Is it time to put a remote work policy in place?

It’s now common knowledge that the number of coronavirus cases worldwide continues to grow. For employers, the possibility of having to ask employees to work from home is becoming all the more real.

A recent HR survey revealed that the number of employees in the ‘flexi-workforce’ has increased by 50% in the last two years. Furthermore, a quarter of Irish employees now work remotely.

Forecasts suggest this figure is going to increase in the coming years. With a new EU Directive on work-life balance also scheduled to take effect, remote work will become an initiative many businesses may have to implement.

Will your insurance cover remote workers?

If you do allow employees to work remotely, will your employer’s liability cover them? Ask your insurance company to confirm their position on remote workers.

This is a must. Failure to inform domestic insurers about remote workers could invalidate an insurance policy.

Risks of remote work

Nothing beats policy when it comes to minimising risks, and the same goes for remote working. So, put a clear policy in place and communicate it to employees.

Along with other risks that are specific to your business, a remote work policy will need to address the following issues:

  • Confirmation that remote work arrangements are provided only at the discretion of the employer.
  • The process of requesting a home working arrangement.
  • The methods of communication to be used while working remotely.
  • Trial periods to evaluate the suitability of a remote work arrangement.
  • Who provides the IT equipment computer/laptop, phone, internet connection?
  • Confirmation of the employer’s liability to pay various costs associated with home working.
  • A health & safety risk assessment to ensure the employee’s remote work location complies with health & safety regulations.
  • Confirmation of security and confidentiality rules.
  • Rules on the secure use of IT equipment.

Positives of remote work

Due to the fact that unemployment remains low, the pressure on employers to attract and retain talent has increased. Flexible work options, such as remote working, will help you when attracting new recruits. Also, flexibility options will help keep your current workforce happy ─ without having to increase salaries.

So, more and more businesses will soon be offering remote work options. That means that companies that fail to keep up will find it more difficult to attract and retain staff.

Need our help?

If you would like further complimentary advice on the remote work from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call. Call us on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

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