Homeworking & Remote Working FAQs & Resources

As a leading provider of Health & Safety eLearning, our team has recently been receiving a variety of different questions regarding Homeworking & Remote Working. We’ve collected some of those questions and answered them for you below…

Homeworking & Remote Working FAQs

Do I have to let my employees work from home?

In the UK, all employees have the legal right to request flexible working. Employees can do this through a process called “making a statutory complaint”.

Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s individual needs, which can be anything from having flexible start and finish times or working from home.

Legally, to be eligible for flexible working, employees must have been working for a single employer for at least 26 weeks.

Employers must deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’, which involves:

  • assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application
  • holding a meeting to discuss the request with the employee
  • offering an appeal process

Does working from home increase or decrease productivity?

Research by YouGov Omnibus tells us that 20% of HR managers believe that staff work to a slightly higher standard at home than they do in the office, and a further 7% believe they work to a “much higher” standard.

Even if the evidence for increased productivity from working from home isn’t enough to convince you to allow it, 49% of HR decision-makers think that it has no effect at all on output.

70% of organisations actively encourage employees to work from home.

What if certain jobs can’t be done from home?

For some roles and organisations, remote work might be impossible. With that said, an employer can refuse an application if they have a good reason for doing so.

If you do choose to refuse a flexible working application, as an employer, you must inform the employee that you’ve rejected their application.

Employers can reject an application for any of the following reasons:

  • extra costs that will damage the business
  • the work cannot be reorganised among other staff
  • people cannot be recruited to do the work
  • flexible working will affect quality and performance
  • the business will not be able to meet customer demand
  • there’s a lack of work to do during the proposed working times
  • the business is planning changes to the workforce
  • work physically cannot be done from home

Are there different Health & Safety and Compliance considerations for homeworkers? 

Whilst working from home might present new hazards and risks, considerations shouldn't sway too much away from the same areas of consideration of risks that a workplace might have.

For example, in an office, a responsible person might highlight general Health & Safety, Fire Awareness, DSE, and GDPR & Cyber Security as potential risks and then sort out plans (and training) accordingly. 

These same risks will be present in a home working situation but they'll more than likely present themselves in different ways.

Who is responsible for the Health & Safety of homeworkers? 

According to the HSE, employers are required to protect the health, safety, and welfare of homeworkers who are employees. If you employ homeworkers you should carry out a risk assessment of the work activities and take appropriate measures to reduce any associated risks.

How can iHASCO help me with my homeworkers?

We offer a range of eLearning courses that are suited for permanent homeworkers and for staff that are temporarily working from home. In fact, our Training for Remote Workers Bundle offers a cost-effective and time-efficient way of bringing staff up to speed with legislation and working towards legislative compliance as an organisation.

Can furloughed staff complete training?

You can still give your furloughed staff iHASCO training but cannot make it compulsory if their furloughed wage takes their salary to less than minimum wage. 

Here’s what the Government say: 

Once you are on furlough you will not be able to work for your employer, but you can undertake training or volunteer subject to public health guidance, as long as you’re not:

· making money for your employer
· providing services to your employer

If workers are required to, for example, complete training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the NLW/NMW for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised. 

FAQs regarding our Training for Remote Workers

Why are the training courses in this Training for Remote Workers Bundle important?

Our training courses help those who are working remotely to work towards compliance with relevant legislation and keep themselves safe from harm.

How long are my certificates valid for?

It is up to the training administrator of the employee as to when training needs to be refreshed. However, to stay up-to-date with legislation, we recommend that training should be renewed every year.​

What devices are these courses available from?

Our courses can be completed on a range of devices, they’re compatible with Desktops, laptops, mobile phones, iPads, and other tablets.

What approvals do these courses have?

These courses are all CPD Accredited and have various approvals such as IOSH and RoSPA.

Documents and resources

Managing a Remote Team

With many employees working from home it is essential to provide the right support to keep your team productive and motivated.

  • Understand what it means to be a manager
  • Build structure and trust among your team
  • Remove obstacles to help your team perform their roles effectively
  • Adjust expectations and be mindful of differences within your team
  • Learn how to prioritise communication to strengthen relationships and team spirit

White Paper