Night Workers – What is all the fuss?

Night work is often in the news. Union bosses are often complaining that there are major risks for night workers including more accidents and health issues for shift and night workers as well as night working wrecking the work-life balance.

A recent Labour Force Survey (produced by the Office for National Statistics (“ONS”)) in relation to night work revealed that the number of workers who routinely work nights has increased by 200,000 since 2007 to just under 3.2 million – a rise of 6.9% over a period when the workforce grew by around 4.6%.

So, what is night work?  And what is special about night work as far as employment legislation is concerned?

Given that the definition which most people would offer would vary with the seasons, it is helpful that the Working Time Regulations (“WTR”) define “night time” is the period between 23:00 and 06:00 – though employers and employees can agree their own definition of night time hours, provided the period in question lasts for at least 7 hours and includes the hours between midnight and 05:00.

Having resolved the definition of “night time”, who is a night worker?  That question is also answered by WTR.  A night worker as a person who works for at least three hours during “night time”.

Night work obligations on employers within WTR (some of which overlap with obligations relating to all employees) include:

Taking all reasonable steps to protect workers’ health and safety to ensure that each worker’s average working time (including overtime) does not exceed 48 hours per week.  Though the topic of the 48 hours working week is too large to be dealt with here, it is worth issuing a reminder that simply because an employee signs a 48 hours waiver does not mean that an employer can wash his hands of health and safety obligations;

taking all reasonable steps to ensure that night workers’ normal hours of work do not exceed 8 hours per day on average;

ensuring that no night worker doing work involving special hazards, or heavy physical or mental strain, works for more than 8 hours in any day;

ensuring that all night workers have the opportunity of a free health assessment when starting night work – and at regular intervals thereafter;

transferring a night worker to day work, where possible, if a doctor advises that night work is causing health problems;

giving workers adequate rest breaks where the pattern of work is such as to put their health and safety at risk (particularly where the work is monotonous);

allowing workers the following rest periods:

11 hours’ uninterrupted rest per day

24 hours’ uninterrupted rest per week (or 48 hours per fortnight);

a break of 20 minutes where the working period is 6 hours or more;

keeping and maintaining records to demonstrate compliance with the above obligations.

That is quite a substantial number of obligations.  Employers of day workers need do little more than offer a 20 minutes break, and make sure that they have their workers’ signatures to 48 hour waivers.  Employers of night workers are rather less fortunate.

If you employ night workers and feel you need further help please do not hesitate to contact us.

How you can get it wrong in a disciplinary and end up in court?

There is nothing more frustrating for employers than discovering that an employee dismissed for blatant misconduct has a claim for unfair dismissal.

So what are the top 10?

  1. HR involvement in decision-making

Managers carrying out disciplinary investigations and hearings will usually rely on guidance from HR as to policy and procedure, as well as previous disciplinary sanctions for the purposes of consistency.

However, HR involvement should not stray into assessments of the employee’s credibility or culpability. Managers need to make the decisions not HR.

HR advisers should restrict their involvement to issues of law, policy, guidance and procedure.

  1. Dismissing for a reason not covered by your disciplinary policy

Employers should ensure that their approach is in line with all relevant policies, not just the disciplinary procedure.

Whistleblowing and grievance procedures, or policies covering activities outside the workplace, may also be relevant. Once an employer has decided what acceptable conduct is for employees and prepared policies accordingly, these need to be followed.

A fair procedure and consideration of any mitigating factors are required and the tribunal will still consider if the decision to dismiss was fair in all the circumstances.

  1. Relying on breach of implied contractual terms

Employees are obliged to disclose their own wrongdoing only if they owe a fiduciary duty to their employer, or if an obligation arises under their contract of employment.

In the absence of clear wording in the employment contract, it is probably unfair to dismiss an employee for failing to report his or her own misdeeds.

  1. Dismissing for a reason not put to the employee at the outset

Employers must not be tempted to add further matters part of the way through the disciplinary process, unless a full procedure is followed for each allegation.

  1. Over-reliance on earlier warnings

Previous warnings can be a minefield for employers. Other than in cases of gross misconduct, dismissal is likely to be unfair unless there is a live final written warning.

Relying on an expired warning is extremely dangerous.

  1. Dismissing without considering other sanctions

Do not assume that a finding of gross misconduct automatically justifies summary dismissal.

A tribunal will expect to see evidence that the decision-maker has considered if this is the appropriate penalty in each case.

It is important to consider all the circumstances, including the penalty that has been applied in similar cases, the employee’s length of service and disciplinary record. Any mitigating circumstances should also be taken into account.

These might include the employee’s remorse for his actions as well as any personal circumstances that may be relevant.

  1. Muddling investigatory and disciplinary meetings

If an employee owns up to misconduct during an investigatory meeting, you may be tempted to move straight to a disciplinary sanction. This should be avoided.

There may still be issues that need to be investigated; for example, if the employee alleges that the conduct in question is widespread or condoned by their manager.

Further, the procedural requirements that apply to a disciplinary meeting will not have been followed, meaning that any dismissal is also likely to breach the ACAS Code

Keep a record of the employee’s admission and, once the investigation is complete, convene a separate disciplinary hearing. As usual, the employee should be given time to prepare for the disciplinary hearing and a chance to make representations.

There may be mitigating factors to take into account, and the tribunal will still expect the employer to have acted reasonably and to have considered these.

  1. Dismissing without any process during the probationary period

Given that employees who are still under probation have short notice periods and are unable to claim ordinary unfair dismissal, some employers may choose to dismiss without following any procedure during this time.

However, it is important to remember that there is no service requirement for claims of automatically unfair dismissal; for example, dismissal for whistleblowing or for a health and safety reason.

All workers and job applicants are also protected under discrimination law regardless of length of service. Employers should therefore consider if any such issues might arise before moving straight to dismissal.

  1. Increasing sanction to dismissal on appeal

Employers sometimes consider increasing a final written warning to dismissal as part of the appeal process.

This might be because the appeal manager takes a different view as to the severity of the misconduct, or because further information comes to light.

Increasing the penalty in this way can be risky. It is important to ensure that such a step is permissible under the employer’s own disciplinary policy.

Employers should bear in mind that such a step is contrary to the Acas code, which expressly states that appeal should not result in an increased sanction (as this may deter individuals from appealing).

  1. Choosing an inappropriate decision-maker

The ACAS code provides that, where possible, different people should conduct the investigation and the hearing and then a further person for any appeal.

The appeal should ideally be heard by someone senior to the original decision-maker and from a different reporting line. This can be a particular problem for small employers, where finding separate decision-makers for the initial hearing and appeal stage can be tricky.

And finally, don’t forget…

With so many potential pitfalls, employers may wonder how a dismissal is ever fair. There are, however, two things to bear in mind.

First, while procedure is important, tribunals retain a degree of pragmatism. Employers need to demonstrate that they have been reasonable and above all fair.

Second, while a procedural flaw may result in a technical finding of unfair dismissal, it is still open to the employment tribunal to reduce the compensation awarded, either to reflect the employee’s culpability for his or her own dismissal (contributory fault) or because the procedural errors made no difference to the overall outcome

That said, it is better to avoid these pitfalls, if only to prevent the waste of time and cost of an employment tribunal.

Travel Time and Mobile Workers

Late last year the European Court of Justice handed down a decision relating to workers who do not have a fixed place of work involving implications for many businesses.

The case was brought by a group of technicians who did not have a fixed place of work. They were assigned an area to carry out installation or maintenance and would be told where they would be going on each particular day. On some days their first or last appointments may have been up to 100km away from their home.

The employer of these technicialns considered that the first journey of the day from home to the first assignment and the last journey of the day from the last assignment to home was not working time. Indeed, this follows the non-statutory guidance issued by the Government on the same issue.

The workers considered that this should be deemed as working time on the basis that they did not have a fixed place of work.

The European Court of Justice reviewed the legislation on working time which, in the United Kingdom, is the Working Time Regulations 1998. This states that: “working time involves any period during which the employee is at work, at the employer’s disposal and carrying out their activity or duties.” The decision of the ECJ was that time spent travelling to a first destination from home and from a last destination to home should be counted as working time. The workers were deemed to be carrying out their duties when travelling to a first client because they had no fixed place or office to go to beforehand. They were at the employer’s disposal because they were legally obliged to obey the instructions given to travel to a particular place at a particular time and the employees could not use their time freely or pursue their own interests during this travel time. Finally, they were deemed to be at work as, having no fixed place of work, the journey itself amounted to work.

So what does this mean to you? this ruling covers any staff who do not work in a fixed locations so anyone that moves around and starts and ends from home. This will cover external sales persons, engineers, carers and such like roles.

It is important to remember that the decision impacts on working time for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations 1998. This means that such travel time for mobile workers must be included when determining whether an employee has been afforded the opportunity of adequate rest breaks and daily rest periods. Within the WTR there is a limit on working time of 48 hours maximum each week unless they have opted out of this.

Employers should review whether such travel time exceeds this limit. If it does, employers should ensure that an adequate opt-out is signed allowing employees to work in excess of 48 hours.

Some people have made comment that the decision may also impact on minimum wage legislation. It is suggested that such travel time should now be counted for the purpose of assessing whether an employee has been paid the minimum wage. At this time, the ruling does not extend this far, as the National Minimum Wage Regulations provides a different definition of working time. Nevertheless, this may be litigated on in the future and employers should be mindful of this going forward.

If in doubt, please give us a call.

Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

This is a subject that small employers often are unsure on how to support their staff.

Ignoring it or hoping it sorts itself out is not the solution.

To help here are some tips and information.


1. Mental health can affect anyone

Most people have heard that one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. As with physical health, everyone has the capacity to develop the issue at any time – just like anyone can break their ankle on their way to work or be hit by that nasty bug that seems to go around every winter. Most of us will know how to respond to these situations without confusion or fear of offending – however there is a sizeable gap in our understanding when someone experiences panic attacks or symptoms of depression, or even if they just feel that they’re not handling things as well as they would normally.


2. Mental health conversations benefit everyone

If we consider that everyone has mental health, then a positive and open attitude towards it would be of benefit to all – whether they are the one in four UK people that Mind estimates suffer from mental health problems in a year, or the three out of four that don’t. Even when it is not an employee who is suffering from mental health issues, it may be someone in their family or a close friend, so they could still be bearing a significant burden and would benefit from support, especially in the workplace where the wellbeing, and therefore performance and productivity, of employees are key considerations.
If we carry the notion that mental health is a topic for all, promoting openness around mental wellbeing could theoretically go a long way to ensuring that the whole organisation benefits from a cohesive and joined up strategy, often contributing to the development of the wider cultural agenda for the organisation.


3. Mental health conversations are not just for managers

It has been clearly established that promoting openness around mental health in the workplace can contribute to the wider diversity and cultural objectives of organisations. However, if there is a benefit for individuals to talk about mental health, it shouldn’t just fall to managers to start conversations with their teams. While the wellbeing of staff is obviously key for managers, it’s a task for everyone to ensure that anyone, who finds themselves with a mental health issue, is also supported by their peers and colleagues. The more understanding everyone has, the more opportunities individuals have to open up about their mental health at a more informal level.


4. Having the conversation

Despite attitudes improving over the last few years, mental health is still something that carries a certain stigma fuelled by people’s misunderstanding, fear and the innocent notion that it “may not happen to them”. The more we educate and talk about mental health at all stages, the easier we will find it to encourage openness, start conversations and develop engaged and productive workplaces.


If you want to know more please do not hesitate to contact us on 01924 441032 or

Disciplinary procedures: Six common mistakes made by inexperienced managers

Inexperienced managers can struggle to put disciplinary policies into practice.

Employers often spend a large amount of time drafting a fair disciplinary policy, but fail to give the same attention to training their staff to put it into practice.

Here are six common mistakes made by inexperienced managers:

  1. Not following the Acas code of practice

Managers need to be familiar with the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, as well as their own disciplinary rules and procedures.

Although a failure to follow the code does not in itself make an employer liable to proceedings, employment tribunals will take the code into account when considering relevant cases.

  1. Not warning the employee of the possible consequences

The employee must be made fully aware of the likely disciplinary penalties if the allegations are upheld.

Depending on the seriousness of the allegations, the possible penalty might be a formal verbal warning, a written warning, a final written warning or indeed dismissal. In short, the disciplinary decision should not contain any surprises.

  1. Including new allegations without investigating

It can be tempting to add any new allegations that surface during a disciplinary investigation to the current ones that are subject to the disciplinary process.

This is not advisable, as any fresh allegations must be fully investigated before a disciplinary hearing takes place.

  1. Issuing the penalty without considering all relevant factors

Managers should consider what type of penalty has been imposed in similar cases in the past. They should then bear in mind the particular circumstances. This can include the employee’s disciplinary record, his or her general work record and position within the organisation as well as length of service.

Managers must also take into account any mitigating circumstances. This could cover matters relating to the employee’s health, any domestic problems, or whether or not the behaviour in question arose due to the employee being provoked. If the employee has breached a rule, consideration needs to be given to whether or not the employee was reasonably aware of that rule.

  1. Not checking what penalties are allowed under the disciplinary policy

Only in very serious cases will summary dismissal for a first offence be merited. In cases of minor misconduct, a series of warnings before dismissal will be more fitting.

  1. Getting the reason for the dismissal wrong

Employers sometimes struggle to categorise the type of behaviour that has given rise to the allegation. A dismissal will be considered unfair, even if the employee could have been dismissed fairly on the facts, if the stated reason for the dismissal is incorrect.

So if you are not sure – get some help – call us on 01924 441032.

Redundancy Pools – what are they?

Determining the correct way to do a redundancy pool is essential to carrying out a fair redundancy exercise. To avoid getting it wrong at this early stage we have compiled this guide to help – myth and fact!

1) Myth – It is okay to select fixed-term employees for redundancy because of their fixed-term status and not include them in the redundancy pool.

Fact – The Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 are relevant here. What this means is that it is unlawful to treat fixed-term employees less favourably than comparable permanent employees just because they are on a fixed-term contract. Employers should not select fixed-term employees for redundancy because of their fixed-term status and should include them in the redundancy pool for selection alongside permanent staff.

2) Myth – There is only one correct way to define the redundancy pool.

Fact – Employers have some flexibility as to how they determine the redundancy pool – there is no “one size fits all” approach. However, employers will still have to show that they have considered the scope of the pool carefully and based their decision on genuine reasons so the matrix is essential. Additional measures around agreeing the pool for selection will need to be taken where union or employee representatives are involved.

3) Myth – There is no need to pool transferring employees under a TUPE transfer with existing employees.

Fact – It may be necessary to put existing and transferring employees within one redundancy pool, depending on the circumstances. Much will depend on job functions and whether both sets of employees can be required to perform the same work. If the pool is incorrectly defined, this could lead to claims of automatically unfair dismissal under TUPE.

4) Myth – There is no need to include employees from two associated companies within one redundancy pool.

Fact – If the definition of “associated company” under the Employment Rights Act 1996 is met, then employers will need to consider pooling employees from an associated company with those who are at risk in the company where the need for redundancy arises. Employers will need to consider factors such as whether both sets of employees carry out the same or similar job functions

5) Myth – Those on maternity leave have special protection from redundancy and should not be included in the pool for selection.

Fact – The law does not, in fact, prevent those employees who are on maternity leave from being placed in a redundancy pool. However, employers will need to be sure that their rationale for including an employee on maternity leave is objective and non-discriminatory. It is also worth bearing in mind that an employee who is made redundant while on maternity leave has special rights relating to being offered suitable alternative work.

So – to avoid getting it wrong – get specialised help and ring us before you take action.

Criminal Records & Human Rights, the effect on employment

Do you undertake criminal record checks on your staff? If so read on

In this blog, we will consider the following

  • Criminal record checks
  • Job applicants with convictions
  • Jobs where it is lawful to ask for details of spent convictions

There has recently been some court action challenging the requirement on job seekers to disclose to prospective employers less serious offences, or offences that were committed a long time ago or when the offender was a minor.

In 2013, the Government amended the criminal record checks scheme to allow the filtering out of single convictions for some offences.

Since 2013, single convictions for non-violent, non-sexual offences that did not lead to a custodial sentence or a suspended sentence have been filtered out after 11 years (or after five years and six months if the offender was a minor at the time of the offence).

The changes were made after several cases in which individuals successfully argued that minor offences, or offences that they had committed in the distant past or when they were children, were preventing them from obtaining employment.

The case law culminated in a Supreme Court ruling that it was a human rights breach for the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to lead to: an individual being unable to take a part-time role with a local football club over police warnings he received after he stole two bicycles when he was 11 years old; and a job applicant being prevented from working in the care sector because of a 2001 police caution for leaving a store with a packet of false nails for which she had not paid.

However, the amended rules provide that disclosure takes place when there is more than one conviction, regardless of the offence or circumstances.

This “multiple conviction rule” has been the subject of a further legal challenge.

Two individuals whose convictions were not filtered because they had committed more than one minor offence successfully challenged the revised scheme in a judicial review application in the High Court. So, it should be considered in this sort of circumstance whether the criminal record checks had been disproportionate. The purpose of the two-conviction rule is specifically (and legitimately) intended to target inclusion of those cases which reveal a pattern of offending behaviour. Where a pattern of offending behaviour is demonstrated, it is entirely legitimate to conclude that such information should be available to potential employers.

The problem is that it is not necessarily the case that two convictions do represent a pattern of offending behaviour: indeed, on very many occasions, they don’t.

The High Court has found that the revised criminal record checks scheme is incompatible with the right to respect for private life under the European Convention of Human Rights.

The Government challenged the High Court decision in the Court of Appeal and, at the application of the multiple conviction rule, The Court rejected the Government’s argument that a review mechanism for testing the proportionality of the disclosure in each case would not be feasible.

According to the Court of Appeal, it should be possible to introduce a filter that considers the nature of the offences and the length of time since convictions.

An alternative suggestion from the Court of Appeal was a mechanism for review in specific circumstances, like the process for removal from the sex offenders’ register.

So, what do you do?

Well if there is a need to check, because of the nature of the work your company and staff do, you can justify why you need to carry out this part of the process of employing staff

BUT if there is no justification for you to do these checks, you could get into hot water – if in doubt give us a ring.

Undoubtedly there will be cases where a job offer (made subject to a clear check) will have to be withdrawn, but as this article has noted, you should treat each case on its own merits – to follow a blanket policy to withdraw the job offer whenever you do not obtain a clear check may be challenged and you just may lose!

What should employers be aware of if they want to facilitate homeworking?

The aim for encouraging this type of work practice is not only to make you a progressive and enlightened employer but also to encourage smarter working practices. Cutting out the commute by allowing people to work from home can be a win-win; offering opportunities for the employer to reduce/reallocate office space and, for the worker, the benefit of valuable time-savings.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 13.9% of the UK’s workforce were homeworkers in January to March 2014, up from 11.1% in 1998, and the proportion of the UK workforce working from home is likely to rise as employers increasingly recognise that flexible working, including homeworking, can bring benefits to their organisation.

Homeworking may mean working exclusively from home, but the term “homeworker” can also be used to describe those who divide their working time between home and their employer’s premises, work at home on an occasional basis, or are mobile workers who use their home as an administrative base. Whatever the precise arrangement, there are a number of issues for an employer to consider.

Do you need to change your Employment Contracts?

It will normally be appropriate to tailor a standard employment contract to reflect any homeworking arrangements. In some instances, it may also be sensible to put in place specific policies to cover off some of the more practical arrangements.

Particular changes to the contract to consider include the following:

Place of work – if the employee will be predominantly working from home, the normal place of work will be the employee’s home, although the contract should also include a provision that the employee can be required to attend the office as necessary. There should also be a provision for what happens if the employee moves house – particularly if the move is further away from the office which may have financial implications for the employer.

Hours of work – specify when the employee will need to be available for work. For example, will the employee be required to observe strict office hours, have complete flexibility over when they work, or have certain “core hours” when they must be available. Will they be required to account for their time and if so, how?

Salary and benefits – you should take care that homeworkers are not treated less favourably on grounds of any protected characteristic. For example, if an individual is working from home because of ill-health and receives less favourable benefits than a comparable office-based employee, they may claim disability discrimination. Ensure, for example, that they have access to work related benefits (such as the staff canteen or workplace gym) even though they may not use them regularly.

Expenses – consider whether or not employees will be entitled to expenses for travel to the office or a contribution towards telephone, broadband, heating and lighting costs. Other expenses to consider include postal/courier costs, stationery costs and photocopying/printing costs. If certain conditions are met, payments by employers to reimburse employees for reasonable additional costs incurred as a result of homeworking can be tax exempt.

Confidentiality and data protection – this can be difficult to supervise remotely so include an express term to address what is considered confidential information and the necessary protections required (such as passwords, encryption, a secure filing cabinet, a shredder etc.) and make sure data protection obligations are maintained. If the employee is using their own computer/phone ensure you have a right to monitor work communications on those devices.

Equipment – will the employee require specific equipment to perform their work? If so, who will provide and pay for this equipment and who is permitted to access it? Will the equipment need to be insured and, if so, whose responsibility will it be to arrange and pay for this?

Right to enter – do you want to include a licence to enter the employee’s home (on reasonable notice) to install, maintain or service any company equipment, or retrieve it on termination? A right to enter may also help enable you to carry out risk assessments for health and safety purposes, although legal advice in terms of enforcing this right would be needed if the employee (or another person) was refusing entry.

Trial period – consider allowing the homeworking for a trial period, and include this in the contract, so you can assess if the arrangement will work in the longer term. It is also worth including the right to require the employee to revert to office-based working.

There are also practical considerations to consider when agreeing to a homeworking arrangement.

Health & Safety

An employer is responsible for an employee’s health, safety and welfare so far as is reasonably practicable. This means that employers must conduct risk assessments of all the work activities carried out by employees, including those working from home.

Whilst most homeworkers will be doing low risk, desk-based jobs, you should ensure appropriate risk assessments are conducted both at the start of the homeworking arrangement and periodically thereafter. Consider how you might regulate stress levels, how you might ensure that rest breaks and other working time obligations will be met, whether specialist equipment is required or needs to be safety tested, first aid arrangements, and reporting work-related accidents. The Health and Safety Executive provides useful guidance regarding homeworking.


There is no legal obligation on an employer to provide the equipment necessary for homeworking. However, it is advisable to consider this on a case-by-case basis – particularly where the employee may suffer from a disability and the provision of such equipment could be considered a reasonable adjustment.

Most employers will provide basic equipment at least. For example, most will want homeworkers to use only company computer equipment to ensure compatibility as well as maintenance of virus protection and other security measures. It may also be sensible to provide the homeworker with a dedicated telephone line.

If the employee will be using their own computer equipment, agree whether the employer should pay for its maintenance, repair and fair wear and tear.

Data Protection & Security

Carry out a risk assessment of the data protection implications of homeworking. This would include consideration of the following:

  • Who might have access to the employee’s computer?
  • Is the employee’s home adequately secure?
  • What rules do you have regarding encryption, use of passwords, and the transfer of data between home and office?
  • What rules do you have in place regarding the retention of data?
  • What measures should be taken against accidental loss, destruction or damage
  • Reporting & Performance Monitoring/Reviews

Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Adapting your reporting and review procedures, as well as individual management styles, will be important both for the homeworker – who may otherwise feel isolated and without support – and the employer – as you will need to monitor the quality and/or quantity of the homeworker’s output and retain the relevant level of control over the relationship.

Consider formalising the contact that homeworkers should have with their manager (for example being required to report in at least once per day/week). You could also require homeworkers to attend the office for regular meetings.


Check your public liability insurance policy to see if it covers employees working from home. Make sure your actions (or any lack of action) don’t invalidate the insurance.

Mortgage Provider Consent

Remind the homeworker that they must have consent from their mortgage provider to work from home unless it is on the ‘odd’ occasion


The mere fact that an employee is working from home should not change their tax status – you should still deduct income tax and national insurance contributions as normal.

However, you may advise the employee:

  • to check any potential council tax liability which might result from homeworking;
  • that some of their homeworking expenses may be tax deductible;
  • that, in limited circumstances, they may be entitled to a tax deduction in respect of the expenses of travelling from home to the office; and
  • if computer equipment provided by the employer is used for anything more than “insignificant” private use, a tax charge may arise.

Working Time

Normally, time spent by an employee travelling to their place of work would not count as “working time” under the Working Time Regulations 1998. However, where the employee’s normal place of work is their home and they travel to their employer’s premises or to see clients/customers, this could count as “working time”. You will need to ensure that homeworkers do not exceed the 48-hour limit on their working week when travel is considered (or that they have opted out of the maximum hours’ cap).

The war for talent is strong in the market place and people are demanding to work differently. With employees increasingly welcoming the opportunity to work from home, employers that can offer this should reap the rewards from this competitive advantage.