Important Advice For Home Workers
In most non-branch areas, Lloyds has done a good job of moving staff to home working. This has removed the obvious risk of coming into offices in higher risk areas such as London and Birmingham but there are some potential pitfalls of which members should be aware.
If Lloyds is employing people at home, rather than in their usual places of work, it will still want those staff to work during the time for which they’re paid. In that context, it would be an odd employer that didn’t consider at least consider monitoring staff attendance times e.g. the times they log on and off and their activity during the day.
Now, we might be identifying a problem that will not arise but a number of members responding to our recent non-branch survey praised their managers for allowing them to work flexibly and, more or less, choose their own working hours. This gives rise to the risk of misunderstandings as to what people are or are not permitted to do and what hours they have to work. Although Lloyds has very largely cleaned up its act on disciplinary cases over the last three years we still see cases where there has been a rush to disciplinary action when informal action or even changes in bank policy would have been more appropriate. A number of these cases have been characterised as Gross Misconduct. Gross Misconduct is conduct that would justify summary dismissal i.e dismissal without notice. Members who could be alleged to have worked shorter days than they should would be putting themselves at risk of dismissals that would be found to be fair at the Employment Tribunal.
Our advice to members is not to leave any doubt as to their conduct. If you have agreed some sort of flexible approach to your hours of work with your line manager, make sure it’s been agreed/confirmed in writing. If you fail to do so there is a very real risk that at some point your conduct could come into question, with disciplinary action a possible result.
Should you need to call, the Advice Team can be contacted 24 hours a day on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).
Home Working: Check Your Home Insurance
Some insurers place restrictions on home insurance policies when it comes to working from home – you’re not necessarily covered automatically.
In an article on Admiral’s website (published prior to the COVID-19 outbreak), it says:
“Do I have to tell my insurer I work from home?
In short, yes. You may not need additional cover, but it’s best to check – if the worst were to happen, you could be left uninsured because you’ve invalidated your policy. You’ll need to inform your insurer what your work situation is. If your work situation changes in the middle of a policy, make your insurer aware as not doing so could invalidate your insurance.”
One would expect insurers to take a pragmatic view given the current pandemic and certainly most insurers seem to be saying that if you undertake clerical work you’re covered automatically. Nevertheless, it would be prudent to contact your home insurer to notify them that you’re working from home and to check that you are indeed covered. Make a note of the time and date of your call in case you need to refer to it. If the telephone lines are very busy, you could also check on your insurer’s website. Keep a picture clipping of anything relevant that you might need to rely on later.
If you’ve brought home employer-owned equipment such as laptops and printers, responsibility for insuring these items normally rests with employers; you should ask the Bank to confirm this in writing if it hasn’t already done so.
Please contact the Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1) if you have any further questions.