WORKING FROM HOME POLICY

Statement and purpose of policy

  1. Design Animal Ltd (the Employer) supports working from home for all staff and will agree to an employee working from home in appropriate circumstances, in some cases on a regular basis (full or part-time working from home).
  2. In certain circumstances, occasional or permanent working from home allows the Employer to accommodate a disability and can be requested as flexible working under our Flexible Working Policy.
  3. This policy sets out how requests for working from home can be made, how such requests are dealt with and the conditions on which working from home will be approved.
  4. The Employer may amend this policy at any time, at our absolute discretion.

What does this policy cover?

  1. This policy and the rules contained within it apply to all employees, irrespective of seniority, tenure and working hours, including all directors and officers, casual or agency staff, trainees, interns, fixed-term staff and volunteers.

Requests to work from home

  1. You can make an application to work from home as soon as you start working for us. Any such application will be considered on its merits. However, note that not all jobs or roles are suitable to work from home.
  2. A request to work from home is unlikely to be approved if:
    1. you need to be present in the office to perform your role (e.g. because it involves specialised equipment only available in the office);
    2. you require supervision to deliver an acceptable quantity or quality of work;
    3. your current standard of work or your performance, as indicated by your line manager or most recent performance review, is unsatisfactory; or
    4. you have an unexpired warning relating to conduct of performance.
  3. When applying to work from home, you will need to show that you can:
    1. effectively manage your workload, meeting work deadlines
    2. work independently, motivating yourself and relying on your own initiative; and
    3. adapt to new working practices when working from home, including maintaining contact with colleagues and managers.
  4. To apply to work from home you must submit a written application to your line manager or HR department. Your application must set out:
    1. why you believe your role to be suitable to work from home;
    2. how you meet the requirements to work from home as set out in paragraph 7;
    3. if you wish to work from home on a permanent basis or for a fixed period, stating the date from which you wish to start working from home and, where the arrangement is for a fixed period, the date on which you wish to finish working from home;
    4. if you wish to work from home for your entire working week or only on certain days, specifying the days you wish to work from home;
    5. your availability for coming into work on days you are proposing to work from home if you are needed (e.g. to attend training days or cover for a sick colleague);
    6. how you will maintain contact with your line manager and how your work will be set and monitored; and
    7. how you will ensure the security of information and documents while working from home.
  5. For your application to work from home to be considered, you should give the Employer as much notice as possible and, in any event, make an application at least 2 weeks before your proposed working from home start date.

Response to working from home application

  1. When considering your application to work from home, your line manager or HR department, may invite you to a meeting to discuss your proposal.
  2. The Employer will endeavour to respond to your application within 2 weeks of your application.
  3. If the Employer refuser your request to work from home, you will be given a written response stating the reasons for refusal. If you are unhappy with our decision, you may appeal using our internal Grievance Procedure.
  4. If the Employer accepts your application to work from home, this will be recorded in writing. Any such acceptance may be subject to a trial period.
  5. Any agreement regarding your working from home, will include the following terms:
    1. While working from home, you will continue to be subject to the same performance measures, objectives and processes as when you were working on the business premises.
    2. Your line manager will continue to supervise you and will regularly review your working from home arrangements, taking steps to address and rectify any problems. Your line manager will also ensure that you are up to date with information relevant to your work.
    3. You agree to attend the business premises or other reasonable location for training courses, important meetings or other events which you are expected to attend in person.
    4. You acknowledge that when you attend the business premises, you may have to share a desk or hot desk.

Hours of work

  1. While you are working from home, your normal working hours will apply. If you do not think it will be possible to work these hours, please make a flexible working request in accordance with our Flexible Working Policy.
  2. Please make sure that you take adequate rest breaks throughout the day, as set out in your employment contract.
  3. In the event that you need to change your hours of work (e.g. to deal with the potentially conflicting demands of work and looking after children), please discuss any changes you need to your working schedule with your line manager.

Communicating with your line manager

  1. Make sure you keep in regular contact with your line manager and notify them if you are unsure about what you are required to do.
  2. You should consider all lines of communication, including email, telephone and video calls to ensure relationships are maintained and work continues.

Equipment and materials

  1. The Employer will provide any equipment or materials which you may reasonably require when working from home. The Employer will arrange for and cover the costs of installing and removing any such equipment or materials from your home.
  2. Any equipment or materials provided to you by the Employer will remain our property.
  3. In relation to the equipment or materials provided to you by the Employer, you must:
    1. use it for work-related purposes only. Equipment and materials the Employer provides to you must not be used by any other member of the family or third party at any time or for any purpose.
    2. take reasonable care of it.
    3. notify the IT department or your line manager of any faults with the equipment or materials.
    4. make it available to the Employer for collection at any time if requested to do so.
  4. You shall be responsible for any damage to the equipment or materials which goes beyond ordinary wear and tear.

Expenses

  1. The Employer is not responsible for any costs associated with you working from home, including costs of heating, lighting, electricity, broadband internet charges, telephone calls or printing. If you think an exception needs to be made as a result of your particular role, please discuss this with your line manager, for example where you are having to make work related calls and you do not have a work issued phone.
  2. You will be responsible for any other associated costs of you working from home, including the costs of heating, lighting, electricity and printing.

Security

  1. You are responsible for ensuring the security of all equipment, documents and information and must take all necessary steps to ensure that confidential information is kept secure at all times. In particular, you must:
    1. password protect any confidential information held on your home computer;
    2. lock your computer whenever it is left unattended;
    3. store confidential papers securely when they are not in use;
    4. ensure the secure disposal of any confidential papers (e.g. by using a shredder if there is one available);
    5. comply with our Data Protection Policy;
    6. comply with our Communications and Equipment Policy; and
    7. report any data security breaches to your line manager immediately.

Health and safety

  1. When working from home, you must take reasonable care of your own health and safety and that of anyone else in the home who is affected by your work while working from home.
  2. You should follow all health and safety instructions issued by the Employer’s from time to time, including attending any health and safety training.
  3. Liaise with your line manager to make sure that your workstation is appropriate and that you are working in a safe manner.
  4. There are steps you can take to make sure you achieve a comfortable posture while working from home on display screen equipment (DSE). Please watch the video from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on workstation set-up at www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/workers/home.htm.
  5. While working with DSE, please also observe these guidelines:
    1. Break up long spells of DSE work with rest breaks (at least five minutes every hour) or changes in activity.
    2. Avoid awkward, static postures by regularly changing your position.
    3. Get up and move around or do stretching exercises.
    4. Avoid eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time.
  6. Notify your line manager and the HR department if you identify any work-related health and safety concerns or hazards while working from home.
  7. You should follow the usual reporting procedures for any work-related accidents that occur in your home.
  8. For health and safety purposes, the Employer retains the right to inspect and check your home office. The need for such inspections will depend on your specific circumstances, including the nature of your work.

Insurance

  1. You acknowledge and understand that working from home may affect your home and contents insurance.
  2. You should check with your home and contents insurance providers that they have adequate cover for the fact that you work from home and whether any of your own equipment is covered for work use.

Rental or mortgage arrangements

  1. You acknowledge and understand that working from home may affect your mortgage, lease or tenancy agreement.
  2. You are responsible for checking any applicable mortgage or rental agreement to ensure that you can work from home. If permission is necessary, you must make all necessary arrangements with your bank, mortgage provider or landlord before commencing to work from home.

Termination of working from home arrangement

  1. The Employer reserve the right to bring your working from home arrangement to an end (e.g. if your role changes and working from home is no longer suitable), by providing you with 2 weeks’
  2. If you wish to terminate your working from home arrangement, you should first notify your line manager. The Employer will only be able to accept the termination if there is sufficient space available for you to return to work on the business premises.
  3. Your working from home arrangement will be terminated immediately, and you will be expected to return to work on the business premises, if you receive:
    1. an unsatisfactory appraisal.
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