Employer obligations around working from home during the pandemic
As the corona virus pandemic lockdown takes hold (March 2020), Tony Dempsey, Head of our Employment team, issued the following advice:
“Those employers giving short shrift to employees asking to be paid to work from home to self-isolate or avoid catching coronavirus when the threat of the virus in the UK remains low would be well advised to consider their obligations under the Flexible Working Regulations 2014.
“Employees with over 26 weeks’ service have the right to make one request for flexible working every 12 months, for any reason, and this obliges the employer to deal with the request in a reasonable manner. A request for flexible working can be for a change to the place of work. Failure to deal with the request in a reasonable manner, notify the employee of the decision or rely on one of the eight statutory grounds for rejection gives the employee the right to complain to the Employment Tribunal.
“ACAS has produced some simple guidance for employers in the UK, but employers seeking more detailed advice on the issues surrounding coronavirus and employee absence in general should consult an employment lawyer.”