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Oxford Brookes is committed to promoting and practising equal opportunities in employment. This includes giving employees, wherever practicable, the opportunity to work more flexibly. Homeworking is also advocated in the University Sustainable Travel Plan 2006 - 2010 as a way of reducing our overall carbon emissions. Requests for home-working will be considered in relation to any job role that may be carried out equally on site or from a remote location, usually the employee’s home. It is evident that some roles do not lend themselves to any form of homeworking as they can only be carried out on site. In some roles (e.g. academic staff) working at home is already common practice, and should be managed on an informal and ad hoc basis.
The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a framework within which employees and management can agree arrangements for working at or from home. The guidelines must be read in conjunction with the flexible working policy (homeworking). These guidelines are not intended to be prescriptive; however there are certain fundamental principles which must apply and which should be understood by employees and their managers.
The University is willing to consider the following models of homeworking, depending on the circumstances of the role and operational requirements.
Occasional homeworking. Applies to employees who, with the approval of their line manager, work
home on an occasional and ad hoc basis (i.e. where there is no agreed pattern of homeworking), even though their contract of employment requires them to be based at Oxford Brookes University.
Regular homeworking. Applies to employees who have a regularly pattern of working at home agreed with their line manager (e.g. once a week or once a month) even though their contract of employment requires them to be based at Oxford Brookes University.
Designated homeworking. Applies to employees who work
home (their office is based in their home) even though they may work other than at home for part of their working hours. Becoming a designated homeworker involves a change in the contract of employment to reflect the new work location.
The guidance below applies to all categories of homeworkers. Further guidance applying to support staff and academic staff can be found in sections 4, 5 and 6.
Line managers should take into account the following when assessing any requests to work at or from home.
Working at or from home will only be possible where appropriate work is available. Considerations as to suitable work might include:
An employee working at or from home may be expected to provide evidence of the work which has been carried out. If it is felt necessary by their line manager, staff may be required to revert to their previous working arrangements
Suitability for homeworking should be considered with regard to:
Individuals and managers should jointly review and monitor the impact of time spent working at or from home. Any problems arising from working at or from home must be discussed by the individual and their line manager. If no suitable solution can
be found the employee will be required to revert to their former working arrangement.
Occasional and regular homeworking applies to employees who, with the approval of their line manager, work
home on an occasional, ad hoc, or regular basis even though their contract of employment requires them to be based at Oxford Brookes University.
Occasional and regular homeworking applies to employees who work at home on an occasional, ad hoc, or regular basis even though their contract of employment requires them to be based at Oxford Brookes University.
Employees are referred to as ‘designated homeworkers’ where they have a change in their contract of employment to have their office based in their home, even though they may be other than at home for part of their working time.
The University has Employers’ Liability Insurance which covers its legal liability for personal injury to employees while acting in the course of their employment. This cover extends to situations where the employee is working at or from home.
The University has Public Liability Insurance which covers the legal liability of the University and its staff for injury and/or property damage to third parties caused whilst on University business. This cover
extends to situations where the employee is working at or from home.
Homeworker’s Own Insurance:
Incidents resulting in a claim against the home worker’s own insurance cover must be advised to their insurer.
Incidents which may result in claims against the University’s insurance cover must be reported to the member of staffs line manager. Major incidents must be reported
by telephone to the member of staff’s line manager or as soon as is reasonably possible if the incident occurs outside office hours.
NB. The letter should be signed by the policyholder, who may not be the home worker.