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Document updated/added on 09.10.2020

Topic: Contractual clauses

Homeworker clauses
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Homeworker clauses

Homeworker clauses

If you recruit an employee who is to work from home for all of their working time, as opposed to working at your business premises, you can use our clauses to insert into their employment contract.

Alternative clauses

With homeworking now having become the norm for many employees, our Homeworker Clauses have been designed to provide you with alternative clauses to include in our Written Statement of Employment Particulars for employees who are to work solely from home from the outset of their employment. We’ve provided three alternative clauses and one new one.

Probationary period

Our alternative clause provides for a probationary period during which the employee’s performance and conduct and the homeworking arrangements are to be monitored. If you require the employee to work from your business premises for a certain period at the start of their employment (see below), you’ll need to ensure you have a sufficient period after that to monitor the homeworking arrangements before the probationary period comes to an end. Our clause then goes on to provide a mechanism for you to terminate the homeworking arrangements on notice during or at the end of the probationary period and instead transfer the employee to workplace-based employment. Be aware that exercising this clause will be subject to discrimination considerations and the implied term of mutual trust and confidence. In practice, if you exercise this clause and the employee doesn’t want to move to work at your premises, you might find that they instead choose to resign.

Place and hours of work

Our alternative place of work clause provides that the employee’s normal place of work is their home. However, if you want a new employee to work from your business premises for a certain period of time when they first start, we’ve included optional wording to cover that. There’s also a provision requiring the employee to inform you before moving home. This is important in view of your health and safety obligations, as you’ll need to carry out a fresh risk assessment of the new home. Finally, our covenant provision is intended to find out if there are any restrictions on the business use of the employee’s home, e.g. in the terms of their mortgage or tenancy agreement. If so, the employee will need to obtain written permission from the relevant parties to work from home. Our alternative hours of work clause can be used for employees whose total weekly hours are set but where they may then determine when they carry out the work, i.e. they decide the hours and days that they will work, subject to taking statutorily required rest breaks. In this case, we recommend you provide that the employee must still work certain core hours so that you can at least contact them during your normal business hours.

Homeworker rules

This provision cross-refers to our Homeworking Policy and provides that the rules set out in that policy relating to approved homeworking arrangements apply to the employee. That policy covers such matters as health and safety, home visits, the provision of equipment, security and confidentiality, insurance and telephone and broadband.

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