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Who should own the remote work equipment?

Remote work throws up some curly questions. One of those is who should own the remote work equipment used by an employee or contractor? Should an organisation ensure it owns the equipment so it can update software and virus protection or is it okay for an employee or independent contractor to provide the computer and other equipment?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. But, regardless of the way the equipment ownership falls, the relationship between the employer and employee (or principal and contractor) should be correctly documented to avoid costly data breaches and security issues.

What documentation is required?

First and foremost an employee agreement or contractor’s agreement is a must. This is the first document between the parties and sets the tone for the relationship, including expectations and boundaries surrounding the relationship. One of the items I suggest that be included is who will own the equipment and what each party will provide. If an employee or contractor is to own the equipment, I suggest the employer makes clear the obligations to update anti-virus software and protect against malware policies.

Additionally, a remote work policy or workplace handbook should be attached to the employment or contractor’s agreement to ensure that the employee or contractor is aware of their obligations with respect to use of the employer’s system and the security requirements surrounding that.

Finally, the equipment must be set up correctly and the employee’s workplace must be ergonomically sound. A remote workplace occupational health and safety checklist can assist in that regard.

Why is the documentation required?

You may ask WHY all this stuff is required?

The short answer is to protect both parties but in particular to avoid the employer being sued when a data breach occurs and confidential client information is stolen because an employee or contractor has not updated their anti-virus software or followed correct company procedure in sharing information.

How do you get protected?

The Remote Expert offers a number of template documents establish or vary the employment agreement. We also offer policy documents and checklists. Check out our products here or get in touch with Emma Heuston for an obligation free 15 minute discovery call to enquire about customised documents for your organisation.