Risks of work from home arrangements
Letting your employees work from home can boost productivity levels and job satisfaction, but it also opens your business up to new risks that must be covered by your insurance policy.
Many small businesses offer the option to work from home permanently or even a few days a week to attract quality employees to their team. However, in doing so, most employers fail to see their employees’ homes are now an extension of their workplace and must comply with the same OH&S standards for insurance purposes.
Ensure your business is adequately covered by considering the following:
Your OH&S obligations
You have a duty of care to ensure your employees’ homes comply with the same health and safety requirements set out in your workplace. For instance, their home must be equipped with a first aid kit, a working smoke alarm and proper ventilation. It is important to also check your employee has an ergonomic chair and a reasonable sized work surface.
Worker’s compensation policy
Your liability for worker’s compensation and future damages also extends to your employees who sustain a personal injury or psychological injury while working from home. The employees’ entitlements will depend upon the state or territory in which they live.
Strategies for your business
Once you are aware of your obligations for those who work from home, it is vital you put strategies in place to protect your business and ensure the safety of your employees.
Purchasing insurance is one way you can protect your business should an employee or customer injure themselves during business activities while working from home. Consider the following types of insurance:
Public liability insurance for physical and psychological injuries of your employee or third party customers
General property insurance will cover the business’ property up to a certain value
Cyber insurance policies will protect loss or damage of data
Work from home policy
Include a workplace health and safety checklist your employees should comply with when working from home. A code of conduct must also detail leave and absence reporting requirements, communication provisions for staff cooperation, contact availability, distinct working hours and a method for assessment of performance