.
Legal Considerations for Homeworkers
- Employment contracts
- Staff Benefits
- Public Liability Insurance
- Health & Safety
- Data Security & GDPR
- Reporting & Performance
- Working Time
- Mortgage Provider Consent
Employment Contracts – These Must Reflect Homeworking
A standard employment contract will not cover homeworking arrangements. To protect your staff and your business, you need to outline:
- Place of work
- Hours of work
- Tax exemptions
- Confidentiality & data protection
- Rights to enter
- Trial periods & review
1. Place of work
If the employee will be working from home, the normal place of work will be the employee’s home. However, include a provision that the employee can be required to attend the office. This gives you the flexibility to call them in when you need them.
You should also include a provision that homeworking is subject to change if the employee moves house. As an employer, you are responsible for your staff, so changes in the place of work must be given due consideration.
2. Hours of work
As well as how many hours they should work, specify when the employee will need to be available for work. Many homeworking employees work flexible hours, so outline their “core hours” and never assume they are doing a normal 9-5.
Working from home means that employees will be using their internet, electricity and phone for work purposes. So be explicit with expenses.
As an employers, will you cover…?
- Home upkeep costs (Lighting, internet etc.)
- Courier/postal costs
Outline the things your employee can and cannot claim for in their contract. In certain circumstances, payments by employers to reimburse employees for reasonable costs incurred as a result of homeworking can be tax-exempt.
3b. Tax exemptions for employee expenses
To be eligible, the employee must be working under homeworking arrangements . Employers can pay £4/week and the employee doesn’t have to record expenses. Alternatively, employees can choose to seek tax relief arrangements.
4. Confidentiality and data protection
To protect your business, your staff and your intellectual property, make sure your employee contracts set clear provisions for data security.
These should cover:
- Use of devices
- Means of access
- Your commitments to security
If the employee is using their own computer/phone, ensure you have a right to monitor work communications on those devices.
Make sure they have a password in place to limit access. Also, include in the contract terms that allow you to provide them with any security equipment you deem necessary (shredders, CCTV, filing cabinets etc.)
5. Rights to enter
Consider whether you need to include a licence to enter the employee’s home. You may need to install, maintain or service company equipment, or retrieve it on termination. A right to enter will also allow you to carry out risk assessments for health and safety purposes.
6. Trial periods & Review
Homeworking might not be a good fit for you or your employee. A set trial period and review baked into the contract will give both parties an opportunity to be flexible about homeworking.
Staff Benefits & Homeworking
If you offer on-site benefits as part of your employment contracts you must offer those benefits to homeworkers too. Failure to do so can result in discrimination allegations and breach of contract.
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.
Public liability insurance
Check your employer’s liability insurance covers employees working from home. Make sure that any lack of action does not invalidate the insurance.
Health and safety at work extends to the home
As an employer, you are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of your employees. You must exercise all reasonable means of ensuring this.
- Conduct risk assessments on homeworking environments
- Create a policy for regularly reviewing home environments
Data protection and security
Most homeworking employees move data (or devices that can access that data) into public spaces. That opens up the risk of data being mislaid. Many breaches have occurred from documents being left on trains, USB sticks falling out of pockets, or laptops being stolen.
But you can’t just monitor all your employees’ personal dealings. They have the right to privacy.
As the Article 29 Working Party states : “Technologies that monitor communications can […] have a chilling effect on the fundamental rights of employees.”
Stay compliant by setting clear boundaries and responsibilities for all parties. Carry out a risk assessment of the data protection implications of homeworking. This would include consideration of the following:
- Access to the employee’s computer and home
- Encryption and data transfer
- Storage of data
Employees working from home does not change their tax status. You still deduct income tax and national insurance contributions as normal.
However, you may advise the employee:
- 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.
Reporting and performance reviews
Out of sight does not mean out of mind. If you are implementing homeworking, you need to review performance and quality policies. Employees working from home can feel isolated and without support. This can affect morale and company culture.
Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, time spent travelling to work does not count as “working time”.
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”.
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).
Mortgage provider consent
Remind your homeworker that they must have consent from their mortgage provider to work from home.
Remember…Equip your staff
There is no legal obligation on an employer to provide the equipment for homeworking. But it only benefits your business to make sure your staff have the tools they need to do the job.
Most employers will provide basic equipment at least. This usually means providing a phone and computer.
If the employee will be using their own computer equipment, agree on whether or not you will pay for maintenance, repairs and software updates.
Benefits of letting employees work at home
Being able to work at home isn’t just handy for employees. It has can benefit your business, too.
20% of employees that work from home find themselves more productive. With no commute and fewer workplace distractions, your staff get more work done. Giving them the flexibility to choose where they work is considered a benefit. You can attract and retain critical skills and talent.
No commute also means a lower overall carbon footprint for your business. The average commute is 15 miles to work and the same back. If your employee drives an average car, that commute puts 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.
That doesn’t include the cost of heating and lighting a workspace. Letting employees work from home reduces your overheads and frees up office space. In places like London where office space is at a premium, many businesses are opting for hot desking and getting rid of permanent desks altogether.
In order to gain these benefits, you need to make sure you meet certain legal requirements. This includes changes to employment contracts, setting policies for health and safety, data security, tax, public liability and making sure you’re meeting the training and development needs of your staff.
- Higher productivity
- Skill retention
- Better work-life balance
- Lower carbon footprint
- Reduced overheads
- More space in the office
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