Employees working from home during Coronavirus pandemic
For Government of Jersey employees, during the period of the Coronavirus pandemic:
working from home will remain the default operating model for businesses throughout levels 3 and 2 of Jersey’s Safe Exit Framework
only at level 1, can we step down working from home as required
working from home, either full time or part time, is likely to become a permanent ‘new norm’ for many Government of Jersey employees for all or part of their working hours.
We’re putting in place arrangements to meet our legal and best practice obligations for those who continue to work from home.
Employees who continue to work from home after 1 July 2020:
The cost of the purchase of equipment will be met from departmental budgets.
Who needs to undertake the assessment?
The Healthy Working DSE programme needs to be undertaken by all employees who use display screen equipment, such as computers and monitors or laptops, but we’re prioritising home workers initially.
There are five categories of homeworkers:
permanent homeworker: home based, only periodic attendance at the workplace needed. This would need to be reflected as a contractual position
frequent homeworker: for example, based on a regular pattern of workplace and home-based working, such as alternate week home working. If regularised, this should be reflected in a contractual position
occasional homeworker: mainly workplace based with occasional working from home. This would be classed as a benefit, and may occur in agreement with the line manager, but may also be withdrawn
mobile (peripatetic): predominantly based at home but working in and visiting different locations. This would need to be reflected as a contractual position
flexible: accommodating varied working patterns, depending on the nature of the arrangements. This may be a contractual arrangement.
The first two categories of permanent and frequent home workers should be prioritised for being provided with suitable equipment.
Mobile peripatetic and flexible working employees should have suitable control measures put in place and should also be supplied with appropriate equipment. (For the purposes of homeworking, they’re not included in the definitions of permanent or frequent homeworker).
What does the homeworker need to do?
If you work from home, you’ll need to complete the Cardinus online Healthy Working DSE programme, which includes a DSE self-assessment tool. There’s a legal requirement to complete this programme and we’re making it available for all home workers. The invitation to complete the heathy Working programme will be sent to you directly from the Cardinus system from Monday, 15 June onwards and you should complete it no later than Wednesday, 1 July 2020.
The Healthy Working DSE programme takes around 45 minutes to complete and is tailored to individual circumstances and DSE set up, for example PC versus laptop use. We keep a record of an individual’s assessment on Cardinus and this record can be reviewed and updated as changes are made.
You can find guidance on completing ‘Healthy Working’ is available on our display screen equipment guidance for Government of Jersey employees page.
Once you’ve completed the assessment, you must discuss any issues with your manager.
Many of the possible requirements for equipment will arise from the outcomes of your Healthy Working DSE self-assessment, unless you already have, or have been given, appropriate equipment.
You also have a responsibility to take reasonable care of your own health and safety and must work within any guidance or request issued to you about your workstation set up.
Managers’ responsibilities to ensure the safety of home workers
Guidance for managers on the Healthy Working DSE programme is available on the display screen equipment guidance for Government of Jersey employees page.
- ensure that your team members complete the assessment by the deadline set and continue to remind them until they‘ve been completed (your departmental Cardinus Administrator will be able to advise you on progress)
- ensure that team members share outcomes and review their assessments with them, discuss any unresolved issues highlighted in their DSE risk assessment and resolve them as far as you can
- refer any issues which remain unresolved in the first instance to your departmental DSE assessor
- refer any issues which continue to be outstanding to firstname.lastname@example.org. This includes any requests for special requirements, for example for specific health issues or software needs.
- check to make sure the Healthy Working DSE programme is completed within the deadline set and follow up with any staff who fail to do this
- make sure that anyone joining your team, or team members who didn't receive an invitation are added to the Cardinus System (via your departmental Cardinus Administrator)
- source additional items of equipment required, dependant on the outcome of the Healthy Working DSE assessment, via Supply Jersey
- complete a stress risk assessment with the member of your team if they flag that they have any stress-related issues.
Borrowing versus buying home working equipment
If employees are due to return to the workplace imminently, they’re unlikely to need additional equipment at home. In the interim, they’ll be able to borrow the equipment from the workplace.
If an employee is going to be working from home permanently or frequently, depending on the outcome of the Healthy Working DSE assessment, you may need to buy the necessary equipment for them, using Supply Jersey. The equipment listed on the platform has been selected to meet safety standards and you should not use alternative sources.
A frequent home worker is defined as an employee based on a regular pattern of workplace and home-based working, such as alternate week home working. You can find advice on who’s entitled to receive equipment, and the equipment that we’ll supply below.
If an employee is going to be working from home permanently or frequently then you'll need to purchase the necessary equipment for them using Supply Jersey.
What equipment can be supplied to a home worker?
The basic equipment of keyboard, mouse and chair is required for homeworkers who don’t already have this in place. Employees who return to office working before or during early July don’t need to be provided with equipment. Those working from home temporarily can be lent equipment, which they must return when they come back to the office. Details of equipment to be supplied are below:
|1. Provision of equipment (technology)||The employer is reasonably expected to provide similar equipment to that which would be used in the workplace.||1. Laptop* or single monitor screen with base unit|
* If an individual is unable to comfortably read from a laptop screen then a monitor should be provided.
2. Provision of equipment
(to support good posture and prevention of musculoskeletal issues)
|The employer is reasonably expected to provide similar equipment to that which would be used in the workplace||1. Desk* (if no suitable table or work surface is available)|
*with guidance that the laptop or monitor should be raised to eye level.
3. Provision of specialist equipment for an existing condition which we are already aware of.
|Any or all the above, plus provision of additional equipment, e.g. a special chair, software, etc.|
4. Reasonable adjustments are made for an employee who has a disability
|As above||As above|
You must make every effort to ensure that it’s safe for an employee to work from home. Where this isn’t possible, an employee should return to the office.
A small number of employees may need special requirements and may need additional or specialist equipment if they continue to work from home.
Screens are not to be supplied as standard unless an individual has difficulty reading and working from a small screen. However, departments may choose to provide screens to increase the productivity of their home workers.
Employees working from home should raise the height of their laptop and use a separate keyboard and mouse. The individual Healthy Working DSE plan (part of the assessment) will provide practical tips on how to do this, using items found in the home (books, a stable box, etc), but departments can choose to provide laptop stands.
How do I buy the equipment for my team member?
You must buy any equipment through Supply Jersey. You can find advice on technical equipment on MyStates or by speaking to your Modernisation and Digital business partner.
Who pays for the equipment?
Payment for equipment is made from departmental budgets.
An employee has put in place their own equipment, can they claim this from us?
No, employees can’t make a claim for equipment they’ve put in place at home. If the equipment is inappropriate or needs to be replaced, and they continue to be a permanent or frequent home worker, then their manager should order the equipment they need to ensure safe working.