Normality has changed with the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Many people now operate remotely to do their jobs. Recent statistics also indicate that ‘working from home’ arrangements may become the preferred way to do business.
It’s raised some interesting questions about what happens while you’re away from your usual workplace. In this article, we’ll help you get clarity around personal injuries and compensation when working from home.
The Criteria for Coverage
The essence of any insurance coverage lies in the qualifying criteria or conditions it must meet to become a valid claim. Workforce compensation typically pays out or settles costs for an injury sustained ‘during the course and scope’ of employment.
Those who regularly travel or operate off-site to perform their duties are still eligible for insurance, even if they’re not permanently based in the office.
If you’re unsure about your policy conditions, check your employment contract and responsibilities, or ask your HR department for advice. You can also consult an external expert or try this service where a qualified legal professional can help you understand your rights.
Questions You May Need to Answer
If you’re hurt while working in a home-based office, you might need to prove that the injury is indeed work-related. You should be covered regardless of whether it was an accident or due to negligence by another party.
Typical questions that may be asked to establish if you have a valid insurance claim could include:
- Did your job require you to perform the action that caused the incident?
- Was the activity you took part in pre-approved by your employer?
- Was it beneficial to your employer or in their best interest?
Ultimately, you need to reasonably explain that your claim results from something you did in the line of duty and the interest of your job. Keep in mind that you’ll be asked to submit evidence to support your case too.
One of the critical factors determining the validity of the case or claim will be whether or not appropriate communication requirements regarding the changes in circumstances were met.
Employers are still required to share procedures, instructions, and assess the risks of a residential or off-site works space, through official channels.
If something has been identified as a danger to your safety while working from home, useful information addressing such hazards must be made available to all involved. The consequences for accidents due to misconduct or willful negligence must also be made clear upfront.
Working from home is a new reality, but it shouldn’t affect your employer’s insurance cover for duties you continue to perform as required.
You may need to submit evidence and prove that it was sustained while doing your regular job, within the required scope, without any misconduct on willful negligence.
If you’re unsure how this affects your circumstances, it’s advisable to check your job specifications, revise your contract, and speak to your HR department or a legal professional. After all, prevention is better than cure.