Appendix D - Home Working – Guidance Note for Managers

1. Introduction

1.1 The majority of jobs within the University need to be undertaken within the workplace, however there are occasions where flexibility may be agreed which allows individuals to work from an alternative location (home or otherwise). This may be a short term arrangement to enable a member of staff to complete a piece of work and in this instance approval should be sought from the line manager in advance. There may be occasions where a permanent or long term home working arrangement may be appropriate and such cases should be discussed with the College HR Manager before approval is granted.

1.2 In considering any home working arrangement you must take into consideration the needs of the service and the nature of the work to be undertaken. It is accepted that home working is not practical for all roles

2. Scope

2.1 This guidance note is applicable to staff undertaking to work from home on a permanent or long term basis although it is recognised that the practical issues outlined below may also be relevant for short term arrangements.

3. Practical issues

3.1 It is anticipated that most of the work undertaken from home will be administrative. There are still hazards to be considered however and it is important that line managers are mindful of these when considering requests for home working.

3.2 Health and Safety: In the University the work environment and equipment can be assessed and controlled, however this is not always the case when working from home. It is therefore important that you draw potential hazards to the attention of any employee wishing to work from home and an appropriate risk assessment can be conducted. Please refer to the Lone Working Policy and risk assessment forms available on the SEPS website at to assist you with such an assessment.

3.3 Work area: Whilst it is not necessary to have a separate work area within the home, it is important to ensure that work can be carried out in a safe manner and separate to home life.

3.4 Display Screen Equipment (DSE): If your employee is using a computer at home, you should ensure that they undertake an assessment of their work station to make sure it does not constitute a health and safety hazard. They should pay attention to their desk, chair, screen, keyboard, lighting and space to work to minimise the risk of musculo-skeletal damage and visual fatigue. Further guidance is available on the SEPS website at

3.5 Electrical equipment: The University remains responsible for the regular maintenance of any electrical equipment that it provides to enable staff to carry out work from home and you should ensure that any equipment is periodically PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) checked to make sure it is safe. The University is not responsible for personal equipment used. Further guidance is available on the University SEPS website at

4. Insurance

4.1 There is an element of cover for University equipment e.g. laptops when used off University premises. It is important that you contact the insurance section to check cover arrangements in advance of any planned home working where University equipment may be required. Further information and contact details for the Insurance and Risk team are available at

4.2 Equipment being used that is personal property must be covered by personal or home insurance.

4.3 If staff are working from home on a permanent or long term basis they should seek advice from their home insurance provider as they will need to declare this as their place of work to ensure that appropriate cover arrangements are in place.

5. Data Protection

5.1 You must assess any risks of confidentiality of data in line with all relevant data protection legislation and the University’s policies on data security and copyright regulations. All the University data protection and data management requirements must be adhered to including preventing access by unauthorised persons to computer or paper materials and any storage devices e.g. USB sticks. Please contact the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Office if you require any advice or guidance in this regard at

6. Equipment

6.1 Where home working is not a requirement for the job and arrangements are made at the employee’s request it is expected that any costs associated with equipment, telephone usage, virus checking arrangements should be met by the employee. In exceptional circumstances and on agreement with the Director of Institute / Head of School / Service / College Secretary and the College / US HR Manager, reasonable expenses may be paid.

6.2 Where a permanent or long term home working arrangement has been agreed the University may consider meeting reasonable expenses associated with equipment, telephone usage, internet etc. Any such arrangements must be agreed with the Director of Institute / Head of School / Service / College Secretary and the College / US HR Manager.

7. Supervision

7.1 You must ensure that arrangements are in place regarding contact with the employee whilst working from home, how this will be executed (e.g. telephone, email contact) and the frequency. Work objectives should be discussed and agreed at the outset and linked as appropriate to the Performance and Development Review cycle.