Woking Borough Council
Civic OfficesGloucester SquareWokingSurreyGU21 6YL
Telephone: 01483 755855
These notes are intended to be used by managers and employees as general
guidance on working from home. They reflect the informal arrangements which
already exist. There is no corporate business objective requiring employees to work
from home - arrangements will continue to be agreed on an individual employee
basis in conjunction with their manager as the need arises.
Currently, a number of employees work for a few hours at varying intervals at home
(for example, completing written work or doing research). A further group of
employees work more regularly from home on a regular planned basis. These
notes are intended to cover both types of employee.
For someone to work at home, there must be some assessment of benefit and cost
- and a decision taken as to whether there is mutual benefit to be gained. There
does not necessarily need to be equal benefit to both parties and any costs would
need to be weighed up carefully to ensure that a balanced view is reached. It may
be, for example, that whilst there is significant benefit to the employee and marginal
benefits to the organisation, the costs to the organisation are too great to warrant
Any employee can ask to work at home but it is the manager who must make a
judgement on the benefits and costs to the organisation. There is no requirement
for any employee to work from home unless this is agreed contractually.
A number of issues are raised if it is agreed that an employee, in principle, could
work from home. A manager needs to work through these issues with the employee
and any other interested parties before reaching a final decision (especially where
the arrangement is on a more long term basis).
Regardless of the location, if an employee is working for the Council, they are
covered by the health and safety legislation. A manager must be satisfied that any
risk in the home environment has been adequately assessed and that equipment
provided for work is safe to use. The employee working from home will also have a
duty of care to be responsible for their own safety. More information is available on the Council's intranet site, ewok, under the health & safety pages.
The computer equipment provided will be dependent on the individual requirements.
- Where the employee already has a PC and is willing to use it for business
purposes, a modem and connection software will be provided.
- Where the employee is working at home on a short term or occasional basis, a
loan portable PC will be provided.
- Where the employee is working at home on a long term basis a PC will be
provided. Consideration will also be given to the provision of an additional phone
line where the employee is working at home on a long term basis.
Clearly, where someone is taking work home occasionally, there will be limited need
for managers to consider in detail any employment or longer term management
issues. The following section addresses issues for managers and employees where
the arrangement is on a more long term basis.
Core hours should be agreed when the employee will be contactable although it
may be that additional hours will be worked outside these core times.
Employees working from home must be able to keep their working and private lives
separate as far as is reasonably practicable. If someone is away sick or on holiday,
it would generally not be appropriate for them to be contacted. It follows that
employees and managers need to be aware which days are normal working days
and when someone is away on leave or sick. Employees who are off sick should
report in the normal way.
It is important for employees to continue to feel they know what is going on in the
section and organisation and that they are not cut off. Managers are encouraged to
keep employees up to date with relevant information if an employee is unable to
receive it on the days they are in the office.
Managers need to carefully plan and regularly monitor workload with the employee
working from home. Managers can agree with the employee objectives to be
achieved when working from home and practical details , for example on the
frequency of returning to the office. Generally, if an employee is working from home
but is required to go to the office for a meeting or to deliver/receive work, this would
be at the employee´s expense. Unless there is a change to the employee´s
contract of employment, the normal place of work would not be the home.
Although the employee may be working a proportion of their hours at home, the
Council´s normal employment policies still apply.
There will be no additional payments made for normal heating and lighting costs.
However, upon production of an itemised phone bill, any business phone calls will
There are no tax implications if an employee works from home. S/he would be taxed
in the normal way as an employee of Woking Borough Council.
If a PC or other equipment is provided for work and is used at any time for personal
use, it is taxable as a benefit.