Jay Bhayani is a solicitor, HR specialist and regular unLTD columnist. Here she takes a look at the issues surrounding working from home. 

Since June 2014, all employees with over 26 weeks’ service have had the right to make a flexible working request to their employer irrespective of their childcare or other responsibilities – any employee can make a request.  In this modern day and age, there is less need for employees to undertake their role from a fixed office location, resulting in more requests for employees to be able to work from home.

Key considerations when considering a request for home working 

Firstly, there are health and safety considerations as with any other employee and an employer is required to ensure that care is taken for employees’ safety “as far as is reasonably practicable”.  This ordinarily means that an employer should carry out a risk assessment at the employee’s home and ensure that they have access to a basic first aid kit.  In order to do this, it is also sensible to reserve the right to enter the employee’s home to conduct a risk assessment, but also to maintain any equipment that is provided to the employee and to recover any company property when the employment terminates.

Contract of employment changes

An employer will need to consider how to change the contract of employment.  A specific home working policy is ideal. Will it be a permanent arrangement, or do you want to build in a trial period? The employee’s place of work will be their home address, but what happens if the employee moves house?  Will they be entitled to claim any expenses for travel or the cost of working from home?  The employee should also check the terms of their mortgage or insurance policies, as they may prevent them from using their home as a place of business.  How will the employee be supervised and should the standard appraisal system be amended?


While there is no legal obligation to do so, it is sensible to ensure that the employee has the tools and equipment required for them to do their job, and employers must retain responsibility for maintaining that equipment.  However, the employee remains liable for items such as their electricity supply.

Confidential information

Employers must also ensure that their confidential information is sufficiently protected by the employee.  This could mean using adequate virus protection and/or encryption on their own devices, however often employers elect to provide employees with work computers to ensure that everything is done to protect that confidential information.  It is also important to ensure that employees do not inadvertently breach the provisions of the Data Protection Act, as the Information Commissioner’s Office has the power to issue fines of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the Act.

For advice on home working or any aspect of employing people you can contact Jay on 0114 3032300 or email jay@bhayanilaw.co.uk