I have been told I must continue to work at home, but this is really difficult for me, what rights do I have?

Last updated: 11 May 2020

The social distancing restrictions are in place in an attempt to reduce the transmission risk of COVID-19. Part of the strategy involves people working from home when possible.

If there is a mobility clause in your contract of employment, it is likely that this will allow an employer to ask you work at home. Even where there is no mobility clause, there is an implied term in every contract of employment, that an employee will follow reasonable and lawful orders. In the circumstances, requiring employees to work from home is likely to be considered a reasonable request.

If you have already been working from home in the lockdown phase, but now feel that it is difficult for this to continue, you should explain to your employer why it is difficult to continue to do that. If it is unsafe or completely impracticable, you should not be required to work from home. Seek advice from Prospect in these circumstances.

You should bear in mind the government guidance on what businesses should remain open and which should close, along with the practicalities of how to implement social distancing.

This page is designed to give general information about members’ rights on returning to work. It does not cover all circumstances and should not be treated as a definitive answer. Members should contact Prospect either through the Member Contact Centre on 0300 600 1878 or contact their union rep or full-time officer for specific advice.