Employers across the globe are struggling with effects of recommended and required COVID-19 quarantines. Some employers have the capability of allowing their employees to work from home, lessening the impacts of COVID-19 on business activities. Employers who regularly employ remote or home office workers may be familiar with regulatory requirements in their country or region relating to those working at home, but those employers who are now transitioning to allow employees to work at home are at risk for regulatory noncompliance. Many countries have specific requirements for employers to provide certain health, safety, and other support to employees working from home.
In Brazil, employers are required to develop emergency response plans for employees who work from home. Brazilian regulations also require employers to conduct risk assessments of employee’s home work areas. Risk assessments must be reviewed by a competent person and preventative or control measures must be identified and implemented as necessary.
UK regulations establish financial obligations for employers to provide long-term, work-at-home employees with necessary office equipment. During this time where many if not all employees are working at home, employers in the UK must focus on reasonable accommodations for employees working at home on a temporary basis. Examples of reasonable accommodations include allowing employees to borrow office equipment, such as monitors, laptops, and keyboards, home for use in the interim. Employers can also offer employees remote support by way of ergonomics assessments and home working assistance via online training sessions/video conference or issue of guidance notes.Employers can also offer employees remote support by way of ergonomics assessments and home working assistance via online training sessions/video conference or issue of guidance notes.
Australian employers are required to conduct risk assessments to evaluate the risks associated with working from home and to identify and implement necessary control measures to mitigate these risks. At a minimum these risk assessments should consider ergonomics, working environment, emergency management, remote/isolated work, and employee wellbeing. Employers must develop self-assessment checklists for employees to ensure their home work areas are evaluated. They must ensure employees complete the self-assessments and that they are reviewed by a competent person to ensure accuracy and to follow up with employees who raise concerns during the assessment.
The examples mentioned above are just a few of the global regulatory requirements for employees working from home. Through our Inogen network, we maintain a global platform of health and safety practitioners who know and understand these regulatory requirements. We are prepared to assist and guide you as you transition your employees from in-office workers to home users. If you aren’t sure if you as an employer have regulatory obligations in your country or region relating to employees working from home, reach out to us, we are here to help!
To speak with one of our health and safety experts, contact us today.
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