Although my school days ended many years ago, September always brings with it the sense of a new year starting; time to sort my pencil case and polish my shoes! It is also a time to assess our working lives and those of the staff we employ. The biggest change the last few years has seen is a widespread move to hybrid or home working imposed on many without much time to consider the implications by the start of the covid pandemic in 2020.
Two years on and most employers have continued with some form of hybrid working. However, many have not taken the time to ensure that their contractual documents and policies are in line with this change. Employers who do now allow their employees to work from home should consider the following issues:
- Are changes needed to the employees’ contracts of employment to reflect their new working arrangements? For example, does the place of work or working hours clause need to be changed?
- Likewise, changes to policies may be required and it is a good idea to put in place a flexible working or hybrid working policy to set out clearly what is expected of employees.
- Have appropriate measures been put in place to protect confidential information?
- Is a risk assessment required to review the arrangements in place at the employee’s home? Having undertaken such an assessment is additional equipment required to assist the employee in their role?
- What arrangements are in place to ensure the proper management and supervision of employees?
Employers need to review their requirements and ensure they have the right policies and contractual wording in place. Furthermore, employers need to communicate with their employees so that they understand the options available to them.
These changes are not easy to navigate. If you would like help reviewing your policies or contracts or just want to discuss your hybrid working arrangements, please do get in touch.