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How to create a Working from home policy

A working from home policy allows employers to outline when staff can work remotely and how they can request to do so. The working from home policy sets out how often the employee can work from home, their working hours, health and safety and how the agreement can be terminated. 

You can choose to create a temporary working from home policy or a permanent working from home policy. 

You should use the Temporary working from home policy when your employees are required to work from home during Covid-19. This should only be used on a temporary basis for as long as your employees will temporarily work from home.

If you want to implement a long term home working policy then you should use the Working from home policy

Implementing a temporary working from home policy in response to Covid-19 is important because it will ensure employees are aware of how they will be expected to continue carrying out their duties from home. 

Implementing a permanent working from home policy shows your employees you are willing to be flexible and your business takes into consideration individual circumstances and the specific needs of employees eg childcare. Having a home working policy in place also promotes a good work-life balance. 

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 employers have the same health and safety responsibilities for employees when they are working from home, therefore it is important to set this out in a working from home policy and identify how you will manage health and safety both during Covid-19 and when implementing a permanent working from home policy

You should ask employees to assess any risks they might face when working from home and then identify how you can help them manage these risks. 

Both the temporary and permanent working from home policies cover:

  • whether the employee will work their usual hours, or if working hours can be flexible 

  • if relevant equipment and materials will be provided to employees

  • any expenses the employer will pay (eg wifi usage)

  • security- policy on the protection of confidential information and reporting of any data security breaches

  • health and safety

  • insurance- employees should be aware that working from home might affect their home and contents insurance and in certain cases, you might want to ask them to take out public liability insurance

  • termination of home working agreement

Ask a lawyer for advice if:

  • the documents do not cover what you need
  • employees do not agree with the policy

Other names for Working from home policy

Home working policy, Temporary home working policy.