In response to more North West companies adopting remote or hybrid working on a permanent basis, Clough & Willis – the Bury and Bolton-based law firm – has launched a new service called Core Protection which has been designed to help firms navigate the practical and legal implications that come with employees working from home and other types of flexible working arrangements.
The launch follows a recent survey of 150 businesses conducted by Clough & Willis that showed 76% of respondents will be offering their staff hybrid or remote working moving forward. Prior to the pandemic, only 20% had remote working arrangements in place.
Clients of Core Protection will be able to choose from a range of bespoke services which best reflect their needs and organisations. Options include:
Recruitment (ensuring fair recruitment policies are in place);
Managing Requests (how to handle and manage requests for hybrid working fairly);
People Management (how to deal with staff working from home, including how to supervise and monitor performance);
Health, Safety and Wellbeing (how to manage employees’ health and safety even when they are working remotely. This will include conducting risk assessments);
Equipment (policies on managing the equipment employees require in order to carry out their role, how will this be funded, installed and maintained and who has access to it);
Working Hours (guidance on changes to hours of work and flexibility);
Salary and Expenses (advice on changes to salary, benefits and expenses);
Data Protection (support on data protection obligations, including how will files and data are transferred between the office and home); and –
Insurance (advice on ensuring employers check both their own and their employees’ personal home insurances to confirm there is no significant uninsured liability for either party).
Chris Macwilliam – Head of Employment at Clough & Willis said, “The pandemic has resulted in a huge shift in how all businesses operate, and the emergence of remote and hybrid working is revolutionising our daily lives. It’s a trend that isn’t going anywhere – especially as the recruitment market is incredibly tough in many sectors with workers now seeing the option as a must have.
Chris added, “All of this means the onus is now on employers to make the process work. Failing to ensure they navigate the legal aspects of flexible working, alongside offering practical help and support, could result in unwanted and costly actions against them. Our aim with Core Protection is to make it the one-stop-shop for companies by offering a range policies and procedures together with helpful guides that will help smooth the process and protect all parties.”