They may be helping to produce, package, assemble or process a diverse range of products, from clothing, footwear and electrical components through to gift items and greetings cards, but it’s now also increasingly common for employees to be using information and communications technology to provide a range of business support services from their home, rather than commute into a fixed basis.
Some homeworkers have little control over the work they do and work long hours designed to fit the employer’s schedules, with low rates of pay, and there is sometimes a question over their employment status and associated rights. Consequently, they often feel isolated, unrepresented and struggle to maintain their work-life balance.
The duties of employers set out under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, and most health and safety regulations, apply to homeworkers in the same way as for on-site employees and others who may be affected by their work. This means that the homeworkers’ activities, including the home environment, should be the subject of risk assessment.