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Working From Home Laws: Are You Breaking the Rules?

woman on laptop video conference call looking at report, working from home laws

Collectively 44 billion dollars is saved by companies who allow remote work even on a part-time basis. Working from home is not only convenient, it can also save your business money if done right.

However, as an employer it’s not just as simple as sending people home to do their jobs remotely. There are rules and laws that you must abide by in order to stay on the right side of the law.

Here is a look at everything that you need to know about working from home laws.

Have a Clear Telecommuting Policy

You need to have a clear work from home policy for your employees. The policy does not have to part of your formal employee handbook.

You may use a stand-alone document or even an email to outline your policy. Your document should outline which workers will be allowed to work from home since not all jobs will lend themselves to this kind of flexibility.

When selecting employees that can work from home you need to be careful that you do not select people based on gender, race, age or any other characteristic that can have legal implications.

Establish A Clear Policy for Communication

You need to establish a clear communication policy with your employees while they are at home. They need to know when they should be checking in for work and when there will be online meetings and conference calls.

If you are only going to have your staff working from home for a certain period of time you need to specify this in order not to set a precedent.

You also need to have clear confidentiality and data security protocols established in order to prevent sensitive information about your business from getting into the wrong hands.

Working from Home Laws About Payment

If your employees were on a fixed salary before they started working from home you can expect that it will remain the same when they make the transition to working from home. When employees work overtime you are still expected to pay for the overtime.

The onus is on you the employer to find adequate ways of tracking the hours that employees are working. You should also note that in most cases employees will still be allowed to take vacation days, sick days, and get paid time off.

The bottom line is that working from home for employees who are not independent contractors carries the same benefits as someone who works from an office space.

Keep the Rules and Stay Safe

You are now aware of the working from home laws that you should follow in order to get the best out of the work at home experience for yourself and your employees. The biggest takeaway is that employees who work from home who are not independent contractors have many of the same rights that those working in an office have.

Be sure that you set out clear work from home policies and establish ways to check the amount of time that employees spend working. If you would like more legal help for your business, please contact us.


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