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covid-19, work from home, quarantine, JobKeeper

Working from Home During COVID-19

More people than ever are Working from Home during COVID-19 with government instructions directing and encouraging people to self-isolate.

While this arrangement limits the risk of exposure to Covid-19, Employer’s continue to have an obligation to provide a safe workplace – including the home workspace.

Working from Home is not new, in fact, it has been the subject of many blog articles on our website. While this article deals with the Workplace Health and Safety aspects of Working from Home, for a more general overview, have a read of one of our previous articles:

https://peoplesmartz.com.au/People_Smartz_Blog/working-from-home-not-as-simple-as-it-sounds

Where is the workspace when working at home?

People should have a designated work area within their home. This area is classified as the workplace when Working from Home.  All other areas of the home are not the workplace.

For example, if your employee has designated a particular room to work in, this will be the “workplace”. Similarly, if your employee is working from the kitchen table, this usually communal area will be classed as the workplace and you must ensure it is free of hazards and potential risks.

Who is responsible for the safe working environment when they are Working from home?

Regardless of where employees work, the primary health and safety duty belongs with the employer (or the “Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU).

Even though a person is working from home, employers must ensure as far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of all workers or other persons at the workplace.

What steps do I need to take to ensure a safe working environment when people are working from home?

We recommend a number of steps be taken by an employer to set up working from home arrangements in regard to Workplace Health and Safety:

  1. Adapt your policies and procedures for working from home to ensure all employees are aware of:
    • What is expected of them.
    • Understand the health and safety risks and procedures
  2. Determine what equipment is required and whether your need to provide it
  3. Utilise a WHS checklist that specifically caters to home working. It should be completed for each workplace work is conducted.

People Smartz has a checklist available for our clients that addresses the home working environment specifically. If you would like a copy of this checklist, please contact our office.

What if my Employee has an accident while at home?

If your was to have an accident while Working from Home you should follow your standard WHS procedures.  This includes ensuring that medical assistance is available, reporting is undertaken and follow up investigations and actions are implemented

Need Assistance:

For more information on Working From Home During COVID-19, please contact People Smartz Pty Ltd on:

More information Working from Home During COVID-19 from the following sites

Fair Work Ombudsman – Alternative Work Arrangements – Working from Home

What laws applies to me?

More information on State Laws regarding Working from Home, can be found at:

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Queensland
Victoria
Western Australia
Northern Territory
Tasmania
South Australia
State Workplace Health and Safety Websites

About the Author

Questions? Ask us!

1800 HRSmartz (1800 477 627)
Tony Perkins: 0406 717 499
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