Time, Cash, Gear: What Are Your Distant Work Rights?
Reading time: 4th min
Your remote work rights are similar to those if you work in an office or on a corporate site. With so many of us now working from home than we expected, we are missing out on potential support.
We’ve put this quick start guide together to make sure you get everything you need as a new remote or flexible workforce.
You have the right to work safely
The right to flexible working hours
Get what you need for your job
Be aware of financial changes
More tips for working from home
Security: You have the right to be safe
Safety is a concern that is so obvious we left it out of the title.
This is the main concern of workers even when considering remote working rights. After all, the reason people were sent home from work was for their safety.
It remains a crucial issue as we find ourselves in a deadly pandemic – and it looks like many of us will continue to work from home for a long time.
You have the right to feel safe at work. This means that you have your employer’s right to these things when working on-site:
- A workplace that observes a social distance of more than one meter
- An office with one-way systems to reduce contact
- A building that is subject to strict cleaning regulations
Most employers provide face masks and / or shields. You may be asked to provide your own information.
If you work from home, you still have the right to work safely. So that means:
- You don’t have to take in business visitors to your home
- If you want business visitors, they must wear a mask (just like you).
- Your workplace should be checked for ergonomic conditions and your employer should provide the correct equipment
- Any online bullying that goes unnoticed during Zoom calls or via messaging apps must be treated as if it happened in the office.
Time: You have the right to flexible working hours
Remote working has given many people the freedom to work flexibly during the lockdown. But if your employer wants you to return to the office, did you know that you have the right to request flexible work in order to continue at least some of your work from home?
Many companies found that the outcome of the remote working lockdown increased productivity across all industries as employees were able to optimize the way they work and live their lives more balanced by choosing their own hours.
However, 50% of employees expect to lose the ability to work remotely in a post-lockdown world.
However, you and anyone else who works in the UK have the right to request flexible hours if you have been with your current employer for 26 weeks.
For more information on your right to flexible working hours, please visit the UK Government’s flexible working page.
Equipment: You have a right to the things you need for your job
The legal position regarding post-lockdown work is: If you can do this from home, then you should. This means that most people continue to work remotely and need the right equipment to do it.
For many, this is a laptop and access to your corporate network. The equipment you need doesn’t start and end with these things, however.
Labor law stipulates that your employer defines the basic requirements for your work, ie everything that is essential for your work. This means that your employer has an obligation to take care of your connectivity too – this is not just your responsibility and your broadband provider. If you need a stronger internet connection to do your work, you can get better connectivity for your computer with an Ethernet cable and powerline adapter kit. And you have the right to ask about it.
When you need to connect multiple devices to get your work done properly, Thunderbolt and Mini DisplayPort use an identical connector to provide this. And again you have the right to ask your employer to do so.
This is much more detailed than most people need, but that’s the point – you have the right to request as detailed an assessment of your work needs and equipment delivery as you need.
Money: Your employer may have the right to change your contract
Security is the reason blocking was introduced. The reality, however, is that many people continue to fear something other than coronavirus: losing their job. As vacation and retention programs continue to change and the demand for employer costs increases, we are all too aware that contracts can change to accommodate new working conditions – to save as many jobs as possible.
Money is a huge problem for all of us right now, and many workers worry about their right to keep their jobs and related income.
Some rights are known. Vacation gives you the right to a percentage of your salary when you are not working. But what if and when you go back to work?
First, you are protected from redundancy unless the role you are performing is out of date. Your employer cannot tell you that you have been fired if the role you played continues. Second, your employment contract also gives you rights.
However, your employer may have the right to change your contracted hours without your consent. This creates a scenario where you may seriously fear losing the money you need to support yourself and possibly your family as well.
Visit the UK government’s coronavirus page to learn more about your post-lockdown pay rights.
More tips for working from home
Remote work rights are just one of many topics we recently covered when it comes to working from home. Check these out next!