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Working From Home Checklist For Employers

Published March 16, 2021 (last updated March 17, 2021) Author: Employsure
Employee working from home with health and safety risks

With businesses continuing to face the reality that employees will be spending more time working from home during the COVID pandemic, making sure your employees are seamlessly set-up is crucial to the future success of your business. But equally vital is ensuring that as a business owner you are fulfilling your health and safety obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) – no matter if your employees are working from home.

A quick way to establish what you have, what you need, and your progress in setting up your employees to work from home, is to put together a working from home checklist.

What Is A Working From Home Checklist?

When an employee works from home, their home is considered a workplace: and you, as the employer, owe them a duty of care. This duty of care is of course reasonable in the circumstances of an employee working from home.

A checklist should cover the fundamentals of your obligations when an employee is working remotely.

For example, an adequate working from home checklist for employers should prompt you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do my employees have an adequate set up at home to allow them to work productively and safely?
  • Has the injury management policy been reviewed and updated to cater for working from home arrangements?
  • Does my business have a Working From Home Policy?

Why Use A Working From Home Checklist?

For many businesses, employees working from home is a new concept that may need some tweaking until it’s perfected. For others, it’s a matter of integrating tools and strategies that ensure better productivity and success for the future.

A checklist is a recommended way to help yourself stay on top of, and keep track of, your health and safety obligations. By going through and ticking off the various parts of your checklist, you can easily stay in touch with what you need to do.

Alternatively, you can use a software solution, such as BrightHR, to keep track of employees as well as the BrightSafe application to conduct risk assessments and manage risks and store associated documentation online.

Employer’s Duty of Care to Employees Working From Home

As mentioned at the beginning, employers have a responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees, even when they work at home as far is is reasonably practicable. The same health and safety rules apply, not only to your employee, but to others affected by their working at home. Employees also have to take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others, as well as follow the business’ policies and instructions.

If you require an employee to work from home, carefully consider their personal circumstances, whether they can carry out their role at home, any health and safety matters and, of course the needs of your business.

A checklist can assist you to carry out a risk assessment of their home office to see if there are any potential hazards or safety risks.

To assist employers with their WHS obligations with employees working from home, we have put together a Work From Home Pack for Employers

Working From Home Health and Safety Checklist Free Download

Employees working from home is ‘the new normal’ for many businesses. Set up your business with policies, checklists and templates.

This FREE, downloadable pack includes:

  • Working from Home Coronavirus Policy
  • Ergonomics Checklist
  • Working from Home Checklist
  • Template memo to staff
  • Template working from home agreement

Get Your Free Checklist Now

Download our Free Working From Home Health and Safety Checklist.

About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small- and medium-businesses, with over 5,000 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Risk Mitigation Should Employers Have In Place For Employee’s Working From Home?

    Employers need to ensure that they have adequate control measures in place to eliminate, or at least minimise, any risks to the health and safety of their employees, even when they are working from home.

    Employsure recommends having the following in place to meet this obligation and to protect yourself from risks:

    • A Working from Home Policy
    • A Working from Home Checklist, that employees must complete to demonstrate they have an adequate set-up at home
    • Ergonomic guidance
    • A written agreement with any employee working from home, confirming that they have an adequate set-up to work from home

    Keeping open lines of communication with employees working from home will allow you to take steps to mitigate any risks early.

  • Do I Need A Work from Home Policy?

    You do not need one, but Employsure recommends one. Having a work from home policy helps set out your expectations to your employees, giving you more control over any future issues that employees may have when it comes to working from home.

  • What Should Be Included In a Working from Home Policy?

    Things that should be covered in a remote work or work from home policy include:

    • Health and safety issues to look out for
    • How to assess Health and safety hazards
    • Confidentiality requirements
    • How to contact key people in the business
    • Workplace Inspections

    For more information of what to include in a work from home policy please contact Employsure on 0800 568 012

  • How Do I Help My Employees Set Up A Workstation At Home?

    Other than physically assisting an employee, you can help them set up a workstation from home by sharing Working From Home and Ergonomics checklists, and providing them with a list of equipment that will or may need in their role.

  • Do I Have to Provide Equipment To Enable Employees To Work Safely From Home?

    This depends on the role they are performing. A business should act in good faith and can choose to provide equipment to employees to assist them in working safely from home but generally, if an employee’s role allows them to work from home, then they should be able to safely do so.

  • What Are The Work Health And Safety Considerations For Working From Home?

    • Whether they can work from home safely
    • Whether the employee understands their HSWA obligations
    • Whether the employee can perform their role from home

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