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According to statistics released by the Office of National Statistics at the start of November 2022, 12% of UK employees work exclusively from home. In addition, around another 25% are hybrid workers. That is to say that they spend part of their working week doing tasks at home and the rest located in an office or other type of workplace.

There is no doubt that remote working is here to stay. But despite this, there are still some working practices that need to be ironed out. One of which is who pays for the employee’s broadband connection.

Below we look at three options and consider the pros and cons of each approach.

1. The employer pays for their employees’ connection

2. The employee pays for the connection

3. The costs are shared

But before we do that it is important to note that there is actually no one size fits all answer here. In some situations, it will make sense for the employer to pay the entire amount, in others, there is no reason why the employee should not foot the bill.

The employer pays the bill

Most people would welcome their employer paying their broadband bill. They would understandably see it as a perk. Something that is important if you run a business in an industry which is struggling to recruit enough people.

Why having each employee pay for their own broadband works best

However, for most businesses having their employees pay their own bills is far more desirable. Doing things that way is easier. Having another outgoing to keep track of is something that no business owner needs. Especially not one that involves having to keep track of multiple deals for dozens, sometimes hundreds or thousands of home-working employees. It would be an administrative nightmare. It would potentially involve every single person who does hybrid work putting in an expense claim

Plus, there is the issue of handling the renewal and cancellation of individual contracts. It would require the maintenance of a large database and someone making sure that all of the contracts are renewed on time. Not to mention the complication of an employee, who would not be the bill payer, being able to get help from the ISP if their connection were to go down.

The middle ground – sharing the cost

Most of the drawbacks outlined above would equally apply if the employer were to only cover part of the cost. So, this is also not an attractive proposition. But potentially, a company can negotiate a deal with a national provider and give their employees a code to use when signing up, which triggers the discount. Or they could simply hand out gift cards which can be used to cover part of the cost. Big providers like Vodafone do issue them. But any company using this option would need to double-check the terms and conditions to ensure that these gift cards can be used to purchase broadband.

What the law says

Currently, UK employers are not required by law to provide employees with equipment and resources. But that could change.

In some countries, employers must pay for home worker´s broadband

In other countries, particularly in Europe, employers are required to provide equipment or make a significant contribution. This is very much the case in Spain, where the government pushed through long-term home working legislation while the pandemic was still raging. That legislation makes the employer responsible for covering the cost of any remote worker’s internet connection and electricity.

The fact the cost of living is rising is something that could also impact whether employers will end up paying for their home worker’s broadband. At some point, employees are going to have to ask for help with covering the extra costs working from home entails. Particularly those that were forced to take a pay cut when they switched to remote working.

Research carried out by the consumer group Which shows that the average home broadband bill is likely to rise by £100 or more, in 2023. To make things worse the majority of them will no longer be able to claim tax relief for this expense as they did during the pandemic.

Shopping around always makes sense

Regardless of who pays the bill, it makes sense to use comparison sites to find cheap home broadband deals. The best sites update their information daily, meaning that regardless of when a contract is up for renewal it is always easy to find the best offers.