Guide

Employees working from home

Your health and safety obligations towards home workers

As an employer you have the same responsibilities for ensuring the health and safety of home workers as you would for staff based at your premises. Your duties are likely to include:

  • carrying out a health and safety risk assessment - see managing the risks in your business
  • purchasing compulsory employers' liability insurance if you don't already have it - see liability insurance
  • ensuring equipment is fit for its purpose
  • testing, certifying and maintaining electrical equipment provided by the business
  • ensuring computers can be used comfortably and without disturbing glare, see how to ensure your employees are operating computers safely
  • making sure lighting levels are appropriate
  • avoiding trailing cables to reduce the risks of trips and falls
  • ensuring staff are suitably trained to work safely
  • keeping records of, and if necessary reporting, any serious accidents, illnesses or injuries experienced by home workers

Remember, too, that employees who use computers regularly - including home workers - are entitled to an eye test paid for by their employer.

Home workers must take reasonable care of their own health and safety, as well as that of other people such as family members, neighbours and visitors. They must also ensure they use work equipment correctly.

For information on your business' health and safety duties, see what you need to do about health and safety.

You can also download a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guide on your specific health and safety responsibilities towards homeworkers (PDF, 90K).

If you have employees who use their home as a base and generally don't work from your premises, you may have additional health and safety responsibilities to them. See how to ensure the safety of lone workers.