Post Covid-19 Digital Transformation - Is Your Company Ready for Work From Home Arrangement?

The pandemic is a reality check for businesses to embrace digital transformation, and many may find themselves unprepared. Companies must initiate and adopt digital innovation at the fastest mode to survive the world's economic slowdown while ensuring that internal and external legal compliances are in place, especially in dealing with Work From Home (WFH) arrangement.

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Internal Legal Compliance: Work From Home (WFH)

1. WFH Arrangement Policy

Working from Home is the new norm brought by the Covid-19 after implementing the Movement Control Order. However, many employers find this acceptable when the productivity of the employees and workers are not compromised.

Hence, a proper Work-from-Home (WFH) Policy shall be implemented by the employer to embrace the change. A WFH Policy shall define the scope and put all elements in place. To learn more about the benefits of creating a WFH policy, click here.

It is vital to take note that the WFH arrangements do not adjust to the terms and conditions of the employment, which are considered fundamental terms; otherwise, the employer may be deemed to have breached the employment contract. An employee or worker may then resign and claim for constructive dismissal. 

Employers should benefit from using WFH policy to modify or develop guidelines in implementing WFH arrangements. The WFH policy shall be effectively communicated to all employees and workers to ensure that the adoption of changes can be met as early as possible.

2. Tools, Equipment, Supplies & Technology

Employers should provide workers the specific tools, equipment, supplies, and technology needed for performing the required tasks when implementing WFH arrangements unless the terms and conditions of employment, collective agreement, or company policy state otherwise. The type of equipment and set-up required depends on the business and work involved. This may include a laptop, computer monitors, software, phone, access to the Internet, headset, access to host applications, and other applicable equipment as deemed necessary. It may include the delivery of equipment and the installation of technical devices required for the job.

3. Imposing Workers Duty When Work From Home

Employers should make known to their employees and workers that they have duties to comply with when they work from home. For instance, during the pandemic, workers are obliged to notify their employers if they become aware that they are suffering from any disease or physical or mental impairment to their ability to do their job and report any accident to management immediately. Apart from health obligation, an employee or worker shall have the duty to:-

being available and accessible during work hours, and maintaining regular and timely communication with managers; 
refraining from holding a meeting with customers or other workers at home without the company's approval;
making a necessary child or dependent care arrangements; 
taking reasonable care of the company’s tools and equipment, including technology, data protection, confidentiality, and security.

It is advisable to implement a Policy or to include additional guidelines in handling Company's data and information when working from home. 

4. Measuring Productivity When Work From Home

Before making any allegation that an employee has not been productive or perform below the required standard, employers shall expressly make known to employees and workers the goals, datelines, and other expectations. It is advisable to implement a plan to ensure the employees' accountability, so the check and balance system is in place for useful measurement.

Employers may be expected to measure employee's productivity by the tasks accomplished instead of the time worked by the employee i.e. the logging time.

A Work From Home Policy is vital to employers, especially in preventing any unwanted legal disputes. To know more about how to create a work from home policy, click here.

If you would like us to check on your Work From Home policy, contact us.