Guidelines for working remotely released

The New Zealand Law Society has released a Practice Briefing, Working Remotely, which outlines some of the ethical and practical considerations relevant to working remotely as a lawyer.

The guidance applies to both lawyers in private practice and in-house lawyers.

Working flexibly is increasingly common across all industries, with MBIE estimating that about 50% of workers have some flexibility in their work arrangements.

The Practice Briefing suggests that employers and employees should have a clear agreement on the policy for working from home and remotely.

Considerations which lawyers working from home need to address include being prepared for visits by a variety of people related to the lawyer’s practice. A suitable address for service also needs to be considered.

Client confidentiality and privacy, security issues and how clients will be met or accommodated are important matters, along with ensuring the personal safety of lawyers.

The Practice Briefing says lawyers who conduct a law practice from home must be ever-mindful of their paramount duty to the court and the administration of justice. Lawyers in practice on own account must also ensure that all employees are supervised.