Workers’ compensation insurance might be challenging when employees work from home. Here is what you should know about outside-the-office workplace accidents and ways to reduce telecommuting hazards.
Over the last few years, remote work has increased, and the COVID-19 trend accelerated this development. Over 60% of American employees have worked remotely since the pandemic’s beginning.
More individuals are telecommuting, so services like Cerity help with workers’ compensation insurance necessary for their remote workers and how it works if someone is wounded.
The number of remote employees is on the rise, and with that comes the question of whether or not these workers are eligible for workers’ compensation. The answer is not always clear, as it depends on a number of factors. I
This article will outline the standards for workers’ compensation offered by companies like Cerity, how it functions, what it includes, and how to lower the risk of accidents with remote employees.
What are the benefits of workers’ compensation?
There are a number of benefits that come with workers’ compensation for remote employees. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it helps to ensure that employees are able to receive medical care and treatment if they are injured while working. In addition, workers’ compensation can also help to provide lost wages and income if an employee is unable to work due to their injury.
Another key benefit of workers’ compensation is that it helps to create a safe working environment for all employees. By providing financial protection for those who are injured on the job, employers are incentivized to create a safer workplace for everyone. This can include ensuring that there are proper safety protocols in place, as well as providing training and education on how to avoid workplace injuries.
Overall, workers’ compensation is a vital program that provides important protection for both employees and employers. By ensuring that employees have access to medical care and income if they are injured, employers can create a safer workplace while also protecting themselves from potentially costly lawsuits.
Do Remote Workers Require Compensation?
In almost every state, you must have workers’ compensation insurance if your company has one or maybe more employees. That also applies to distant workers.
Workers’ compensation pays for expenses associated with an employee’s illness or injury sustained on the job, such as:
Employer’s liability insurance is also typically included in policies. If an employee brings a claim against you for an injury, this can cover:
Judgments or agreements
Workers’ compensation insurance typically pays for any accident that “arises out of and during the process of employment.” This implies that an injury sustained while performing work-related tasks during business hours may be a legitimate claim, even if it occurs at home.
How Would Workers’ Compensation Apply To Remote Workers?
Most workers consider remotely working as a benefit. However, there are certain disadvantages for employers.
You have minimal control over an employee’s workspace when they work remotely. It could be challenging to locate witnesses if a remote employee gets hurt while on the job.
State interpretations differ, but the personal convenience doctrine is generally used. According to this, employees should receive compensation for injuries sustained while performing tasks like grabbing a sip of water or using the restroom while working.
But the laws are not always clear-cut. For example, it doesn’t always follow that an injury is work-related only because your employee is working on the clock. It depends on what they do and the situation.
How Will This Policy Work?
Working from anywhere is one of the appeals of remote employment, but some employees could abuse this freedom. Request a teleworking agreement from your staff members, including rules for their home office setting, to ensure efficiency.
Create a home safety protocol for your staff to adhere to prevent workplace injuries at home. Additionally, it needs to offer advice on how to lower potential dangers, such as cleaning up the employee’s home office. You should also put ergonomics information on your checklist.
Hiring remote workers makes your company more vulnerable to data breaches and cyberattacks. The risk increases when those employees utilize their private Wi-Fi network or PC for work.
Workers’ compensation is one of the many commercial insurance plans that can safeguard your company from unforeseen expenses and offer peace of mind. For instance, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) safeguards your company if a worker files a claim alleging discrimination or the unlawful termination of employment.
What are some alternative options for remote employees?
There are a few different ways that employers can provide workers’ compensation coverage for their remote employees. One option is to purchase a policy that specifically covers remote employees. Another option is to add an endorsement to the company’s existing policy that covers employees who work from home. Some companies choose to self-insure for workers’ compensation, which means they set aside money each year to cover any claims that may come up.
No matter which option you choose, it’s important to make sure that your remote employees are covered in case of injury or illness. Workers’ compensation can help them cover medical expenses and lost wages if they’re unable to work, and it can also provide peace of mind knowing that they’re taken care of financially if something happens.
As a result of COVID-19 and the launch of the Federal Stimulus program, 47 million Americans voluntarily left their occupations during this time, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor participation rate, however, has been rising since the fall of 2024. By Feb 2024, 1.87 million individuals had returned to employment, double the 621,000 who had done so in the previous three months. With the understanding that their firm can still function efficiently without the staff being in the workplace five days a week, organizations have implemented more flexible remote employment options to attract candidates. In such a scenario, workers’ compensation for remote workers sounds vital.