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Employer Responsibility For Remote Workers

08-Jul-2020 14:43:55 / by Connor Taylor

Whether employers like it or not, remote work is set to become a regular feature of employment. Forced by the closing of offices and other work environments, millions around the world have now been working from home for a considerable amount of time during lockdown. LinkedIn research suggests that ‘job searches for remote work have gone up 60% globally since March.’ Shopify has suggested that its offices will be closed until 2021, and many tech firms such as Slack have announced permanent remote working. Businesses can predict a saving in overheads; less office space means increased profit per employee. Yet employers are still responsible for the health & safety of their employees, and liable if something goes wrong.

Remote Workers

An employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe working environment, free of hazards, remains as critical in a remote work setting as on a regular site. However, keeping employees safe remotely presents a whole new set of challenges. Employees must preform their own risk assessments and hazard checks, ensuring they are safe and possess the correct equipment to work. How can an employer keep track of this to ensure liability?

At Emex, we believe the easiest way to protect remote employees is through an online management platform. Not only does this allow employees to easily complete remote working assessments, but it reduces the administrative load on managers. Ensuring five employees are safe is one thing; if a whole department is working remotely, efficient workflow management is critical.

How can a remote employee alert management to a serious hazard? On site, this could be as simple as alerting a health & safety manager. We believe a proactive safety observation system is the answer, giving employees the ability to alert management to any issues from any mobile device.

Protecting remote employees is no easy task. Issues that can be easily resolved in an office environment, such as poor ergonomics, become challenging once the work environment changes. Yet employers are just as liable for remote employees as those on site. Find out how we help our clients remain compliant. 

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Topics: Industry Trends

Connor Taylor

Written by Connor Taylor

Connor is our in-house HSE research analyst. A recent graduate from the University of Cambridge, he is passionate about all things health and safety, with a focus on the data behind industry trends.