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Home internet outage: do we still pay worker?

Do you have to pay an employee if their home internet goes down?
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Home internet outage: do we still pay worker?

Home internet outage: do we still pay worker?

17 August 2020

Do we have to pay an employee if their home internet goes down and they are unable to work?
 
This question was recently sent to our Workplace Advice Line.

Q Due to COVID-19 we have deemed home as a place of work and all of our employees are working remotely. One employee was recently unable to complete his shift because his home internet went down. Through no fault of his own he could not complete any work that day.

Should he still be paid?

A The business should investigate what happened in that circumstance to determine whether there is an obligation to pay or not.

The employer could ask questions such as:

  • What happened to the internet connection?
  • Did the employee contact their provider to rectify the issue?
  • Was there an alternative like hot-spotting off a work mobile phone? and,
  • How soon did the employee notify the employer?

It is recommended employers have a working from home policy that covers the process an employee should follow in this circumstance.
 

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