Home working, employers and insurance

For some firms' temporary arrangements for staff working from home are now feeling permanent. What does a more distributed workforce mean for the employer?

Well, at one level, nothing has changed. The firm remains responsible for their people and their respective work areas. Clearly at the individual level, a lot has changed with people seemingly scattered to the four winds.

Businesses are going to have to develop systems of keeping tabs on people and their work environments. New situations arise over simple things like changing light bulbs. Conceivably, the lighting in an employee designated office might be the responsibility of the firm, yet what about a junior member of staff, still at home and working from the dining room table?

Aside from desks, chairs and IT equipment, we suspect businesses haven't given much thought to on going obligations; and who can blame them with such challenging business conditions amid the pandemic. Equally, we suspect that security of employment fears will make many employees roll with the current arrangements for now... However, that will not be the situation in the long term. Going forward, businesses are going to have to deal with the on going maintenance of distributed workspaces in all respects. We can foresee a future advertising campaign on daytime television, with lawyers seeking cases from isolated employees who have suffered some misfortune at home. A class action of employees who fell off a chair while changing a light bulb in their kitchen during work hours might sound ridiculous … until it happens and your premiums skyrocket.

The people at MRSL Enterprise have decades of experience of the professions and industry and can offer cover from underwriters who are pragmatic about the changes in working. We are happy to advise existing and new clients alike.

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