Workplace Based or Home Based Employment

Workplace based or Home based


The internet has aided the rise of the home-worker.

Employed or Self-Employed?

A common problem is deciding whether a home-based worker is self-employed or employed by your company. In reaching this decision, an Employment Tribunal will consider, in addition to other factors, whether the worker is required to work for a specific number of hours (rather than on a basis to please themselves). Employed home-workers are entitled to the same rights as office or factory-based staff who have the same service length or the equivalent number of hours service.

Home Workers and the Minimum Wage

Employees are entitled to the national living wage when they are ‘working’.

How does this apply to home workers who are ‘on call’ awaiting telephone calls at home but are not actively engaged in work? Minimum wage rules defines ‘working’ to include being available at or near a place of work and being required to be available for such work. However, this does not include time spent asleep.

Contractual Issues for Home-Workers

If you intend the home-worker to be an employee, the employment contract should make express provision (bearing in mind the lack of supervision) for performance targets, use and return of equipment and company property, health and safety and insurance. These terms are in addition to standard employment contract provisions.

Health and Safety

You have health and safety obligations with respect to employees who are based at home.

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