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Home workers miss health and safety regs

More than half of businesses could be failing to meet health and safety regulations that protect staff who work from home, research has revealed.

The trend towards home working is increasing, with an estimated 5.5 million employees now working remotely from home.

But a survey of 100 IT directors found that while more than three-quarters allowed staff to work from home, 35% admitted they did not carry out statutory health and safety checks.

Health and Safety Executive regulations, which cover remote working at home as well as in the workplace, require annual safety checks on electrics, cabling, heating and ventilation and seating arrangements.

Another 21% of IT directors were unable to confirm whether they did the checks or not, the survey by IT and customer service applications supplier Touchpaper found.

Graham Ridgway, chief executive of Touchpaper, said, "Home working is on the rise as communications technologies improve and employees seek a better work/life balance.

"As such, people who work from home need to be treated the same as those who work from the office, with the same access to support and information."

Ridgway added, "Company policies and practices must keep up with these developments in the interests of employee safety and productivity."


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