COVID-19 has forced many businesses to understand better the working conditions that their workers may have had to adapt to throughout the past two years.
With more staff potentially working remotely or from home, it’s time to consider how employer liability has changed.
The health and safety of employees in the workplace is the responsibility of the employer. That means employers must protect their employees’ well-being by considering the risks involved on the premises where employees work.
While this may once have been their traditional workplace (e.g. offices, on-site work buildings), remote and work from home employees now have additional risks that employers must consider.
Though this is not solely the result of the last two years, the increase in the number of employees working from home or remotely makes it even more critical now than ever that employers consider what they can do to minimise the risks for their employees.
Some of the things that employers can do include:
- Ensuring that the work expected of employees to be conducted from home can be done so with safety.
- Making changes to the task so that it can be done safely from home
- Equipping employees with the tools and equipment necessary to complete the work safely.
- Making arrangements to install heavy company equipment required to safely conduct work into the employee’s home, rather than leaving it to the employee’s responsibility.
- Providing and making reasonable accommodations for employees who might have disabilities concerning the work they are expected to perform.
- Ensuring that more steps are taken to protect or maintain employee’s mental welfare.
When it comes to remote working, employee welfare becomes even more critical. With limited contact with co-workers and limited scope, employees are more at risk than ever. As an employer, try to find ways through which employees can interact with one another whilst working remotely. Furthermore, always ensure that employees can access mental health support easily if they have the need.
By keeping these things in mind, employers will be protected from liability and ensure that employees can remain productive.