Working from home – risks and responsibilities for SMEs

Working from home – risks and responsibilities for SMEs

A few posts ago, we talked about how critical cyber awareness is for anyone working from home.

So while it looks like many of us are in the home office for some time yet - or perhaps flexi working between the office and home - here’s a couple of risks to be aware of.

Who’s responsible for company equipment while it’s at the employee’s home?

Back in late March, plenty of workers were hurriedly lugging large monitors and other equipment home from the office – with their employer’s blessing - in preparation for hunkering down for level 4 with the best work set up they could.

Ideally, businesses will have kept records of workplace equipment, their location and the name of the worker responsible for them.

In these circumstances a potential "gap" in cover may have arisen if the employee's home was/is being used regularly for work purposes. That is, the employee's property isn't covered by the employer's policy, and the employee's home and contents insurance policy doesn't cover the employer's business equipment.

Most insurers did extend policies to provide for this equipment to be temporarily removed from the premises, but some of these extensions were temporary and for the duration of the lockdown and Level 3. Check your policy or speak to your insurance broker to make sure that your insurance policy is still providing coverage for these items if you still have employees working from home either full time or part time.

Be mindful too of any damage suffered due to data loss etc (e.g. due to malware downloaded accidentally onto the employee's home computer) as this may also fall into this kind of insurance gap.

Have a chat to your broker to check your cover. And remember there’s a super accessible cyber awareness training available here.

Health & Safety issues at home

If someone’s working from home, it's actually their responsibility to look after their own health and safety.

However, if you run a business which has staff working from home, you have a responsibility to talk through and develop practices with them on how they'll manage their health and safety when working at home. Plenty more information including what you need to do as a manager is available here.

And finally – don’t underestimate the importance of checking in with your team. Regular check-ins (at least daily) will allow you to know how your staff are doing in general, if they are ok and if the remote setup is working for them. It also makes it easier to raise any IT questions or concerns.

General Advice Warning

The information provided is to be regarded as general advice. Whilst we may have collected risk information, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information. We recommend that you consider the suitability of this general advice, in respect of your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. You should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase this financial product.

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