Employers, as persons conducting a business or undertaking, have an obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (PDF, 1.42 MB) to ensure the workplace health and safety of their workers is not affected by the conduct of the business or undertaking.
Before entering into a telecommuting or work-from-home arrangement, employers should consider a range of factors including communication with the worker, managing work flows, use of equipment, and workplace health and safety and workers' compensation requirements.
Before entering into a telecommuting or work-from-home arrangement, employers should take reasonable steps to ensure a worker's work area at home meets workplace health and safety requirements. An assessment of the work area should be carried out before the worker starts regular work-from-home arrangements.
Factors to consider include:
Ideally, the assessment findings and the measures implemented to control risks should be documented and agreed by the parties involved.
Workers also have a duty of care or obligation in relation to their own workplace health and safety, which also applies when they are working for their employer in their own home.
Employees may be covered while working from home as long as the injuries arise out of, or in the course of, employment and if the employment is a significant contributing factor to the injury. While working from home and on a recess break employees may be covered for the injuries sustained.
WorkCover considers each case on the individual facts at the time. If you have specific queries please contact WorkCover on 1300 362 128.
More guidance on implementing telecommuting arrangements can be found on the Industrial relations website.