Employer’s Liabilities For Home-Based Employees

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Introduction

The work environment is a complex and intricate system, operating in large part due to the cooperation between a bit group of individuals, each with their own unique goals, desires, and circumstances. Regulated by government and state legislation, the workspace is created in a way to ensure a reasonable compromise between people’s needs and the completion of specific goals. Careful management and planning allow employers to effectively direct their workers, resources, time, and money to achieve particular results. In this process, health and safety regulations, as dictated by the field of occupational safety and health.

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The discipline is actively practiced in every workplace, regulating the ways in which a person must operate, the needed conditions to ensure that their work is safe and that no individual is exposed to a hazardous occupational environment. Through examining the various aspects and practices of occupational health and safety, leaders and organizations can secure a stable, prosperous and positive work environment.

Employers have a number of different obligations before their employees, including but not limited to, their physical and mental health. In this discussion, one can pay particular attention to the standards imposed on employers when their staff is working from home. While the topic might seem simple, a large variety of considerations have been to be made when working with people from home. Employers have a particular set of liabilities they must abide by, which exist to ensure a fair and healthy system of interaction between a leader and their staff. In this work, the responsibilities of employers before their home-based employees will be discussed, including the explanations of the topic’s importance and possible future paths for development.

Importance

The wellbeing, safety, and rights of workers at home have always been an important consideration to take, as they are more difficult to supervise or control. As the group of employees that are not directly present in the workplace, or are present in a limited capacity, their employees have a limited reach in regards to possible actions or initiatives. In recent months, the number of people working from home has increased dramatically, in large part due to the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The existence and spread of the virus have prompted many businesses and organizations to adapt by giving their workers the ability to work remotely. The change gave rise to an unprecedented number of home-based employees, who find ways of accomplishing their duties through the telephone or the internet. Due to an increased number of people involved, and the need to better adapt to the changing environment of the job market, the considerations of a proper relationship between the employer and their workers at home have been raised. Furthermore, with the development of new, digital technologies, professional work relations and environments change.

No longer do some jobs require a person to be present physically or an intervention of a human at all. With the automatization and systematization of work, more and more people can have the ability to work remotely, managing the completion of project goals from afar. To make the process of adapting to change and utilizing new technology as fast and effective as possible, leaders and managers must formulate the right approaches to working with people remotely (Tappero, 2015). Frameworks, regulations and management schemes must be created as soon as possible.

Current Research and Legislation

With the start of the pandemic, researchers have documented the changes and differences in population employment, as well as how people are working during the Covid-19 crisis. Data from the early parts of the outbreak has suggested that while the overall number of people employed has decreased dramatically, the percentage of individuals working from home has seen a significant increase. More than 35% of the total workforce has switched to remote work in the wake of the pandemic (Brynjolfsson et al., 2020). Coupled with the already existing 15% of people that have worked from home before, at least half of the total US employee count is working remotely (Brynjolfsson et al., 2020).

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One of the main duties of the employer is to provide their workers with a safe work environment, which is made even more important with the introduction of the deadly virus to the process. In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Authority Act, the workplace constitutes a number of states and places where work is carried out, which can include a person’s house (Employer Liability in Remote Working Arrangements – Do we need to risk assess homes?). The inclusion of a person’s home into the list of possible workplaces means that the employer must treat it as such. The residence of a person must be evaluated in accordance with the considerations of health and safety.

This includes safeguarding those working remotely, and the protection of their wellbeing in the face of the pandemic. A good employer should make sure their workers take regular tests in regards to their health status, monitor their work environment in case of health hazards take other health-related considerations into account (Legal Implications of Covid-19 on the Employers’ Duty to Provide a Safe Work Environment. 2020). Healthcare and health insurance provided to the regular employees should also be extended to the staff working remotely.

With such a large portion of all employed people working from home, employers have to adjust their approaches accordingly. A leader needs to ensure that the workplace, even if it is a person’s home, complies with the regulations and guidelines of a particular job, including the proper safety considerations, health protections, and other possible needs concerning a person’s occupation. To properly establish, control, and manage the operations connected with home-working employees, a policy should be created. It would allow both the employer and his employees to be informed about the obligations they hold before each other.

Other obligations an employer might have before their home-staying workers may include providing them with the necessary equipment to do their job, and providing the needed accommodations for people with disabilities. These considerations can involve giving those with additional need the ability to do their work remotely, and providing the work-specific tools to a person. Home workers must additionally have the ability to receive worker’s compensation, which is provided in cases where they suffer an injury. The compensation, however, must only be provided when a person has come into harm’s way as a direct result of their job.

Future Challenges and Considerations

There are a number of possible considerations to take with the current direction of social development, especially in regards to employees working from home and the responsibilities employers hold before them. With the development of digital technologies, one can consider the effectiveness of long-distance monitoring and evaluations as a method of controlling workers. The technology for employee management from the distance is becoming more robust with each year, making the process more flexible and practical on the part of the employer. The workers, on the other hand, may feel uncomfortable with being constantly monitored, or think their personal privacy being infringed upon.

Finding the balance between control and freedom in managing remote work seems to be the prime consideration then. Other concerns in the process can be made in relation to workers and their mental state. Having to work in isolation is an unfortunate side effect of working from home, and can often negatively impact a person’s mental health and wellbeing. Individuals experiencing long periods of being alone can often be subject to increased stress, erratic behavior, and other mental health issues (Landers, 2019).

Due to the way these problems can impact the overall work environment, as well as the need to ensure the wellbeing of workers, every employer needs to take that into account and find suitable ways of addressing the situation. Furthermore, the changes in work organization can create challenges for managers and team leaders. With at least half the workforce being employed from home, the organization and completion of collaborative projects become more complex, as the process needs to be managed between each individual in the group. The lack of close proximity can also often impact interpersonal connections between people, detrimentally affecting their teamwork capabilities and productiveness (Joyner, 2021). Workplace management needs to find optimal ways of bringing people together, as well as promoting positive cooperation.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be said that the changes in the work environment brought upon by the recent pandemic and the development of technology have considerably impacted the work sphere and all its participants. With the emergence of the global Covid-19 threat, more people than ever are deciding to work from home, forcing their leaders and employers to adjust the strategies used and uphold a particular set of regulations in relation to the work process.

Many of the protections and considerations brought up in the normal work environment are also applicable in the remote working circumstances. The obligation to make sure that a person’s living space meets the safety and protection requirements, as well as the need to make sure that a person is safeguarded from risk takes priority. Other related issues, such as making sure that a worker is regularly tested for possible Covid-19 infections or other health hazards, are also taken into account by the employer. A stable and universal framework for engaging with home-working employees needs to be established, following policies set on paper and outlined by the organization.

This approach allows leaders to make their standards known to the workers and provide themselves with legal protections in case of contingency. Other liabilities employers must be able to provide include special accommodations and equipment, both work-related and specifically needed for the worker in question. A medical insurance and proper compensation must also be provided where applicable. Much work still needs to be done in regards to properly managing and organizing remote work environments, as well as regulating people within them. Questions of proper procedure, effectiveness, invasiveness, and practice all come into question with no concrete solutions being present at the moment.

More practical and theoretical research needs to be done into the question of working from home, to ensure that the increasing percentage of workers are able to operate both comfortably and efficiently in the face of the changing circumstance.

References

Brynjolfsson, E., Horton, J., Ozimek, A., Rock, D., Sharma, G., & TuYe, H.-Y. (2020). COVID-19 and Remote Work: An Early Look at US Data. Web.

Employer Liability in Remote Working Arrangements – Do we need to risk assess homes? WH Partners – Leading Law Firm. (n.d.). Web.

Joyner, S. (2021). 10 Challenges of Working from Home for Employers (And How to Solve Them). ViewSonic Library. Web.

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Landers, R. N. (2019). The Cambridge handbook of technology and employee behavior. Cambridge University Press.

Legal Implications of Covid-19 on the Employers’ Duty to Provide a Safe Work Environment. (2020). Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization. Web.

Tappero, J. (2015). The Risks & Liabilities of Telecommuting. West Sound Workforce. Web.

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BusinessEssay. (2022, July 26). Employer’s Liabilities For Home-Based Employees. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/employers-liabilities-for-home-based-employees/

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"Employer’s Liabilities For Home-Based Employees." BusinessEssay, 26 July 2022, business-essay.com/employers-liabilities-for-home-based-employees/.

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BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Employer’s Liabilities For Home-Based Employees'. 26 July.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Employer’s Liabilities For Home-Based Employees." July 26, 2022. https://business-essay.com/employers-liabilities-for-home-based-employees/.

1. BusinessEssay. "Employer’s Liabilities For Home-Based Employees." July 26, 2022. https://business-essay.com/employers-liabilities-for-home-based-employees/.


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BusinessEssay. "Employer’s Liabilities For Home-Based Employees." July 26, 2022. https://business-essay.com/employers-liabilities-for-home-based-employees/.