A model homeworking policy that incorporates good practice, contains clear and effective wording, and is easy to edit.
This document is suitable for use in England & Wales and Scotland, and was last reviewed and revised on 26 May 2022
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This policy applies to any work being done at home, whether by an employee who spends all of their working week at home ('a permanent homeworker'), part of their working week at home ('a part week homeworker') or only works at home on an occasional basis ('occasional homeworker'). The term 'homeworker' or 'homeworking'; in this policy covers any of these employees.
This policy applies to all employees of [company name].
The Company supports homeworking in appropriate circumstances either on an a permanent, temporary or occasional basis. Where working from home is a new arrangement, employees will be required to sign a 'Homeworker Agreement'. Those signing this agreement must comply with its contents and the decision as to whether any homeworking is appropriate remains with the Company. Where an employee has worked from home from the commencement of their employment, all terms will be within their contract of employment.
The homeworking environment
Homeworkers should ensure that they have a suitable environment in which they can focus on work, free from disruption e.g. by having adequate care arrangements in place for dependants who may be at home during working hours. Homeworking must not be used as a replacement for a dependant's care arrangements.
The environment must also be safe and comfortable and fulfil all Health & Safety requirements (see below).
Working arrangements for homeworkers
Working from home will only be possible if it can be ensured that the homeworker's absence from the workplace will not create problems for other employees and that their home conditions are conducive to effective working.
Part week and occasional homeworkers must indicate clearly in their work electronic calendar when not in the office. In addition, their office business phone number should be diverted to a mobile or alternative number on homeworking days.
For insurance and safety reasons homeworkers must not hold meetings with clients, colleagues or any non-Company persons at their home unless otherwise authorised/requested by the Company for legitimate business reasons. Where meetings are required, these should take place on Company premises wherever possible, or in an alternative and suitable meeting space. Video/conference calls may be an alternative suitable option.
Home address and other personal details must not be disclosed, and all mail should be addressed to the main office.
Restricted access materials must not be taken out of the office, copied, or compromised in any way. Homeworkers must take all precautions necessary to secure sensitive information.
Standard working hours apply regardless of the employee's place of work and therefore apply regardless of homeworking arrangements. These are contained in an individual's contract of employment.
Homeworking may be withdrawn, on a permanent or temporary basis, where the arrangement is not proving successful or operating effectively. Homeworkers may also face disciplinary action under the Company's disciplinary policy if the system is found to be abused.
The Company will provide any necessary equipment as appropriate to a homeworking role.>
The following will apply to any equipment provided:
- it remains the property of the Company,
- it must not be removed from the designated homeworker's address without the authority of Management
- it must not be used other than for work purposes unless otherwise agreed
- the homeworker is responsible for taking reasonable care of the equipment
- the homeworker will be responsible for any damage to equipment which goes beyond normal wear and tear, including the damage caused when transporting the equipment
- the homeworker must report any damage to or malfunction of the equipment, to Management as soon as possible
- when working from the office the homeworker will be required to bring with them any relevant equipment required to carry out their duties
The homeworker should ensure that there is sufficient internet connection available in order to support the work they are to carry out. Where there are connection issues affecting the homeworker's ability to carry out their duties, they must contact Management immediately. Homeworkers may be required to work from an alternative location, including the possibility of returning to the office, either permanently or until the issue is resolved.
Homeworkers will be required to sign a deduction from pay agreement for any equipment provided.
Provided reasonable notice is given, homeworkers may be requested to allow other employees of the Company, or contractors acting on the Company's behalf, to have access to their home, in order that those employees or contractors may:
- install, inspect, replace, service, repair or maintain Company equipment
- carry out a risk assessment
- collect items belonging to the Company on termination of employment, if they have not already been returned within the period requested
All Company property provided to homeworkers for use in their home will be covered under the Company insurance policy.
Any homeworker provided with Company property must not cause or permit any act or omission which will avoid coverage under the Company insurance policy. If in any doubt as to whether a particular act or omission will have this effect, the homeworker should consult Management immediately.
Homeworkers who hold a household/home insurance policy should notify their insurer of their homeworking arrangements and are responsible for ensuring that those arrangements do not breach any policy condition, restrictive covenant affecting their home address, local authority planning restriction or mortgage condition.
Homeworkers remain responsible for ensuring:
- the safety of any visitors to their home, as well as any other family members, particularly children
- that the general fabric of their home and its fixtures and fittings, including in any area in which they work, are maintained in a safe and functional state for performance of work, including any parts of a domestic electric system
- that the costs of electricity, water, heating, telephone, internet connection and other utilities (save as specifically agreed otherwise) are paid
Confidentiality, data protection and use of Company systems
Homeworkers must comply with the duties and obligations to confidentiality, data protection and use of the Company's systems and network under the Company's relevant policies.
In accordance with the Company's policies and procedures, homeworkers are responsible for maintaining the security and confidentiality of any business-related resources, equipment, or information to which they have access, and in particular to follow the Company's IT Policy
- take reasonable steps to restrict the access of family and friends to work equipment, materials, documents, or other data to avoid damage or loss and maintain business confidentiality>
- ensure that all confidential material, paper or electronic, should be securely destroyed as soon as any need for its retention has passed
- take reasonable care of work-related information and Company property when travelling
- not install or update any software on to Company owned IT equipment without permission from Management
- not change the configuration of any Company owned devices
- allow the installation and maintenance of Anti-Virus software and any operating system updates when required>
- not alter or disable any element of the configuration of devices or 'jail break' (modify to remove restrictions imposed by the manufacturer or operator) them
- only save business critical data in approved storage locations
- report all faults, stolen or lost hardware to Management
- ensure requests for upgrades of hardware or software are approved by Management prior to request; this includes mobile apps from the relevant provider
- in the event of a lost or stolen mobile device, report the incident to Management immediately. The device will be remotely wiped of all data and locked to prevent access by anyone other than the Company. If the device is recovered, it can be submitted to Management for re-provisioning. The remote wipe may destroy all data on the device, whether it is related to Company business or otherwise
- co-operate fully with any software or hardware audit conducted by the Company. The Company may be required to remove any equipment at the time of the audit for further inspection
- maintain security of
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