09 Apr Working from Home Policy During Lockdown
Due to a foreseen need at this time we have put together the following Working From Home Policy. It is specific to the current COVID 19 Lockdown situation as many of you will likely have been thrust into unchartered territory. It is not intended as legal advice and if you are going to implement something like this policy we suggest consulting with your staff about the content (via email) and adapting it to your particular work place. With so much to think about we hope this policy might ensure you and your staff clear about expectations. Good luck.
(a) Lockdown has been mandated by the New Zealand Government in the current world health environment.
(b) We want to provide some policy guidelines, expectations and requests to our staff in relation to working from home at this time.
(c) Working from home is a temporary needs-based arrangement, which will be revisited and potentially amended in the weeks to come on an evolving basis.
(d) To keep us operating and viable we need initiative, co-operation, motivation, resilience and good faith behaviour.
2. YOUR HOME WORKPLACE
(a) We trust by now you will have set up a dedicated workspace or room in your place of residence that separates home and work life as much as possible. (Home Workplace)
(b) Your Home Workplace will be considered to constitute the workplace for the purposes of the performance of your work duties, and also for the purposes of ACC and occupational health and safety considerations.
(c) Please take a photo of your Home Workplace and email it to us by [date]. The photo will be placed on your personnel file.
(d) Other areas of your house will be deemed not part of the Workplace for the purposes of any ACC claim and/or occupational health and safety considerations, unless the particular context requires otherwise.
(e) You will need to notify us via email of any change to your Home Workplace that may adversely affect your ability to effectively and safely perform your duties.
(f) The reality is that we have a reduced ability to control your Home Workplace, therefore a high level of trust is being given.
3. WORK EQUIPMENT
(a) If you have been provided with company property to work with from home you will need to ensure as best as possible that it is properly installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s and/or our instructions.
(b) You must take all reasonable steps to keep the provided equipment safe and in good working order.
(c) If you have any issues with the equipment or feel you need other items to be able to carry out your duties please let us know in an email, what is it you need and we will endeavour to meet the request if deemed necessary and practical.
4. HEALTH AND SAFETY
(a) You must ensure that you comply with and abide by your obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and Government advice in regards to COVID 19. This includes taking all reasonably practicable steps to ensure your safety while working from home. This includes identifying, managing, eliminating, isolating and/or minimising potential risks and hazards, and immediately reporting such risks and hazards to us. If you identify any risks or hazards please let us know via email, with as much detail as possible, including what steps you have taken to isolate, minimise or eliminate them.
(b) The expectation is that you will keep your Home Workplace tidy and free from hazards. Check such items as cables, cords and equipment are not creating hazards for yourself or others in your bubble.
(c) Any work-related hazards or materials must be stored securely and not be accessible to others in your bubble.
(d) To ensure we meet our health and safety obligations we may need to virtually inspect your Home Workplace to ensure it is suitable for the effective and safe performance of your duties.
(e) If we cannot be satisfied that you are in a safe Home Workplace we may discuss with you about suspending your duties until the situation can be reasonably rectified.
5. HOURS AND TIME KEEPING
(a) Your hours of work are as we have agreed with you. If you cannot meet the agreed hours, we may agree to reduced hours on a case by case basis.
(b) We suggest that you set a workday routine, similar to your normal workday.
(c) You must be available to be contacted (via video call, email or telephone) during the agreed hours of work.
(d) Schedule in and take rest and meal breaks that comply with what has been agreed with us to assist productivity and prevent work fatigue or loss of focus.
(e) To enable us to meet our legal obligations under the Employment Relations Act 2000 we are giving you the reasonable instruction to accurately record your actual hours of work with a brief description of work carried out and provide us with a copy of those hours by email to [email address] by Monday 10am for the preceding week’s work.
(f) There is no expectation that you work hours outside your agreed hours and the expectation is that you will monitor your hours.
6. PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES AND REASONABLE INSTRUCTIONS
(a) We are trying to manage this unprecedented situation in relation to our business as best we can. You are expected to perform your duties, obligations and assigned work to the best of your ability and that you do not mislead us in any way.
(b) We will endeavour to continue to provide you with instructions within the scope of your role. However, this may not always be practical or possible. For the purposes of providing you with work, we may give you work that you might consider sits outside the normal scope of your role. The expectation is that if you can reasonably perform the task then you will not unreasonably refuse the work.
7. SICK LEAVE
(a) If you or someone in your bubble who depends on you for care gets sick you must notify us promptly, including what impact you foresee this having on your ability to work immediately and then to keep us updated if the situation develops.
(b) You will also need to obtain a medical certificate from a doctor confirming you are unable to work, including information about your condition. If your ill health or sick leave request is connected to COVID 19 you will need to provide confirmation that you have registered on Healthline and this has been accepted.
(c) If you have paid sick leave entitlement you will be placed on sick leave to enable you to recover and/or to look after that person if they are remaining in your bubble.
(a) It is expected that you will actively maintain constructive communication with us, not always waiting for us to contact you. This high level of communication will ensure we do not get isolated from each other and productive employment relationships can be maintained.
(b) If you have any concerns let us know and we will try to resolve the situation.
(c) This is also a reminder that we are all experiencing varying degrees of stress and anxiety at this time. Please be mindful the content of your communications are kept professional, particularly written communications. Before you send off the communication reread it to ensure that you are comfortable the contents could not be misread by the recipient(s).
(d) We also remind you of the pitfalls of social media. Before you post pause to think whether what you post may impact on our reputation or the employment relationship.
(a) You must ensure that business/work-related information and data is kept secure and confidential.
(b) Nobody else in your bubble should see confidential work information.
(c) You must ensure confidentiality when taking phone calls as well, particularly if you take them outside in a built-up urban area.
(a) You must maintain appropriate levels of homeowners or renter’s insurance coverage to protect yourself and company property.
(b) Please confirm via email to us that you have checked with your insurer regarding the coverage.
11. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
(a) Our other policies and procedures are still operable, including our disciplinary process. However, it is recognised that some may need to be amended to comply with the NZ Government’s COVID 19 rules and restrictions.