Introduction to this document

Use of company equipment policy

Our use of company equipment policy statement is particularly suitable if you have home workers to whom you provide designated items of equipment to enable them to carry out their duties. It makes them responsible for looking after your equipment and for paying for repairs or replacements where it’s lost, stolen or damaged due to their negligence, etc.

Their responsibility

With an increasing trend towards alternative work arrangements, such as employees working from home, the chances are that this will involve the employee taking some items of company equipment out of the office. If the employee works remotely, this could involve a computer, printer and telephone, as well as standard office equipment such as a desk, chair and filing cabinet. If you do let employees take equipment out of the office, it’s important that they understand they need to look after it properly, just as they would if they were in the office. Our Use of Company Equipment Policy statement imposes an obligation on the employee to ensure the equipment is properly looked after and securely stored and it prohibits them from using the equipment for personal purposes. It also requires the employee to return it either on demand or on termination of their employment. Finally, it makes the employee responsible for any loss, theft or damage which is due to their negligence or deliberate or reckless act or omission. The employee will not only face potential discipline but will also have to pay for the repair or replacement costs.

Receipt and deductions form

The best way to deal with recouping your losses is to ask the employee to sign a receipt form which sets out the designated items of equipment that have been loaned to them and which confirms that they consent to a sum equal to the market value of the equipment (or the reasonable cost of repair) to be deducted from their wages should it be lost, stolen or damaged due to their negligence or deliberate or reckless act or omission or should they fail to return it either when demanded or in the event of termination of their employment. That way, you not only have an inventory in case of later dispute about what the employee has, but also their explicit consent to make deductions from their wages should this later be necessary. You can only make deductions from an employee’s wages if either this is in their contract of employment or they have signed an agreement signifying their consent to the making of the deduction. Make sure your deductions provision is drafted so as to represent an estimate of the loss that you’ll suffer as a result of the employee’s failure to take care of or return your property; it must not act as an extravagant penalty on them out of all proportion to your loss.