Now that covid restrictions have effectively ended companies with staff who have been working from home need to review the working relationships they have with their staff. What was acceptable as emergency adhoc arrangements during lockdown now needs to be clarified and regularised.
In particular contracts and policies need to be reviewed and updated to reflect agreed new working patterns .
Specifically, hybrid working agreements require an amendment to the employment contract reflecting the new working pattern is it 4 days at home and 1 in the office or 3+2 ? who provides the equipment? Who pays additional Wi-Fi and telephone costs?
The hybrid working contract must be backed up with a policy which will be non-contractual but will set out both the employers and employee’s responsibilities in this new method of working.
Unambiguously it should address
- The ability of the employer to vary the arrangement
- Employer and employee’s responsibilities to provide a safe home working environment.
- Employers need to review the home working set up particularly in respect of furniture i.e. is the work area the employee uses fit for purpose telephones and can the home Wi-Fi support the working needs?
- How much financial support is the employer making available to the employee to make the home working area fit for purpose and to offset any additional costs the employee may incur by working at home
- The need to subject the home working station to a health and safety risk assessment to avoid potential claims of back pain, RSI and other issues because of an inadequate home working station
- What steps both parties need to take to safeguard confidentiality and GDPR requirements
- What needs to be done should the employee move house while hybrid working
- And finally how to end the arrangement