During the lockdown introduced at midnight 4 January 2021, everyone should work from home where possible. This may apply to school age childcare staff working in administrative roles, and practitioners who may be able to undertake tasks from home if they are not required in the adult:child ratios.
Home working will be new to many and may have been implemented at pace, without normal health and safety planning to ensure people have suitable working arrangements and equipment. Employers are responsible by law for the health, safety and welfare at work of their workers and these responsibilities apply wherever their staff are working. Arrangements for the welfare of employees must provide for homeworkers, as well as those who work in the employer’s workplace.
If an employer is asking their employees to work from home, consideration must be given to the type of environment they are being asked to work in. Caring responsibilities - which often are undertaken by women, multigenerational households - which may be a particular issue within certain minority ethnic groups, space constraints and noise levels are just some of the considerations that need to be taken into account. Assumptions should not be made that everyone has a suitable place from which to work at home, this should be explored with each employee.
Full home working guidance provides more information on this.
Please also see the HSE advice on home working for further information.