Homeworking Policy

Homeworking Policy – Belstone Parish Council

Policy

The Council recognises the advantages of home-based working although it doesn’t suit everyone, and some job roles may not be appropriate to undertake at home.

This policy describes the working arrangements and expectations that will apply if you work from home.

Scope of this policy

It applies to the Parish Clerk who is part time and home-based.

Safe working environment

Health and safety for home-based staff applies in the same way as office-based staff, insofar as is reasonably practicable, that you work in a safe manner and that you follow all health and safety instructions issued by us.

You must complete and submit a ‘Home Based Workers Risk Assessment’ to the Chair. This is a checklist for you to identify any possible hazards in your home working area. Following completion of the checklist, measures may need to be taken to control any risks identified. This checklist should be completed annually, or more frequently if there are any changes to your arrangements such as new equipment or changes to your home-office space.

You must complete and submit a workstation risk assessment and ensure that this remains up-to-date.  If you have any questions about the risk assessment, or if you identify any potential risks when carrying out the assessment, you should refer these to the Chair in the first instance.

Some of the most important considerations include: –

  • If possible, an area should be set aside form the rest of your living space to ensure that you are able to work from home without distractions,
  • Your home office should have adequate space for you to work safely and comfortably,
  • Your desk should be large enough to accommodate your equipment and paperwork,
  • You should have sufficient storage and your workspace should be organised so equipment is close to hand,
  • Your work area should be well lit, with natural lighting if possible,
  • Equipment and sockets should be situated to avoid potential trip hazards, and,
  • You must also ensure that you visually check the cables of any electronic equipment supplied to you regularly (and at least every 6 months) and report any defects.

We reserve the right to visit you at home at agreed times for work-related purposes, including health and safety matters and to inspect, service or repair equipment (e.g. for PAT testing).

Hours of work

As a part-time home-based worker, the contract of employment specifies that the hours of work will be carried out to suit you.

Potential conflicts of interest

During your hours of work, the council expects that your work environment enables you to work effectively and that you are not distracted by domestic matters. It is not appropriate to combine homeworking with caring for a dependant.

If there is an emergency and you need to attend to a non-work matter, then you should notify the Chair.

Data protection

As a home-worker you are responsible for keeping all documents and information associated with the council secure at all times. Specifically, homeworkers are under a duty to:

  • Set up and use a unique password for the laptop computer, and,
  • Ensure that documents are saved to the server rather than the laptop computer’s hard drive.

If you have a telephone conversation where you are discussing confidential work matters, you should ensure that such calls take place in privacy to avoid inadvertent breach of confidentiality.

Insurance, mortgage or rental agreements

You should ensure that any agreement with your landlord or mortgage lender allows you to work from home, and that your house buildings and contents insurance will not be invalidated by you working from home.

This is a non-contractual procedure which will be reviewed from time to time.

Date of Policy:                                 18/10/2022
Supersedes:                                     22/02/2022
Last Reviewed:                                18/10/2022
Date of next review:                      Oct 2025