The Changing Landscape of Remote Work: Legal Considerations for Employers

Working remotely isn’t a new phenomenon, however, the COVID-19 pandemic provided a catalyst for utilising technology to allow people to work from remote locations instead of attending a place of work. Since the pandemic, remote working has remained in many sectors, with employers offering employment that includes remote working exclusively or as a hybrid approach with some ‘in office’ days. The rapid introduction of remote working may have exposed employers to legal issues, and where remote working continues to be offered, remote work legal advice should be sought.


Do Employment Contracts Need to Change?

Employment law advice would be to check whether employment contracts include clauses about remote working. Variation of the employment contract can be negotiated by the parties to the contract at any time and is only valid if both parties to the contract agree with the variation unless there is a clause in the original contract which allows the employer to unilaterally change certain matters in the contract.

If they do not currently, then they should be amended to include any specific terms and conditions relating to working remotely such as how many hours can be worked away from the base, how expenses can be claimed and whether equipment will be provided.


Confidentiality and Data Protection

It is common for remote workers to work from home; however, some employees may wish to work in different locations. Both of these situations can be problematic when the employee needs to access confidential information. Ensuring policies and procedures are in place and that employees are aware of rules such as the need to use headsets, have a private area to work in or not have confidential paperwork at home.


Health and Safety

Employers have a legal duty to maintain the health and safety of employees, regardless of where they are working. This can create an issue when staff are working remotely as their work area should be assessed for any potential risks and mitigations put in place to ensure employees can work in a suitable environment. Employers should also provide employees with any equipment they will need to complete their role remotely and ensure this is all in good working order and employees are adequately trained.


Knowing Where Your Employees Are Located

To be able to provide employment legal advice it is necessary to know where your workers are located when they are working remotely. If they are based in the UK then the considerations discussed above will be important. However, if any of your workers decide to work remotely from outside of the UK then there could be tax implications depending on the country and the employment laws in place. Before allowing employees to work remotely from outside of the UK, ensure you seek employment law advice in London and Southeast England at Robins Robinson Ltd.


Find an Employment Law Specialist in London and Southeast of England

I am an experienced employment lawyer in London and Southeast England with the ability to provide remote work legal advice. As an employment advocate specialist, I can provide advice and representation to both employers and employees.


Whether you want to find out more about the laws regarding remote working, or you have specific issues that you need legal advice about, I am available to help support you in ensuring that you have considered all legal aspects when employing remote workers.