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Duty of care for home workers update issued by HSE

22 November 2021

Employees working from home are entitled to the same duty of care from employers as they would be if working from a company-owned or run facility, says the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

This includes both completing a risk assessment for home workers to protect them from work-related stress and completing any actions arising, the HSE states.

It highlights the fact that many will face the same issues as those working from an office, while advising that it may be more difficult to "provide adequate support and maintain social links".

The HSE further states that home workers can be deprived of social contact and feel isolated or disconnected throughout their work.

In additional to developing feelings of pressure and stress, negative effects may also aggravate pre-existing mental health problems.

Actions recommended by the HSE include talking openly with staff members about the possibility of them becoming stressed or mentally unwell.

Completion of stress risk assessments is advised to help identify potential problems and the solutions to these.

Workers should then be regularly updated on the progress of any action to help them feel involved and reassured.

Regular meetings and/or calls should be organised to allow staff to share any concerns and home workers should be made aware of the availability of occupational support initiatives.

The HSE further advises to recognise the needs of each individual and to recognise that some home workers will have specific needs different to others.

Those wishing to access the HSE's Work-related stress and how to manage it page can do so here.

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