If your workers are salaried and exempt from overtime, this isn’t a big deal: they’ll get paid the same regar… In this electronically connected workforce, telecommuting or working from home is easier than ever. Paul Harpur, from the University of Queensland Law School, said the most common issue to arise was when the employee was injured at home in the course of their employment. He is a Fellow of the British Academy. This event will be streamed live on Facebook, Join us for a lecture by @PEspinosaC, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Cha… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…, Reply From 1998 to 2010 she held a Chair in Criminal Law and Legal Theory at LSE; she returned to LSE in 2013 after spending three years as Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, and Professor of Criminal Law and Legal Theory at the University of Oxford. Maintaining Nondiscriminatory Work-From-Home Polices Compile a list of legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons that would preclude an employee from working-from-home. Employees in some states (e.g. Ensure that any work-from-home, remote work, and onsite work policies, are administered in a nondiscriminatory manner. Astrid was awarded her doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2009. Ensure there are legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons if some employees are not allowed to work from home. Here are five legal pitfalls you’ll want to look out for when drafting a remote work policy. Because schools may be closed and employees may face challenges with childcare due to COVID-19, employers likely will need to remain flexible in their expectations. If a homeworking expenses policy has been previously agreed with a trade union, the employer must agree any changes with the union. Other legal issues. Employers should also carry out a data privacy impact assessment of the data protection implications of employees working from home. Keep in touch. Employers can make reasonable requests in response to a health crisis. According to the National Employment Standards (NES) introduced in 2010 by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), parents and caregivers of children under school age have the right to request flexible working arrangements, such as working from home. Time to do laundry between tasks. Working from home is often a great solution for employees who are looking for a more flexible style of working. Many states and localities have laws requiring employers to provide paid sick leave, and this landscape is rapidly evolving. This, plus a heightened awareness of the benefits of flexible working arrangements, means that many more employees are choosing to spend some (or all) of their week working from home. Working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic may sound like a luxury. Astrid Sanders is an Associate Professor of Labour Law and joined LSE in September 2013. LEGAL ISSUES Shifting Paradigm Recently, there has been an increase in popularity of alternative work schedules, working from home, telecommuting and flexible work hours. For those situations where an employer is able to continue operations with employees working from home or other remote locations, below is a list of issues for employers to consider in implementing such arrangements on short notice. From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event. If you have any questions concerning this alert, please contact: Nathan J. OlesonEmailWashington, D.C.+1 202.887.4425, Brian Glenn PattersonEmailHouston+1 713.250.2214, Richard J. RabinEmailNew York+1 212.872.1086, Allison S. PapadopoulosEmailWashington, D.C.+1 202.887.4588. A panel discussion of legal issues that arise from many people increasingly working from home, a pattern that seems likely to persist even after the Covid 19 pandemic has finished. LSE in Pictures is a selection of images taken by the school photographer. The University of Oxford notably awarded her two prizes for Best Performance. Sick Pay. She has particular experience of strikes and industrial action and has advised on some of the most high profile industrial disputes of recent years, for example acting (as junior counsel) for Royal Mail in successfully obtaining an injunction to prevent strike action over Christmas 2017. Where that is not possible, employers should evaluate the personal tools and equipment the employee is required to use on the employer’s behalf and determine whether and to what extent reimbursement for associated expenses may be necessary. Employees may not have dedicated work areas in their homes and may face distractions in terms of timeliness of execution of regular tasks and other disruptions of ordinary work functions (e.g., children interrupting parents during telephone calls). Employers should encourage employees to review their work area and ensure that it is free from tripping, electrical or other hazards that might pose a danger to employees. Our new COVID-19 reality means that many employees are working from home (“WFH”). If an employer requires employees to work from home in response to a health crisis like the COVID-19 outbreak, then it may choose to prohibit employees from working at other remote locations other than home (i.e., locations where they may be at greater risk of being exposed). Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availability of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Another legal issue with telecommuting is that letting employees work from home makes it much more difficult to monitor employees’ work hours, making companies potentially more susceptible to violations of wage & hour laws. As well as her D.Phil, she earlier obtained two other postgraduate degrees at Corpus Christi College. While employers generally cannot control what people do off-duty, they can prohibit employees from coming to the workplace, and can recommend that certain employees self-quarantine in their homes (such asemployees who are sick or who have traveled to a high risk area). Employers can require employees—both exempt and nonexempt—to report their working time. Her research is about how particular categories (like ‘the child’ and ‘the individual’) are constructed in law and about the assumptions that are made in European human rights law and domestic law about relationships. California) who are required to work from home may be entitled to reimbursement for a pro rata portion of their cell phone and internet service bills that is attributable to work use. Employers should ensure their paid sick leave policies are up to date. Put procedures in place so you can keep in direct contact with home workers so you can recognise signs of stress as early as possible. Continue to adhere to and enforce applicable meal and rest break requirements for nonexempt employees when they are working from home, including the recording of unpaid meal breaks. Nonexempt employees must be paid for all time worked when working from home, including overtime, the same as if they were working at the office. We use cookies to enhance your website experience. Sarah Trotter joined the Law Department as an Assistant Professor in September 2018. He is currently Cassel Professor of Commercial Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, having previously been the Vinerian Professor of English Law at All Souls College, Oxford 2014-2019, Professor of English Law at LSE 1991-2014, and a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. Almost all employees with at least 26 weeks' service have the right to ask for flexible working which can include working from home. Checking insurance cover. Find out more about homeworking expenses on GOV.UK. Legal guidelines for work from home arrangements. Such accommodations may include, for example, providing ergonomic computer equipment and accessories, to employees who would otherwise be provided such accommodations in an office setting. More and more people are working from home these days — or at least from a local coffee shop or coworking space. "So [for example] when an employee falls down the steps answering the front door or slips over in the home office," he said. Research shows that employees who work from home tend to be more productive then when in the office, but setting up a telecommuting policy may not be as easy as it sounds. Our COVID-19 Employer FAQs provide some helpful guidance in these situations. Our community is one of the largest in the School, and has played a major role in policy debates, policy-making and the education of lawyers and law teachers globally. Being away from managers and colleagues could make it difficult to get proper support. If employees are allowed or required to work from home because of the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, where remote work otherwise would not be allowed or required, then employers should make clear that the telework is being allowed or required due to the extraordinary circumstances posed by current public health circumstances. WFH is no longer treated as a flexible work option offered by some employers, but a measure to physically distance. LSE is a private company limited by guarantee, registration number 70527. Employers should consider consulting with counsel about how these laws may apply when employees work from home. Working from home opportunities, also referred to as telecommuting or teleworking, defines a work structure in which a worker can complete job tasks, either on a full-time or part-time basis, from a location outside of the company's office. It also offers greater flexibility to those employees who may have family or carer responsibilities. Employers should remind employees to update their home address and contact information in the company’s human resources system. Working from home may not be practical in many work environments, for example, where company tools, machinery or equipment may be required to accomplish a job. Prior to that, she studied at the University of Cambridge (LLM), Sciences Po (Erasmus year), and LSE (LLB). Legal Issues in Working From Home There are many legal issues surrounding work that takes place in the home. She also achieved outstanding marks as an undergraduate in her law examinations. State and local laws for reporting time pay and split shift pay may remain in effect for nonexempt employees working from home. She has held a number of visiting appointments, most recently at Harvard Law School. Employers have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their workers, regardless of whether they work in a factory, office or home BY Amber Chandler 12 May 2017. A podcast of this event is available to download from Working From Home: legal issues arising from the 'new normal'. You must also review how you’re managing the risks to check your policies and processes are effective. Home working opens up a new range of possibilities for the way businesses can work and structure themselves.With the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, home working has given some employers the flexibility they need to continue their business operations while prioritising staff and customer health and wellbeing as part of their public health responsibility. But a right to request is not the same as a right to. Specific advice should be sought on what the assessment should cover. Not only will sound work-from-home policies keep employees on track while working offsite, but they’ll help avoid potential legal problems that can arise from remote work. Employers should consider a variety of issues, including tax, social security, immigration and employment implications, before agreeing to an employee’s request to work from home when ‘home’ is not in the UK. Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel. 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