Workers’ compensation covers costs that are directly related to injuries or sickness that happen on the job, which are, unfortunately, still things that can occur if you work remotely. Specifically, workers’ compensation covers things like medical debt, lost income, and any disability benefits that a worker might be eligible for in Rhode Island.
Here is the main drawback to remote workers’ compensation.
One of the main drawbacks of remote workers’ comp is that as an employee, it is hard to prove that the injury or sickness you’ve dealt with is directly related to your remote working environment. While interpretations can vary, things like getting up to take a bathroom break during the work day likely qualify as eligible for workers’ compensation. However, things, like your employees tripping over pets or getting sick after eating on a lunch break, may not make them eligible for workers’ compensation.
Consider creating a policy for telecommuting.
A telecommuting policy can help with defining what the employees’ job duties are, explaining what the expectations are regarding virtual meetings and status updates, and more. This is, of course, only necessary if your company uses telecommuting. Should you choose to utilize fully remote work, verifying workplace injuries becomes more difficult.
Inside of this policy, you should create guidelines for their remote workspace.
Typically speaking, it’s a good idea to include a policy for what the employees’ remote workspace should be composed of. Say, for instance, a closeable door, an ergonomic chair, and proper work-related equipment such as a computer and headset; all of these would be considered useful to have in a remote workspace environment.
When working with employees, it is important to remember that you need to reduce risks associated with the job as much as possible, so that you’ll have fewer workers’ comp cases to attend to. Also, all employees working in your company must be aware that they need to report any injuries or illnesses to you directly.