Thursday 5 May 2022

Are Employers Still Liable for Home Worker Accidents?

Kevin Ashley - CEO and founder of the healthcare-oriented learning management system, myAko - has developed an incident reporting system and training for home-based or remote workers to help communicate and enhance the wellbeing of remote working employees. 

Kevin has kindly shared his extensive expertise into this topic, in the hope of giving employees the safe working environment they need to go about their day.

Is a risk assessment necessary for remote working?

The working environment of an employee must, by law, be suitably risk-assessed by a qualified individual, which in most cases is the employer. Many of these sub-regulations don’t apply to remote working, however, as the employer is unlikely to be able to carry out the assessment themselves. Instead, self-assessments should be conducted by the employee, in collaboration with the employer, to limit the liability of the employer should any damages arise.

How liable are employers to remote working issues?

Because of the blurred legal guidelines surrounding this topic, many workplace health, safety and welfare regulations do not transfer over to employees’ domestic workplace. Despite this, employers may still be liable for any incidents that occur as a result of workplace negligence. Negligence is the failure to satisfactorily take care of employees, and one way to eliminate this liability is the creation of an adequate risk assessment. If an employee was to suffer an injury at work and had not been provided with a suitable risk assessment explaining how to avoid the incident, then the employer is likely liable to be sued for damages.

What can employers do?

According to the ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations’, remote employees should be assessed to the same standard as other workers, with employers just as liable for any incidents arising outside the office.

All physical and psychological risks should be recorded within the risk assessment, enabling the employer to provide sufficient information and support to the employee. The employee should also be provided with suitable training, ensuring they are able to not only complete the assessment but also help themselves to work in a safe environment.

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