As COVID-19 continues to spread, more employees are working from home than ever before. Many are doing so for the first time. Employers are innovating and adapting their previous practices to test their work-from-home capabilities. The likelihood of extended workplaces being locked down seems increasingly likely.
KEY TAKE OUTS:
- Keeping house is not the solution if you wish to protect your employees and the business from the impacts of COVID-19.
- Establish contingency plans to enable business continuity to overcome this global disaster.
With no end in sight to COVID-19, many businesses are developing or implementing work-from-home policies to sustain business continuity.
Large organisations such as Telstra (with the exclusion of call centre employees and other essential employees), are already working from home and many other organisations are expected to do the same. It may also be necessary for small and medium-sized businesses to follow suit and offer remote working options to their employees.
As employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees, it is necessary for employers to adapt their policies to ensure adequate alternative measures are taken. Remote work has undoubtedly reached an unprecedented tipping point, but many businesses may not be tipping in that same direction.
This unexpected adoption of working remotely may be a cause for legal concern rather than of celebration. In circumstances where organisations are anticipating their employees will resume the office commute in the near future and are failing to put remote work ideals into place, they may be burdened with challenges and the need to answer an important question: can my employees be working in a better way?
“Going remote” may seem simple but the change management process can have a ripple effect and if not managed properly, can result in legal concerns. A written policy may seem a bit “extra”, but it can be the critical component in ensuring the safety of your employees. A work-from-home policy could be the make or break to your business success.
Whilst a work-from-home policy may still be your work in progress, there is no better time to finalise your policy than the present. If you would like assistance drafting a work-from-home policy to suit your business, please contact us.
ABOUT AMANDA OLIC:
Amanda is our Head of Commercial and has experience in providing legal advice on a broad range of commercial law matters. Amanda has provided advice to small to medium companies and international companies in relation to contractual advice, employment policies and agreements, disputes and litigation.
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This blog is merely general and non specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.