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Health and Safety Guidance for Work from Home arrangements

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May 22, 2020

Major considerations to ensure the wellbeing of employees working from home now and post COVID-19

Work from home (WFH) arrangements have been a key measure implemented by many employers to reduce the risk of the COVID-19 spread. As the risk from the current outbreak is likely to remain until an effective vaccine is identified, the WFH option is likely to remain as a social distancing alternative whenever the pandemic threat increases.

With WFH likely to be part of many companies’ work practice in the future, both employers and employees need to be aware of the potential workplace health and safety (H&S) and employee compensation implications. 

Overview of Employer Obligations

Whether employees are working at the office or at home under temporary or permanent WFH arrangements, employers need to remain diligent in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their employees. In many geographies, employers have a general duty of care to provide a safe place of work for their employees. Statutory obligations may also require the employer to ensure the safety and health of employees whilst at work. Also, under employee compensation regulations, the employer may be liable to pay compensation if any employee is injured through an accident arising out of and in the course of employment.

WFH Health and Safety Considerations

In order to demonstrate due diligence in ensuring employee WFH health and safety, employers need to consider a broad spectrum of potential hazards and risk control measures. In addition, employees also need to continue to uphold their responsibilities in ensuring their own safety whilst at work.

An overview of relevant H&S considerations should take the following criteria into consideration:

  • WFH hazard identification & risk assessment
  • Ergonomic risks
  • Additional lone worker considerations
  • Employee responsibilities
  • WFH policy, procedures & training
  • Insurance considerations

This Work from Home Health and Safety Guidance provides an overview of considerations to assist in ensuring the health and wellbeing of employees within the Asian region, whilst WFH arrangements are implemented now and beyond the current pandemic crisis.

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with your own legal and/or other professional advisors.  Some of the information in this publication may be compiled by third party sources we consider to be reliable, however we do not guarantee and are not responsible for the accuracy of such information.  We assume no duty in contract, tort, or otherwise in connection with this publication and expressly disclaim, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any liability in connection with this publication.

Willis Towers Watson offers insurance-related services through its appropriate licensed entities in each jurisdiction in which it operates.

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