Q: Can my employer make me work from home?

A: This would depend on whether working from home is an option that has been agreed in your contract of employment.  In general, employers do not have the right to request that you work from home.

Q: Am I still permitted a break after 6 hours, if I work from home?

A: Yes and your employer will be likely to ask you to complete time sheets to make sure that you are taking your breaks.

Q: Who is responsible for my health and safety if I work from home?

A: Under health and safety legislation, all usual regulations still apply; so your employer will still be responsible.  A full safety audit should be prepared, and both your home insurers and the business owner’s insurers advised.

Q: Whose insurance covers the equipment if my employer owns it and I use it at home?

A: It can either be yours or your employer’s and should be agreed between yourselves.

Q: Will I get into trouble if I misuse work equipment and time when working at home?

A: Your contract of employment may change to include terms that forbid you from doing this.  In addition, if your employer can prove that you are in breach of this term in your contract, they will have grounds for disciplinary action against you and possibly even grounds for dismissal if you continue this type of behaviour.

Q: Can my employer force me to go to work back in the office if I prefer working from home?

A: Unless your employer has expressly stated that you are able to work at home indefinitely, your employer has the right to decide where you complete your work and can change this at any point to suit the needs of the business.

Q: Does my employer have to let me work from home if I request to?

A: Employees with a minimum of 26 weeks’ service have the right to request to work from home as a flexible working option.  Your employer is only permitted to refuse your request if they can clearly demonstrate one or more business reasons for doing this, from the reasons listed below:

  • Additional costs as a result of you working from home
  • A detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer demand
  • Being unable to reorganise work amongst other employees
  • Being unable to recruit additional employees
  • A detrimental effect on performance
  • A detrimental effect on quality
  • Insufficient work available at the times that you have proposed to work
  • Planned structural changes

Flexible working advice

For advice on flexible working, tribunal claims and contracts of employment, it’s always worth speaking to an employment law specialist who can be certain of what is and isn’t right. We have three main offices across Leicestershire so feel free to phone or pop in and talk to our employment solicitors at your local office.