Estate agents who are able to work from home to do their jobs must do so now following the Prime Minister’s ‘Plan B’ restrictions announcement last week.
Firms should also consider whether home working is appropriate for workers facing mental or physical health difficulties, or those with a particularly challenging home working environment.
Also, the new rules urge those who do work in-branch to consider taking lateral flow tests regularly to manage ‘your own risk and the risk to others’.
The new rules also remind the property industry that estate and letting agency employees who cannot work from home and are required to work in their office or branch must wear a face covering by law unless they are exempt or have a ‘reasonable excuse’.
Estate agents are also being told to work from home if they feel unwell.
Also, prompted by the rapid spread of the Omicron virus across the UK, the Government says: “Office workers who can work from home should do so from Monday 13 December.
“Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work – for example, to access equipment necessary for their role or where their role must be completed in person.
“In-person working will be necessary in some cases to continue the effective and accessible delivery of some public services and private industries.”
But, as a recent Employment Tribunal decision revealed, these new rules will put agencies in a difficult position if a staff member does not want to work with other estate agents in a branch environment, but their job – such as a sales or lettings negotiator role – is difficult to do properly at home outside a face-to-face team.