Home working

Information on what duties employers have to their workers who work from home

Employers duties to home workers

How you, as an employer, fulfil your duties will depend on the sort of work that is being carried out at home and what equipment and assistance needs to be provided. Most health and safety issues around home working are no different from those of conventional office working and could be classified as 'low risk', but the employer is required to be confident in this.

If the work involves more high-risk activities such as manual work, working with adhesives or chemicals or having visitors to the home, then the employer must ensure that the risk assessment is more detailed, adequately addressing the specific risks involved.

Your risk assessment may direct you to provide suitable work equipment and safety equipment including personal protection equipment to the same standard as provided to work-based employees. In particular, Display Screen Equipment (DSE) users should have an adequate workstation with a proper chair, desk and IT equipment and you should consider whether the home workplace's ventilation, temperature, lighting, space, and floor are suitable for the tasks the homeworker will be carrying out.

The employer is responsible for the equipment it supplies, but it is the employee's responsibility to rectify any flaws in the home highlighted by the assessment.

Once the home workplace has passed the assessment, it is the employee who is responsible for maintaining the situation and advising the employer of any changes. If the home working practice is long term, the risk assessment should be repeated as it would in a work environment.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) provides guidance on home working for employers and employees.