This interim Homeworking Scheme has been developed to provide detailed information and guidance to managers and employees in relation to supporting an agile workforce as part of the Council’s COVID-19 recovery process and future strategic plans, including the rationalisation of assets, the creation of community hubs and the progression of Digital NL ambitions.
Watch this short video to find out more about the interim home working scheme:
The scheme enhances the current provisions which are outlined within the Council’s Smarter Working Policy and Guidance Note in particular for management initiated requests for smarter working locations.
Management initiated requests for smarter working must follow the appropriate process as outlined within the Council’s Smarter Working Policy and Guidance Note however it is accepted that it may not be necessary to meet with every employee on an individual basis as advised within the guidance.
This scheme is has been extended for a further year from April 2021 – March 2022 and will be subject to regular review to ensure that it remains fit for purpose and may be adapted to suit the future requirements of the Council.
Who does it apply to?
This scheme will apply to all employees whose role falls into one of the categories detailed below:
- Homeworker – an employee whose work base is home and who can undertake the majority of their work from home with the occasional requirement to work at a site or office location.
- Agile Worker – Home based – an employee whose work base is home and who works from home some of their time, but who also requires to work from sites, offices or depots some of their time, as determined by their role and line manager.
Your manager will assess whether or not your post meets the requirements for either of the above categories and discuss with you.
Will equipment be provided for home working?
Employees categorised as a Homeworker or Agile Worker-Home Based will no longer have an allocated office desk and will conduct previous office based duties from home. Therefore the following package shall be provided and maintained by North Lanarkshire Council:
- Provision of laptop PC and software.
- Provision of “key fob” facility for access to Council systems.
- Access to network printer as necessary
- Mobile phone where necessary.
A chair, monitor and ancillary equipment (for example foot rest, wrist support, riser etc.) will be provided by the Council as required and in line with the appropriate Health and Safety assessments.
One off set up allowance
Employees will be provided with a one-off tax-exempt payment of up to £100 to accommodate the purchase of equipment that cannot be provided by the Council, such as a suitable desk. Employees will be asked to produce a receipt to evidence that they have purchased equipment.
All equipment provided remains the property of the Council and must be returned upon request.
Employees working from home as their base can also claim tax relief via the HMRC on £6 per week (worth £1.2/week for 20% tax payers and £2.40/week for higher rate tax payers). You don’t need to submit receipts to claim via HMRC.
You need to claim every tax year.
Click here to claim
Will my hours of work be the same at home?
An employees working hours at home should largely mirror those normally undertaken in the office, unless otherwise agreed by the line manager. These working hours can vary to accommodate work life balance arrangements, if agreed with the line manager and in line with the Smarter Working policy.
If you are currently entitled to flexi time, this will continue, unless otherwise advised by your line manager. All working hours should be recorded electronically via the time and attendance module on mySelf. Employees should ensure, where possible, to limit interruptions during their working day, unless previously agreed with their line manager. Under no circumstances should they undertake any other responsibility e.g. childcare, during the hours they have agreed to work.
Can I still claim mileage expenses?
For those employees participating in the scheme, mileage can be claimed from their home to the office or site they are required to visit to undertake duties, for those living out with North Lanarkshire Council it can only be claimed from the first boundary of the Council area nearest to the employee’s home.
If an employee is attending an office base for the day to carry out normal duties or attends on a regular basis as part of a rota, the journey from home to office will be classed as a commute and business mileage cannot be claimed.
It is anticipated that mileage for a home worker will be minimum and if being claimed regularly or excessively, managers will discuss with employees’ ways to minimise travelling for business purposes.
Expense claims should be submitted via mySelf and authorised via myTeam. Line managers should ensure employees have appropriate business insurance for work related journeys when travelling in personal vehicles.
Health & safety assessments
A Homeworking Risk Assessment and Display Screen Equipment (DSE) risk assessment should be undertaken for each home workspace at the beginning of the home working arrangement and reviewed periodically thereafter. The outcomes of these are fed into your line manager for appropriate action.
If you haven’t already completed these, guidance on completing them is available here.
You should also undertake the relevant online learning to ensure you are clear on the need for good DSE and workstation layout and posture. Please see e-learning available on Learn NL.
Looking after your wellbeing
Employees should ensure that they are taking steps to look after their wellbeing during their period of working from home. This includes:
- maintaining regular contact with your manager and colleagues
- taking regular breaks and exercise and to structure your working day
- avoiding being ‘always on’ by ensuring that they identify non-working time
- contacting the employee assistance programme if they need support, for example, in relation to heightened feelings of anxiety. Our Employee Counselling Service Time for Talking can be contacted on 0800 970 3980.
- being aware of the things that can cause them poor wellbeing and the activities and resources that can help to address this
Managers will be expected to keep in regular contact with employees who work from home. They will:
- Agree, on a regular basis what work they are required to undertake from home and what outputs are expected
- Ensure they follow the home working guidance, found here
- Agree a time in the day or each week to contact them via skype or telephone
- Update them regularly on what is happening at work and if there are any changes they need to be informed of.
More information to support your wellbeing can be found here.
Insurance and mortgages
Employees will be responsible for seeking confirmation from domestic insurance companies that their domestic insurance policies have been noted, or adjusted, if necessary. It is not anticipated that there will be an additional cost to home insurance for working from home.
Working at home may have implications for an employee’s mortgage or lease arrangement. Consequently, employees are obliged to advise their mortgage provider or landlord that they are working at home.
Can I be asked to attend an office?
The Council reserves the right to request the attendance of the employee at different work locations to carry out service provision as agreed with their line manager, for operational requirements.
In circumstances where the employee is required to attend at a different location from their designated work base, travelling expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with the section above.
Leave and absence
Homeworking employees who wish to take annual leave, should follow normal policy and procedures.
Employees who fall ill are required to contact their line manager to advise them of their absence as follows:
- if your agreed working day commences before 8.45am – contact by no later than 9.30am
- if your agreed working day commences after 8.45am – contact within an hour of scheduled start time
Will my contract of employment change?
Changes to an employee’s contract to facilitate homeworking or agile working on a temporary or permanent basis will be consulted on and agreed upon by all parties, giving appropriate notice of the change.
A contract variation will be issued to confirm the change to the terms of the employee’s contract and should include the equipment provided by the Council for the purposes of home working and arrangements for its return as appropriate.
- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-to-work-factsheet/access-to-work- factsheet-for-customers
Frequently asked questions relating to the topic of working from home can be found here.
Further information on working from home is available here on Learn NL.
Full detail of the Homeworking Scheme (Interim) and some other useful information is available below.