Working from home

What to consider when employees are working from home some or all of the time.

Employment agreement

If an employee is permanently changing their place of work, their employer should update their employment agreement to reflect this.

Employment agreements

Equipment and expenses

Employers should consider whether employees need any equipment to work from home effectively, for example, laptops, screens, headsets or office furniture.

Employers can choose to:

  • supply this equipment
  • ask the employee to provide it themselves
  • provide an allowance for it.

There is no specific legal entitlement to allowances. If employers choose to offer an allowance, when it will be paid and how much is up to them to agree with the employee.

Paying for general utilities like electricity, gas, water and smoke detectors is generally the employee's responsibility. Employers may choose to reimburse work calls if the employee is using a personal phone.

Benefits and allowances

Equipment, vehicles and clothing

Health and safety

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA), employers must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees. This includes their employees who are working from home. Employees also have responsibilities under HSWA.

Health and safety guidance about working from home can be found on the WorkSafe website.

Working from home – WorkSafe (external link)

Employees who regularly work from home might be at risk of social isolation. Employers should make sure employees have plenty of opportunities to stay connected with colleagues — for example, by regularly spending time in the office or having regular catchups by phone, email or video call.

Security and privacy

Employers might need to set up extra security for employees who are working from home, for example, using remote login tokens or specific work devices.

Employers who are considering monitoring their employees while they’re working at home must comply with their obligations under the Privacy Act 2020. 

Employee Privacy

Enabling staff to work remotely – CERT NZ (external link)

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