Homeworking - a briefing provided by the Health and Safety Executive

Homeworking and teleworking Homeworking

This leaflet gives guidance to employers and homeworkers on the health and safety issues involved in homeworking.

Homeworkers are those people employed to work at home for an employer.

What the law requires

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) places duties on employers, self-employed people and employees. Under HSWA, employers have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees, including homeworkers. Most of the Regulations made under the

HSWA apply to homeworkers as well as to employees working at an employer's workplace. These include, for example, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR), the Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992, the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended) (COSHH).

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers are required to do a risk assessment of the work activities carried out by homeworkers. Completing a risk assessment involves identifying the hazards relating to the homeworkers' work activities and  deciding whether enough steps have been taken to prevent harm to them or to anyone else who may be affected by their work. A risk is the chance, great or small, that someone will be harmed by a hazard. A hazard is anything that may cause harm.