Mental Health Awareness Week and more | Davis Blank Furniss
Lauren Sever, Trainee Corporate and Commercial Solicitor at Davis Blank Furniss

Following the recent announcement from the government regarding the country’s roadmap to recovery from the Covid19 pandemic; employers are being urged to continue to allow their employees to work from home if and where at all possible. At least for the next few weeks, working from home therefore remains the reality for most businesses and their employees. Whilst this will be welcomed by some who have not missed the commute to work and have been able to work in the more relaxing environment of their homes for others it will cause further stress and anxiety particularly if they are having to juggle looking after their young children and their full time jobs. There will also be those in the middle ground who enjoyed being at home more but for whom the novelty of working from home has worn off.

It is therefore more important than ever that employers continue to stay in touch with their employees and are conscious not only of their employee’s rights when it comes to working from home but that employers remain responsible for the health and safety of all employees, even when they are working from home. Particular attention should be paid to the mental wellbeing of all employees especially as this week is Mental Health Awareness Week.

Everyone’s experience of the COVID- 19 pandemic will be different. These are uncertain and troubling times for most and it is vital that employees feel supported, ,know exactly what is expected of them and particularly who they can contact if they are struggling with their work whether for example it is the quantity that is overwhelming them due to colleagues being for example furloughed or if they struggle with IT systems. Having a port of call, weekly catch up calls or zoom meetings will encourage individuals to raise issues and feel more supported.

In addition employers should encourage employees to take regular breaks away from their work stations that they have set up at home, ask them to consider using holidays so they can take time away from work and especially take steps to remain in regular contact with employees that have been furloughed who may feel isolated and out of the loop.

Employers should also discuss working arrangements with their employees and try to be as flexible as possible. This may involve changing hours of work so that parents can look after their children and considering requests for time off to care for dependants.

It may be sensible for employers to adjust the terms and conditions of employee’s contracts of employment to facilitate remote working. In order to implement remote working effectively, employers should provide technological support if possible and introduce more flexible routines and procedures to encourage different means of communication amongst their employees. Employers should also conduct health and safety risk assessments and ensure that they are satisfied that the health and safety of their employees is being maintained.

Another important consideration is the cost of home-working. Many employees will naturally be using more electricity, heating, internet usage, some may even be using their own mobile phones/landlines and may be required to install specific software on their personal devices. In order to reimburse any additional costs incurred by employees in relation to working from home, employers may be able to make tax free payments. However, given the current economic climate, this may not be a viable option for many businesses. Alternatively, an employee can claim tax relief by filing an online P87 form.

For many businesses working from home could be the commercial long term reality going forward.

If you have any queries about home working or any other employment related matters, please get in touch with a member of our Employment team.


Read what our clients have to say...

View All

Excellent experience start to finish – always very responsive to any queries and the turnaround on the property I was buying was very quick, even in the busy time leading up to stamp duty deadline. Jenny was always very helpful and went above and beyond to close on a short timescale.

Ben Armitage

“Very approachable, practical solutions to problems, but most of all very responsive which I personally think is very important because if you need help, you need it quickly, or at least to know someone is looking at it for you”.

Joanne Rowe, Finance Director, Greater Manchester Chamber

“Always able to contact, very approachable, friendly and professional”

Nives Feely, JAM Recruitment

“I believe I have been able to establish a professional working relationship with everyone I have come into contact. Importantly, I sense the relationships which have been established give me the confidence that I can make contact with Davis Blank Furniss at any time and on any matter. I would also like to express my thanks to the very impressive “gatekeepers” who work in reception, not only for making me very welcome, but also for their professionalism”

Bill Pryke, CEO, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

“Thank you for your efficient and friendly help throughout this process. We have had it easy but your approach has been part of that”.

Robert Amsbury (Conveyancing Client)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the ongoing support and assistance the firm has offered to our parents over the years. I hope also that we may be able to call on you if necessary in the future.”

Valerie Fisher (Probate Client)

“Jo always provides great service, understands our needs and delivers on her promises. Our needs are relatively simple but the complexity arises out of the volume of work and short time frames, Jo always delivers.”

Peter Fernandez, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Scotland

“A big thank you to all who dealt with my wife’s claim… We would not hesitate to recommend Davis Blank Furniss to anyone that may be in a situation like we have been…”

Anon (Personal Injury client)

“Before putting my case in Kirsty (Morbey)’s capable hands I’ve met a couple of other solicitors. None of them listen to me as intently as Kirsty and showed me as much empathy and understanding as she did. Simultaneously she was able to look at my case from legal perspective, explain all the options and follow each of our meetings with written summary of the discussed matters (in timely manner). Her advice was invaluable and led me to successfully ending the case matter (hopeful for good). I’m forever grateful for he work and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for reliable, knowledgeable and committed solicitor”.

Anon (Family client)
5 star service

Our Manchester office is rated 5 stars on Google