Should I work from home?
Working from home is being promoted by the government to help support and limit social contact. Whilst working from home is an option, and one that we should be promoting for some services, we need to consider this alongside delivering frontline critical services. Employees therefore need to speak to their manager about options, which will include reference to nature of service, work needing done at any particular time and equipment available to determine the best approach. As the situation evolves, it may be that you will be required to support service delivery in a different way therefore ongoing contact with your manager is critical.
I am able to work from home, what should I do?
You should speak to your manager in the first instance, and where appropriate, arrangements will be made for you to work from home. You may be asked to return to work if necessary. It is important that you update MyView. You must however provide a telephone number (contact details) to your manager to ensure contact can be maintained during the period of working from home.
I have developed a cough or fever but I feel well enough to work. Can I work from home?
If you feel well enough to work and it is possible for you to work from home you should discuss arrangements for working from home with your line manager. If your symptoms worsen and you are not able to work you should contact your line manager and follow normal sickness absence reporting procedures. You should in all cases follow the advice from NHS Inform and update MyView.
If I am working from home, do I need to record this?
Yes, you should record this on MyView. A category has been created to record this called COVID-19.
What are the expectations on staff who are working from home? Do they need to record how they spent their hours? Do they need to work between 9am and 5pm or is this flexible as long as the work is completed?
We would expect that anyone working at home will be working on tasks already agreed with their line manager. Your line manager will make arrangements for you to keep in touch with them to review the priority work. If you use time recording, you should reflect your hours worked. If you do not have enough work to do from home, you should discuss this with your manager and adjust your time recording to reflect your standard core hours for the week so that you are not in detriment. If you are however logging off for personal time (using flexi) during these core hours then you need to factor this in and deduct this from your working time. Work does not need to be carried out in normal working hours. Managers should discuss expectations with their teams.
How do I keep in contact with my colleagues?
You should keep in regular touch with colleagues to make sure you don't become isolated. You can do this though teleconferencing, video calls, texts and emails. If you have any colleagues who live alone it is especially important to keep in touch with them.
Can I claim expenses that I have incurred as a result of working from home?
This depends on the type of and reason for the claim. Any claim should be approved in advance (of any expenditure being incurred) by your line manager. You would need to provide evidence that the claim was solely related to work and necessary. For instance, a claim for work related telephone calls and joining conference calls could be considered. However, a claim for your normal mobile phone rental wouldn't be appropriate. Also, you wouldn't be able to claim for ink for your personal printer as it wouldn't be used primarily for work purposes.
Following the recent online equipment/furniture survey, further information will be issued shortly to those who are working from home and the support that will be provided in relation to furniture and equipment.
From 06 April 2020 you can apply for tax relief from HMRC whilst working from home.
HMRC's new online portal, launched on 01 October 2020, is simple to use and has been set up to process tax relief on additional expenses for employed workers who have been told to work from home by their employer, to help stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). HMRC is encouraging customers claiming tax relief for working from home to apply directly through gov.uk.
Information currently available suggests that you can claim for the whole year regardless of how many days you have worked from home. This is only for this year due to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Please note you cannot claim tax relief on something you have submitted an expense claim on MyView for and had it approved.
More information on what can be claimed for can be found on gov.uk.
With winter fast approaching, you can also find some useful information on energy saving measures which will save you money over time at Home Energy Scotland.
Will I still receive my excess travel payment if working from home?
Whilst these payments initially continued, these will stop with effect from 01 February 2021 for all employees who are working from home and therefore no longer incurring excess travel expenses.
If you return to work, during the period of your eligibility for excess travel payments, payment of the allowance will be re-instated (subject to any relevant adjustment as appropriate).