With many businesses noticing the benefits of moving to hybrid working in the post-pandemic world, it is important to start considering employees’ home setups.
This should be considered as much of the employer’s responsibility as the employees to ensure that they have a well-equipped home office setup that will allow them to work as well as they would in an office.
However, not all workers will have the financial means to upgrade their home working situation by buying new desks and equipment to assist themselves.
Employers have a duty of care towards their staff, and they should remember to offer advice and support where they can. One way that businesses can support employees in creating a suitable working environment from home is an interest-free home workspace loan.
Offering these loans to financially support employees with anything from a new desk and chair to reorganising an office room will help those remotely working feel more comfortable with their environment.
It is important to note that this type of loan should be considered different to those usually offered by banks or loan providers.
This will not fall under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Therefore, offering the loan as an employee perk means the business can avoid any additional bureaucracy.
The loan scheme will, however, require authorisation if it is deemed a regulated activity and classed under the FCA regime.
For many employers, this could be complex to plan and implement considering important aspects like the structure of the loan and interest-rates. Because of this, we strongly advise that you seek assistance from our HR specialists.
If you decide to go ahead with offering this loan, businesses ought to be careful on how it is communicated and marketed to their employees.
All information should be clear and direct, with the terms of the loan and the expectations laid out to avoid any future issues.
It is essential that the amounts, timeframes, and eligibility of the benefit are determined by the employer from the get-go.
To entice workers to this benefit and your company, employers could offer the loan only to employees who have completed a year of employment at the company or have passed their probation period.
This is an extremely effective way of supporting staff wellbeing and workload during the transition to hybrid working and potentially assisting the business in retaining and attracting top talent, while also improving productivity for those working from home.
Nevertheless, this benefit will not suit every company. Smaller businesses may not have the financial capacity to offer a loan to every employee.
In this case, employers could consider offering a smaller-sized loan for things like desk chairs or computer keyboards. This will reassure workers that their wellbeing is being considered by the company, even whilst remotely working.
At HR Caddy, we understand the problems that organisations have with the red tape and legislation associated with employing staff and implementing employee incentives.
For more help or advice on this, please contact us today.