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Working from home - December 2021

Following the increase in COVID-19 cases across England, Boris Johnson has implemented new rules relating to working from home which are effective from Monday 13th December 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Go to work if you must but work from home if you can."

Do you understand your rights relating to the changes in guidance? You can find more information below.

“My employer wants me to continue working in the office”:

If your employer deems it necessary to continue working in the office, despite social distancing limits no longer applying across most of the UK, businesses still have a legal duty to manage the risks to staff and customers.
Employers must follow official safety guidance and carry out Covid risk assessments for those staff who are in the office.
Safety measures can include:

  • minimising visitors
  • improving ventilation
  • using one-way systems
  • additional cleaning

“My employer wants me to work from home”:

If you are advised to work from home, then an employee’s pay and other terms and conditions of their employment should stay the same, unless it’s necessary to change them. For example, updating the addresses where the employee will work.  People working at home should not be treated less or more favourably than other employees in the organisation because they work from home. Employees working from home are still covered by the law on working hours.

Employers should talk to their employees about who will cover any extra costs employees might have when working from home.

“My employer wants me to work in the office, but I want to work from home:”

All employees have the right by law to request flexible working, which can include working from home. The only requirement is that they have worked for the employer for at least 26 weeks.

Employers can turn these requests down only if they have reasonable cause to do so, for example if the type of work involved cannot be done from home. They can refuse applications as long as they have a "good business reason". 

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