working from home legal issues uk

Cutting out the commute by allowing people to work from home can be a win-win; offering opportunities for the employer to reduce/reallocate office space and, for the worker, the benefit of valuable time-savings. However, restricting an employee’s activities in this way is unlikely to be practical for many employees and, in general, the longer an employee works without permission, the more difficult it will be to characterise their stay as a business visit. Depending on the employee’s activities, it may be possible to characterise their stay as a business visit - for example, if their activities are limited to those typically undertaken during business trips (e.g. Health & Safety If so, who will provide and pay for this equipment and who is permitted to access it? It provides a snap shot update of various legal developments and assists us in staying current. I realise this isn't what you're planning on doing as you work from home but surely having your own children at home while you work shouldn't cause any issues. Check your employer’s liability insurance covers employees working from home. When working from home, there may be a new concern for workers other than going without pants. Enter your email address to receive alerts when we have new listings available for Work from home legal jobs. Akshay Choudhry of Burges Salmon LLP examines the legal and practical considerations. The mere fact that an employee is working from home should not change their tax status – you should still deduct income tax and national insurance contributions as normal. Employers should consider a variety of issues, including tax, social security, immigration and employment implications, before agreeing to an employee’s request to work from home when ‘home’ is not in the UK. If an employee is not an EEA national and/or wishes to work from a non-EEA country, you will need to consider what restrictions may be in place. The employee will be responsible for any personal tax declarations that may need to be made. Work from home craft jobs UK; Home based pharmacist jobs; Part time cash in hand work London; Piece work jobs from home UK; Receive the latest listings for Work from home legal jobs. In the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, there are currently exceptions to this general rule which allow a UK employee and their employer to continue to pay UK NICs and not pay social security contributions in the host country if certain conditions are satisfied. Introducing PRO ComplianceThe essential resource for in-house professionals. People Analytics These may include minimum rates of pay, paid annual holidays and – perhaps most importantly in the event of a dispute - rights on termination. Employment Law The employer is responsible for the protection of the occupational health and safety of staff who work from home as well as office-based workers. This article tackles the question of whether work from home can work for your legal department and the things you need to do to ensure that any WFH policy works for everyone. In some instances, it may also be sensible to put in place specific policies to cover off some of the more practical arrangements. You could also require homeworkers to attend the office for regular meetings. Questions? This article explains the potential legal issues for employers in the UK and how to avoid the traps, incorporating guidance from other jurisdictions. Only accept requests if the employee’s role can be performed effectively remotely and can be done lawfully from the country in question. There are about 1.7 million UK employees working from home, according to the TUC. Please contact [email protected]. Employees will also need to comply with applicable public health guidance (e.g. Most employers will provide basic equipment at least. Normally, time spent by an employee travelling to their place of work would not count as “working time” under the Working Time Regulations 1998. Start at a set time and stick to scheduled breaks. While I am focusing on WFH, these same rules apply generally for managers and employees working at remote offices, i.e., offices away from headquarters. © 2011 - 2021 DVV Media International Limited. Currently, if the employee is a UK or EEA national, they have the right to live and work in an EEA country (although this position will change for UK nationals from 31 December 2020 when the current Brexit implementation period ends). Who might have access to the employee’s computer? Confidentiality and data protection – this can be difficult to supervise remotely so include an express term to address what is considered confidential information and the necessary protections required (such as passwords, encryption, a secure filing cabinet, a shredder etc) and make sure data protection obligations are maintained. A right to enter may also help enable you to carry out risk assessments for health and safety purposes, although legal advice in terms of enforcing this right would be needed if the employee (or another person) was refusing entry. Follow the latest government advice about working from home on GOV.UK. Right to enter – do you want include a licence to enter the employee’s home (on reasonable notice) in order to install, maintain or service any company equipment, or retrieve it on termination? In the UK are things like desks, furniture, internet, etc., obliged to be paid for by the employer even in the circumstances where this home working arrangement is at the request of the employee? Check what data processing the employee will be doing, and that this can be carried out lawfully in line with your usual policies. Terms and conditions, • Employee Benefits If the employee will be using their own computer equipment, agree whether or not the employer should pay for its maintenance, repair and fair wear and tear. You will need to consider, however, whether the employee’s stay in the host country creates risks of income tax or social security liability in that country - or even the risk that you (as the employer) are regarded as having created a permanent establishment there. Home working can cause work-related stress and affect people’s mental health. Social security position is complex and depends on what agreements are in place. However, there still remains numerous challenges with this almost-overnight switch to remote working. HR Director UK employers have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees, which includes providing a safe working environment when they are working from home. By Lisa Stam on September 19, 2012. However, it is advisable to consider this on a case-by-case basis – particularly where the employee may suffer from a disability and the provision of such equipment could be considered a reasonable adjustment. The employee does not have the authority to enter into contracts with local customers while in the host country and should not hold themselves out as having such an authority. UK employers have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees, which includes providing a safe working environment when … This month on 19 May it is “National work from home day”. There are also practical considerations to consider when agreeing to a homeworking arrangement. Prepare yourself for the inherent risks that come with providing staff with work from home opportunities. Companies these days are increasingly allowing employees to work from home in order to save on time and costs of actual office space and other overhead. These are very useful tips and information, Akshay! Learning & Development Further, depending on the social security regime that is in place, there may also be a liability to pay social security contributions in the host country in addition to any contributions that are made in the UK. Put procedures in place so you can keep in direct contact with home workers so you can recognise signs of … However, if there is a double tax treaty (DTT) between the UK and the host country, the employee may be exempt from income tax there if certain conditions are satisfied, including that the employee is not a tax resident in the host country. This duty cannot be delegated to the worker, even though your employer is not in your home and cannot control what goes on there. It is possible that you will receive more such requests in future, as employees look to take advantage of increased remote-working opportunities to ask if they can work abroad for a short period on a regular basis. You've worked for this firm for many years, seems to me this new manager is being over zealous. Training Features list 2020 to check any potential council tax liability as a result of homeworking; that some of their homeworking expenses may be tax deductible; that, in limited circumstances, they may be entitled to a tax deduction in respect of the expenses of travelling from home to the office; and. The next generation search tool for finding the right lawyer for you. Keep a step ahead of your key competitors and benchmark against them. 2. Outside the EEA and Switzerland, the position will depend on whether there is a reciprocal agreement between the host country and the UK. Privacy policy It may also be sensible to provide the homeworker with a dedicated telephone line. Whilst most homeworkers will be doing low risk, desk-based jobs, you should ensure appropriate risk assessments are conducted both at the start of the homeworking arrangement and periodically thereafter. COVID-19: the practical implications of employees working abroad temporarily. The legal employment status of home workers is defined by the following tests of whether they are a ‘worker’ or ‘employee’: •Mutuality of obligation– is the person legally obliged to carry out some work in return for some payment (contract) •An obligation to work personally– or can they send someone else to do the work for you. Carry out a risk assessment of the data protection implications of homeworking. Here are the key tax issues you need to know if you will be working remotely permanently Published Sat, May 30 2020 10:15 AM EDT Updated Sat, May … Apply to Legal jobs now hiring in Home Based on Indeed.co.uk, the world's largest job site. Equipment – will the employee require specific equipment to perform their work? Working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic may sound like a luxury. In countries where there is a reciprocal agreement, such as the USA or Japan, it is possible for an employee to remain within the UK system (and not pay local social security contributions) for up to five years if they have a valid certificate of coverage. Cookies policy Employee Benefits Live, • Occupational Health & Wellbeing National work from home day is organised by Work Wise UK, a not-for-profit organisation aimed at making the UK a more progressive economy by encouraging smarter working practices. The employee accepts that they are working from home at their own risk and that the employer will not be liable for any loss they suffer due to their request being approved. Advertising specifications Employee Benefits Connect ", © Copyright 2006 - 2021 Law Business Research. It will normally be appropriate to tailor a standard employment contract in order to reflect any homeworking arrangements. Can we cut the pay of people who work from home? Within the EEA, there is also the Posted Workers Directive (PWD) to consider. The articles are typically of high calibre and from high-calibre authors who provide sufficiently succinct articles so that one can learn much about new developments in a short amount of time. This would include consideration of the following: Out of sight should not mean out of mind. HR Shared Services UK workers and France: a guide to the new rules from 1 January 2021. HR Business Partner Being away from managers and colleagues could make it difficult to get proper support. Email Newsletters Views from the UK and beyond, Home and away - when working from home means working abroad. Getting work from home insurance is essential if you have employee telecommuting for your small business. Hours of work – specify when the employee will need to be available for work. Talent Management Local health and safety protections may apply. We look at each of these issues below before explaining what practical steps you can take to minimise the risks. Contact us The employee may also need their own advice. Much will depend on the identity of the host country and the nationality of the employee. The general rule is that employee and employer social security obligations arise in the country in which the employee is physically carrying out their duties. While novel coronavirus­ (or COVID-19) has not yet been declared a global pandemic, people in 81 countries and 13 US states have been infected with the virus, and state and local public health departments are reporting new cases every day. Apply to Home Based Legal jobs now hiring on Indeed.co.uk, the world's largest job site. Worker’s compensation. In some countries, work itself is prohibited even as a business visitor. For example, in Belgium the local implementation of the PWD requires that all employment, remuneration, working terms and conditions and collective bargaining agreements that have been declared generally binding apply as of day one to any employee working temporarily in Belgium. If an employee’s role involves processing personal data, this could give rise to data protection issues, especially if the employee is requesting to work from a country outside of the EEA which is not subject to the General Data Protection Regulation and other EU data privacy laws. According to the Office for National Statistics, 13.9% of the UK’s workforce were homeworkers in January to March 2014, up from 11.1% in 1998, and the proportion of the UK workforce working from home is likely to rise as employers increasingly recognise that flexible working, including homeworking, can bring benefits to their organisation. Working remotely - can employees work overseas? OH&W subscriptions However, the local implementation of the PWD may nonetheless end up capturing this situation. It is crucial to obtain an A1 (or E101) certificate from HMRC (or the social security authorities in the employee’s country of residence if different). As with tax and social security, some countries have implemented emergency Covid-19 legislation that will affect the normal immigration position, but this is not the case everywhere. "The newsfeeds deliver us the most recent legal analysis and practical information. This can be a complicating factor, particularly if a dispute or termination scenario arises and the employee asserts that they have employment rights in another jurisdiction. This would include instructions on how to set up their workplace so that it is ergonomically correct and a direction to keep their external doors locked while working from home and to notify their employer promptly of any injuries. The PWD itself was not designed to cover the situation of an employee working from home temporarily in another EEA country, and it would not be directly engaged unless you opt for a formal secondment to a local group company or ask the employee to work on a contract for a local client. Changes to the PWD, which must be implemented by the end of July, mean that employees will be entitled to the same mandatory pay as comparable employees in the host location. If the employee does become subject to tax in the host country but remains UK tax resident, they will remain subject to UK income tax on their worldwide income but should be able to obtain credit for some or all the tax they pay in the host country. Working from home looks set to be a part of many people’s lives for some time to come. OH&W subscription terms. There are three particular areas to consider from a legal perspective: 1. The Personnel Today Awards Understand your clients’ strategies and the most pressing issues they are facing. Multiple court cases have held companies liable for covering costs incurred … The employment contract remains subject to UK law and jurisdiction. But work should be your priority. Recruitment & Resourcing It is also worth including the right to require the employee to revert to office-based working. Home Advice for Parents & Carers Discrimination as a parent/carer Flexible working and the law – a guide for employees Flexible working and the law – a guide for employees Alongside the Right to Request Flexible Working, employees have several legal rights which may help them to get the flexible working pattern they want. Working from home is often a great solution for employees who are looking for a more flexible style of working. What does the Brexit trade deal mean for employment law in the UK? Immigration permission is generally not required for business visits. Particular changes to the contract to consider include the following: Place of work– if the employee will be predominantly working from home, the normal place of work will be the employee’s home, although the contract should also include a provisio… The longer the arrangement continues, however, the greater the risk - particularly if the employee routinely negotiates the principal terms of contracts with customers which are simply ‘rubber-stamped’ without amendment by UK employees. Ensure that flexible workplace policies … Depending on how many requests you expect to receive, you may even want to consider developing a short policy to ensure that these situations are dealt with consistently and fairly. Employee Relations If you have a home based contract, isn’t the employer supposed to provide an office chair ( if requested by the employee ) and also carry out a DSE assessment? The war for talent is alive and well and people are demanding to work differently. Update existing policies to include Covid-19 specific language. Deciding on working from home arrangements On top of the tax, social security and immigration implications explained above, there are various other employment law and data privacy considerations. (For example, the employer may need to register with local authorities as an employer and/or report on the income that is being paid to the employee.). Nondiscriminatory Application of Work-From-Home Policies. This note outlines the issues relevant to homeworking; the benefits and drawbacks and the practicalities that need to be addressed in the event that an employer engages homeworkers or accedes to an existing employee's request to work (full or part time) from home. What rules do you have in place regarding the retention of data? Other non-British nationals should consider whether their absence from the UK may affect their visa, or their eligibility to apply for other types of status in future where absences are assessed, such as indefinite leave to remain, permanent residence or naturalisation as a British citizen. Posted in Workplace Policies. Employee Benefits Awards For example, in the Netherlands, employers must provide employees with the equipment needed to ensure a safe working environment which in some cases might involve making a contribution or purchasing relevant equipment. quarantine periods) both in the host country and on their return to the UK. Home working opens up a new range of possibilities for the way businesses can work and structure themselves.With the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, home working has given some employers the flexibility they need to continue their business operations while prioritising staff and customer health and wellbeing as part of their public health responsibility. Ideally, these should clarify that: The employee will be liable for any additional income taxes or employee social security which may be charged because of their decision to work for a short period in an overseas location (and that the employer is authorised to make additional deductions or seek reimbursements, if necessary, for this purpose). This would be the case if, for example, the employee has a sales or business development role and is habitually exercising an authority to conclude contracts in the name of the employer while in the host country. If a permanent establishment is created, the profits attributable to that establishment would be subject to corporate tax in that country. Performance & Engagement Remind the homeworker that they must have consent from their mortgage provider to work from home. Respite from … You will need to ensure that homeworkers do not exceed the 48-hour limit on their working week when travel is taken into account (or that they have opted out of the maximum hours’ cap). Several tax authorities have issued concessions in the light of Covid-19, but not all have done so, and it will be important to establish the rules in place in the relevant host country. A work from home policy that sets out requirements to be observed by employees while they are working from home. What measures should be taken against accidental loss, destruction or damage? Thank you! It can be all too easy to spend the day in your pyjamas, dipping into work in between doing household chores and running errands. My thoughts turn to childminders, they work from home and have children around them. Learn more about and how to prevent the liabilities of letting employees work from home … Flaxton cites BT as a big employer that is keen on home working… Become your target audience’s go-to resource for today’s hottest topics. Skip to Job Postings, ... Full office-based training will be provided with the role transitioning to working from home 80% of the time. So what should employers be aware of if they want to facilitate homeworking? Employers and employees should be practical, flexible and sensitive to each other's situation when working from home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It will normally be appropriate to tailor a standard employment contract in order to reflect any homeworking arrangements. The employee takes responsibility for ensuring they have the necessary technology and arrangements in place to enable them to work effectively. RSS feeds For the time being, working in the EEA is generally more straightforward but this will change after 31 December 2020 when the Brexit implementation period comes to an end. Ensure, for example, that they have access to work related benefits (such as the staff canteen or workplace gym) even though they may not use them regularly. The Health and Safety Executive provides useful guidance regarding homeworking. Expenses – consider whether or not employees will be entitled to expenses for travel to the office or a contribution towards telephone, broadband, heating and lighting costs. Is the employee’s home adequately secure? Consider only approving requests for a short, time-limited duration where the employee’s expected return date is clearly documented. The starting point is that the host country has primary taxing rights over the employment income that the employee earns while physically working in that country. The employee is still working solely for the UK business. Working from Home: Legal Issues for Employers. Payroll Maintaining Nondiscriminatory Work-From-Home Polices Compile a list of legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons that would preclude an employee from working-from-home. Consider formalising the contact that homeworkers should have with their manager (for example being required to report in at least once per day/week). The UK has a DTT with most countries, including all 27 EU countries and most other major world economies. Do staff have access to the equipment that will enable them to work […] Always take expert local advice on any tax, social security, immigration and employment obligations you may have in the host country, and on any Covid-19 concessions that have been issued. Will the equipment need to be insured and, if so, whose responsibility will it be to arrange and pay for this? It would also mean that the income tax exemption in the DTT would not apply. HR Systems This means that employers must conduct risk assessments of all the work activities carried out by employees, including those working from home. We briefly outline the issues below. So treat working from home as you would working in the office – get dressed for business and set a realistic but demanding schedule. Employment law and data privacy implications of working abroad temporarily. Employers must carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of all the work activities you do at Countdown from lockdown: Where are your employees now? Also, the full details of the conditions can differ from DTT to DTT (particularly the period over which the 183-day test must be satisfied), and the employer and/or employee may still have obligations in the host country even if the DTT applies. You may also need to consider any immigration issues that could arise on the employee’s return to the UK. Will they be required to account for their time and if so, how? The size and depth of articles are good too, so we can get to the information one needs very quickly. For example, if an individual is working from home because of ill-health and receives less favourable benefits than a comparable office-based employee, they may claim disability discrimination. Make sure your actions (or any lack of action) don’t invalidate the insurance. The employee must comply with all applicable public health guidance in both in the country to which they travel and in the UK. Occupational Health Workforce Planning, • About Personnel Today Other expenses to consider include postal/courier costs, stationery costs and photocopying/printing costs. Working and living in Spain after Brexit: what changes for UK nationals? Risk of creating a permanent establishment is low but should be considered. While this may be less of a problem if you already have established operations in the host country, it could be a real headache if you do not. Covid-19 is causing many employees to ask if they can work from ‘home’ for an extended period in an overseas country, for example, because it is their home nation or their family is based there. Note that these rules are due to expire on 31 December 2020, when the current Brexit implementation period ends, and it remains to be seen whether there will be a trade agreement between the UK and EU which will replicate any of these features. Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, for example having flexible start and finish times, or working from home. if computer equipment provided by the employer is used for anything more than “insignificant” private use, a tax charge may arise. In addition, the employer should continue to deduct employee national insurance contributions (NICs) and pay employer NICs. However, where the employee’s normal place of work is their home and they travel to their employer’s premises or to see clients/customers, this could count as “working time”. Consider how you might regulate stress levels, how to ensure rest breaks and other working time obligations will be met, whether specialist equipment is required or needs to be safety tested, first aid arrangements, and reporting work-related accidents. The shorter the period the employee is working abroad, the smaller the risks are likely to be. Yes, if the contract of employment permits you … Time to do laundry between tasks. A new study in the UK suggests that we now have four million people working from home in some capacity - full time, part time, they're doing it. With a dedicated telephone line a step ahead of your key competitors and benchmark against them for regular meetings take... Legal obligation on an employer to consider homeworking arrangement benefits – you should take that., destruction or damage have regarding encryption, use of passwords, and public... We look at each of these issues below before explaining what practical steps you can take to minimise risks... Home day ” carried out lawfully in line with your usual policies set time and stick to scheduled.... Much will depend on whether there is also true of the host country on... Identity of the data protection implications of working also worth including the right amount of detail particular areas to when. Certain minimum statutory rights from working from home legal issues uk one hiring in home Based on Indeed.co.uk the... Favourably on grounds of any temporary overseas working arrangement and record them in writing for workers other going... Necessary technology and arrangements in place specific policies to cover off some of the tax, security... 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