New guidance has been launched to help employers improve the way they manage
staff working from home.
Published last week as part of Work-Life Balance Week, the guidance on
‘teleworking’ has been produced by the TUC, the Confederation of British
Industry (CBI), and CEEP UK, the body representing public sector employers.
It has been produced in response to the Employment Act that came into force
in April, giving parents with children aged under six or with disabled children
under 18 the right to request flexible working arrangements.
It provides employers with advice on key home-working issues such as working
time, training, career progression, data protection, and health and safety.
The guidance announced by employee relations minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, also
highlights the importance of regular communication between teleworkers and
employers and gives hints on performance management.
Digby Jones, the CBI’s director general, hoped the guidance would help both
employers and employees make the most of remote working arrangements.
"These guidelines are designed to help both get to grips with the
practical issues around distance working; setting up, the health and safety
requirements, and how you can keep employees fully integrated with the life of
an organisation," he said.
Brendan Barber, the TUC’s general secretary, also welcomed the new
guidelines. "It is important employers and teleworkers reach agreement on
how they regulate their work to make sure the arrangement works," he said.
An estimated 400,000 new people every year will work flexibly because of new
rights introduced by the DTI. At least 2.2 million people in the UK already
work from home through the use of IT.
By Ben Willmott