NSW Office of The Director of Equal Opportunity in Public
Model Working from Home Agreement
The model agreement provisions contained in this
document are to be used in the preparation of an
agreement for an employee who is to undertake home
based work. Further provisions may be included, if
appropriate. However, it is intended that the matters
covered below should always be included.
Home based work work performed at an employee’s residential address, for an
agreed number of hours on a specific day or days, for an agreed
period of time.
Home based work site
an area designated in an employee’s private dwelling which
has been agreed by the employer and the employee for use by the
employee to perform home based work (the site).
Employer’s office normal place of work where the employee works or would work
when not working from the home based work site.
Computer, telephone, fax or other electronic and related
machinery required for the conduct of work.
The working from home agreement is a voluntary and cooperative
arrangement. The terms and conditions of employment between the
employer and employee that apply at the employee’s place of work
also apply at the home based work site
1. Implementation procedures
(a) Before commencing work from home the employer and employee will
designate the home based work site and note in the schedule to this
(b) The employee agrees to cooperate with the employer in all measures to
ensure that the home based work site conforms with acceptable
Occupational Health and Safety standards.
(c) The employer is responsible for the health, safety and welfare of the
worker at work, including while at the site. The employer will ensure
that the site and the equipment to be used is in accordance with the
provisions of the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act 1983 and
other safety requirements and is responsible for all costs associated with
(d) All Occupational Health and Safety policies which apply at the
employee’s usual place of work shall, as far as practicable, apply in
carrying out home based work at the home based work site.
(e) The employee consents to the employer having access to inspect the site
subject to the provision of 48 hours notice or by agreement. This
inspection can only take place within designated working hours. The
employer will inspect the home based work site with an appropriately
qualified person to ensure that it complies with the employer’s statutory
obligations to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the employee.
(f) The employee consents to a duly appointed WorkCover Inspector or a
representative of the occupational health and safety committee
established at the employee’s normal place of work entering the home
based work site in the event of a dispute arising on an issue of health,
safety or welfare of the employee for the sole purpose of resolving the
(g) It is agreed that the employee has a right to have a union representative
or third party present during visits from the employer, appropriately
qualified person or WorkCover Inspector.
(h) The employee agrees to notify the employer of any work related accident,
injury, illness or disease arising out of home based work.
(i) The employer shall notify the WorkCover Authority of any work related
accident, injury, illness, disease or incident required under
Occupational Health and Safety legislation occurring at the home based
work site arising out of home based work.
(j) The employer agrees to furnish the employee with a first aid kit type C
as defined in the Occupational Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulation.
The employee agrees to ensure that the kit is kept at the home based
work site and to notify the employer if any item requires replacement.
(k) The employee agrees that the employer is not responsible for any liability
on the part of a third party, unless the third party, or parties, are
present in connection with work related duties.
(a) The employer and the employee will compile a list of equipment used by
the employee in the course of carrying out work at the home based work
site. This list will specify who owns the equipment and l or software. This
list will be attached to this agreement.
(b) The equipment owned or leased by the employer and for use by the
employee at the home based work site will be used solely for the purposes
of the employer’s work. All equipment owned or leased by the employer
will remain the property of the employer or contracted leasor and the
employee agrees that the employer may have access to the home based
work site during hours of work or after provision of reasonable notice (at
least 24 hours) for the removal of the equipment. In removing the
equipment the employer will take all reasonable care to minimise
damage to the home based work site and for property. If damage to the
site is caused by the employer’s actions, the employer is responsible for
repairs, replacement or compensation.
(c) The employer or contracted leasor will maintain the equipment and for
software owned or leased by the employer.
(d) The employee agrees to notify the employer if any problems or difficulties
arise with the operation of the equipment and allow access to replace,
service or repair the equipment.
(e) The employer shall effect and maintain a policy of insurance in respect
of the equipment owned by the employer and used to carry out work for
(f) If it is agreed that the employee’s equipment is to be used at the home
based work site for the employer’s work, the percentage of costs of
maintenance, repair and insurance of the equipment to be borne by the
employer will be agreed between the employer and employee. The
manner in which consumables will be supplied beg toner, paper, etc)
will also be agreed. These agreements will be documented and attached
to this agreement.
3. Security of assets and information
Security of assets and information shall be as agreed for employer’s office
based employment. It is agreed that the employee will take an reasonable
precautions necessary to secure the employer’s materials.
4. Dependent care
It is agreed that home based work is not a substitute for dependent care.
5. Conditions of employment and variations in the conditions of
(a) The terms and conditions of the employment between the employee and
the employer that apply at the employee’s usual place of employment
also apply at the home based work site. In particular the following will
not be altered by this agreement:
- any applicable legislation, awards or agreements
- classification, grading and related remuneration
(b) The employee engaged in work at the home based work site and
employer may agree to vary any of the terms and conditions of the home
based work agreement with the exception of the above in 5(a). Any
variation must be agreed to by both the employee and the employer and
must be in writing and attached to the agreement.
6. Hours of work/overtime
(a) The employee agrees to maintain an accurate and up to date record of
hours worked, including work carried out at the home based work site.
(b) The home based work site may be used for overtime provided separate
written agreement is needed for its use.
(c) Overtime hours of work will be agreed in writing. A copy will be held by
both the employee and the employer for the period during which
over time is carried out at the home based work site. Other conditions
relating to overtime are contained in the relevant awards and
(a) The employer will ensure regular opportunities for communication
between supervisor and employee and take all reasonable steps to
provide to the employee all information concerning staff meetings,
training and other career development opportunities available to other
(b) The employee agrees to be contactable during the periods in which home
based work is carried out and available for communication with the
(a) The employer agrees to ensure that the work carried out by the employee
in the home based work site is taken into account when the work
performance of the employee is under review.
(b) The employer and employee agrees to establish and implement an
agreed procedure, appropriate to the work, by which the performance of
the employee at the home based work site can be monitored.
The employer agrees to ensure that training and career development opportunities are provided on the same basis as for other staff.
10. Termination of the home based work arrangement
(a) The agreement may be terminated by either party prior to expiry,
provided that the party wishing to terminate gives reasonable notice.
(b) It is agreed that “reasonable” notice shall be six weeks if the previously
agreed period for home based work at the site was six months or more:
or three weeks if the previously agreed period for home based work at the;
site was less than six months.
Employee name: (first name) (surname)
Home office address and phone:
Employer’s name: (first name) (surname)
Employer’s department :
Employer’s office address and phone-
Days at home based work site:
Days at employer’s office:
Duration of agreement:
Hours of work:
Details of work to be performed at home based work site:
Employer’s representative authorised to consent to vary this
home based work agreement:
Asset/equipment list attached
Other attachments (if appropriate):
Date OH&S inspection completed:
I have read and understand the conditions set out in this home based work
agreement and in the flexible work practices policy and guidelines document.
I indicate my acceptance of the terms of this agreement by signing below.
Employee’s signature Delegated employer nominee’s signature
A guide to occupational health and
safety, rehabilitation and workers
Work from home arrangements can suit the needs of both workers and employers.
The legislation setting out responsibilities and rights regarding occupational health and safety, rehabilitation and workers compensation is designed to protect people working from homes as well as people working in more traditional workplaces such as a factory or office.
This attachment outlines some issues to be considered before working from home arrangements are introduced to ensure that the relevant legislative obligations are met.
Requirements of the Occupational Health
and Safety Act
The New South Wales Occupational Health and Safety Act 1983 aims to protect the health, safety and welfare of people at work. This includes people working from home.
The Act sets out general requirements for employers, workers and others.
Employers must ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees, including those employees working from home. Things employers must do to ensure this include, as far as reasonably practicable:
? providing or maintaining a working environment
that is safe and without risks to health
? providing or maintaining equipment and systems of
work that are safe and without risks to health
? providing the information, instruction, training and
supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of workers
? making arrangements for ensuring the safe use,
handling, storage and transport of equipment and
Employers must not require workers to pay for anything done
or provided to meet specific requirements made under the Act or other occupational health and safety legislation.
Workers, including those who are working from home, must co-operate with employers in their efforts to comply with occupational health and safety requirements.
Workers must also take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons who are at their place of work.
Persons who erect or install equipment at a workplace must make sure that it is safe to use when properly used.
Offences and penalties
There are various offences and penalties specified in the Act and its regulations. For information on offences, penalties and defence provisions see WorkCover Summary of the Occupational
Health and Safety Act.
What if a person working from home is
injured at work?
Workers compensation arrangements apply to all injuries arising out of or in the course of employment, whether the injury occurred while the person was working from home or at a more traditional workplace.
Whether a home based worker injured at home was actually at work at the time of the injury would be determined using the usual sources of compensation evidence, such as reporting procedures and medical evidence.
Journey claim provisions do not apply where there is no journey between home and the place of work. However, if a person working at home travels for work purposes and is injured, such a claim would be covered by the Workers Compensation Act, subject to satisfying legislative requirements.
Recess claims for injuries can be made by persons working from home, and in this regard it would be helpful for the parties to reach clear agreement on working hours and recess breaks.
Third party liability (liability for accidents involving non-workers) is a common law matter. Negligence on the part of the worker and/or employer would need to be proved for such a claim to be successful.
Accident notification and first-aid requirements
NSW Accident Notification Regulations state that if a worker has a serious accident while at work, or if a serious incident occurs at a workplace, the employer is required to report it to WorkCover. The employer is required to do this whether the
person was working from home or at another worksite at the time.
NSW First-Aid Regulations require that all workplaces have a first-aid kit. The minimum requirement is a basic (type C) first aid kit.
WorkCover requirements and guidelines regarding workplace based rehabilitation apply whether the worker was injured while working from home or while working at a more traditional work site, such as an office or factory.
To be effective home based rehabilitation for a worker working from home may require additional mechanisms to be developed to monitor and review the injured worker’s progress. Regular
visits may need to be made to the home by the rehabilitation coordinator or rehabilitation provider.
If suitable duties for an injured home based worker cannot be provided at home then the employer should seek to provide suitable duties for that worker at another workplace.
If an employee at a workplace such as an office or factory is injured at work and is unable to travel, then home based rehabilitation can be provided to that worker if suitable duties can be carried out from home by the injured worker.
It is suggested that employers introducing work from home arrangements amend their Workplace Rehabilitation Program to encompass these arrangements.
A checklist of issues for employers and
workers to consider when introducing work
from home arrangements
It is important for employers to consult closely with workers when planning the introduction of work from home
This checklist outlines some of the issues that need to be considered. See page 50 for additional sources of information.
It is useful to put in writing agreed procedures regarding working arrangements particularly regarding hours of work and access (eg to check that the workplace is safe and that safe systems of work are in place, or to review systems and procedures following an accident).
A workplace assessment is one way in which to identify health and safety hazards, and deal with them. This assessment should only be done by an appropriately trained person. The person doing the assessment should confine their attention to that part
of the home which is used as a workplace.
? Establish whether the duties are suitable for work
Some jobs can be done safely by a person working from home. Some jobs can only be done safely by using special equipment or by following working procedures which are not appropriate for home based work.
? Establish what, if any, equipment will be necessary for an
employee to safely undertake home based work.
For example, is there a suitable desk, chair and computer? Is any other equipment or machine that the person may need to use suitable for the work involved? Is there a first-aid kit? (NSW Regulations require that all places of work have a first-aid kit. A basic (type C) kit is sufficient for most home based work situations).
? Establish that the proposed working environment is
healthy and safe.
For example, is there sufficient lighting? Are exits from the work area kept clear? Does a smoke detector and/or an earth leakage protection device need to be installed in the room where the person will be working? Are there sufficient powerpoints (overloaded powerpoints are afire hazard)?
? Establish that the person who will be working from home
has the information and training necessary to do the work safely.
For example, are home workers who are using computer equipment familiar with safe working procedures to prevent the occurrence of overuse injuries?
When assessing training needs keep in mind that the person working from home will be working with less supervision and may therefore need more comprehensive training to perform the work safely.
? Establish agreed hours of work and communications
Establish the days and hours on which work from home can be done and agree on procedures for recording work hours, including actual starting and finishing times (this is important for workers compensation purposes).
It is also useful to establish the way in which performance will be monitored and assessed and to establish communication procedures to ensure that appropriate information is passed between the person working from home and his or her co-workers and management.
? Revise your Workplace Rehabilitation Program
For example, you may wish to include a commitment to provision suitable duties at the main workplace when this is necessary as a Station strategy, and to clarify
arrangements for monitoring work from home rehabilitation programs.
Other issues that may need to be considered when introducing work from home arrangements include enterprise agreement or industrial award provisions, tax, mortgage and/or lease arrangements, and local government approvals.
Insurance arrangements for accidents to non-workers occurring at the home of a home-based worker should be clarified with the relevant insurer. The employer’s existing public liability
insurance may cover such accidents, or may be able to be extended to cover such accidents. Alternatively, the employee can take out such insurance and be reimbursed by his or her employer.
Employees working from home should also check with their insurer whether their domestic insurance arrangements will be affected if they are working from home.
Advice and information
WorkCover inspectors are available to assist employees and employers where they are unable to satisfactorily resolve a dispute on occupational health and safety issues or where a person believes that an unsafe work situation exists and makes a request for assistance.
WorkCover inspectors have powers of entry in relation to homes used as a workplace, with the consent of the occupier or, in a serious situation, with a search warrant.
WorkCover publications which may be of interest include: ? A Summary of the Occupational Health and Safety Act
? A Guide to Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation
? Health and Safety in the Office. These publications are available from your nearest WorkCover office or the WorkCover Bookshop at 400 Kent Street, Sydney. Copies of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other occupational health and safety legislation can also be purchased from the WorkCover Bookshop.
Health and safety: