Treating staff fairly - Home and hybrid working policies

Treating staff fairly

Treat staff fairly and equally. Do not disadvantage anyone who is working from home or hybrid working.

Wherever an employee is working, you should give them access to the same:

  • support – including access to their representatives (for example, a recognised trade union)
  • opportunities – for training, development and promotion

Do not give people better or worse jobs depending on where they work.

Line managers should communicate regularly with everyone they manage. An employee should not miss out on anything because of where they work.

For example, schedule meetings or use technology to make sure everyone can take part in conversations and activities.

Discrimination and the law

You must not discriminate against anyone when you're making decisions about home and hybrid working.

Discrimination means treating someone 'less favourably' than someone else because of these 'protected characteristics':

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
For example, an employer accepts a hybrid working request from a male employee who has children. The employer refuses a similar request from a female employee because they assume she'll be distracted by her children. This is 'direct discrimination' based on sex.

You must not implement a policy or rule that's the same for everyone but has a worse effect on someone because of a protected characteristic.

This is unless there's 'objective justification'. This is when an employer can prove a legitimate need for less favourable treatment.

For example, an employer does not allow anyone in a particular role to work from home. This disadvantages an employee who is disabled and finds it difficult to travel to the workplace every day. The employer does not have a good business reason for this decision. This is 'indirect discrimination' based on disability.

If an employee is disabled, you must make reasonable adjustments when they are in the workplace and working remotely.

It's important to understand what the law says about discrimination, so you know your responsibilities. Find out more about:

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