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This week's postponement of lifting all coronavirus restrictions – from 21 June to 19 July – has thrown many businesses into confusion after they had prepared to bring employees back into the office once the requirement to ‘work from home if you can’ was lifted. Kerry Garcia and Emily Hocken answer four questions for employers.
Is there still a legal requirement to work from home?
Quick answer: No, although government guidance still states that employees should ‘work from home if they can’. This will not change until at least 19 July 2021, unless brought forward by the government.
There has not been a legal requirement to work from home since the statutory restriction on leaving home without a reasonable excuse was lifted on 29 March. However, the government guidance remains that ‘you should continue to work from home if you can’. Although attending the workplace is not a breach of the law, employees are encouraged to stay at home where possible and employers are encouraged to take steps to facilitate remote working, including providing suitable IT and equipment.
Are there any permitted exceptions to the working from home guidance?
Quick answer: Yes – employees who cannot perform their roles at home due to the nature of their role or for some other significant reason may attend their workplace.
There are many workers, for example, those in most hospitality or