Working from home is the new normal so work insurance should be adapted

Although lockdown is now gradually lifting for all areas of the UK, millions of us are still working from home.

That’s because understandably, most HR departments are reluctant to get employees back into the office for fear of spreading the virus.

Then there is the fact that many employees aren’t particularly desperate to put themselves in such close contact again with colleagues either. In a recent survey it was revealed that UK employees were the most reluctant in Europe to return back to the workplace. As many as one in four don’t want to go back to the office, according to the research by HR software company Personio.

In fact, many employers don’t intend to ask staff to come back until towards the end of the year. If at all. The result is that some homeworkers may find themselves at a desk in their spare room permanently.

Are workers covered from home for accidents?

So, if that’s the case, shouldn’t home and work insurance policies change too? At least that’s the thinking of many HR bosses and analysts in the insurance industry.

They are concerned that many individuals working from home won’t be covered for work-related accidents under their home insurance policy. Whereas they would have been in the office or when out and about in a client’s location, spilling a mug of coffee over a work laptop in their own kitchen, might be a different story.

During lockdown home and contents policies were available for those working from home. But now that the government is altering its policies towards getting people back to work, that is no longer the case for thousands of workers. These are the employees whose home insurance is only for ‘domestic’ accidents.

Insurance analysts say WFH is ‘new normal’

This is despite the fact that many in the insurance industry insist that working from home is becoming the ‘new normal’ and the government should make insurance provision based on this fact.

Co-founder and CEO of Urban Jungle @JimmyWilliams says:

“We think that it’s time all insurance policies officially reflected the big changes that are taking place in society. Changes such as flexible working, variable circumstances and an abundance of digital devices.

“The lines between work and home are likely to remain blurred for some time. So, I think what everyone wants is flexibility, and it’s time that the insurance industry reflected that.”

Williams added that young people in particular didn’t feel as if they were being protected, especially by the likes of large financial institutions. This includes by insurance companies, banks and the UK government itself.

The latest update on home working and insurance cover is expected to be revealed within the next day or two. The news will come from the insurance trade body, the Association of British Insurers (ABI). If there is no cover it could lead to a fall out between HR departments, home workers and the mighty insurance industry here in the UK.

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