Q

Creating work-at-home agent agreements for call center employees

Learn what to include in work-at-home agent agreements and get a list of categories the agent agreement should address in this expert tip from Donna Fluss.

My call center is considering hiring work-at-home agents. Can you provide any sample work-at-home agent agreements that outline the accountabilities of the agent and the company? We want to make sure we have everything covered.
What is included in your work-at-home agent agreement will depend on your business model. If you hire contract employees in your call center, you will need one type of agreement. If you are hiring salaried employees, you'll need a different agreement with employee-related terms. The exact terms for either agent agreement should be written by your legal department and must take into account employment or contractor-related terms that are relevant in your state.

Here is a list of categories that a work-at-home agent agreement may address, depending on whether it's for employees or contractors:

1. Working hours

2. Vacation time and schedule

3. Lunch and break policy

4. Job description and responsibilities

5. Salary

6. Banking information for check deposit

7. List of required equipment and technology – desk, phone, phone line (if needed), Internet/broadband connection, PC, headset, etc.

8. Who (company or agent) is responsible for providing and maintaining the equipment

9. If equipment is provided by the company, a process for how the equipment should be returned if the individual quits or is released

10. Working environment requirements (private office that is noise-free)

11. Rights of employer to conduct surprise visits to at-home employees

12. Training requirements

13. Formal communications process

14. Confidentiality agreement to protect the company's intellectual property

15. Recording policy

16. Federal and state employment regulations

Independent contractor agreements must also address all of the standard terms and conditions to establish that the worker is independent. This generally includes the start and end date of the assignment.

This was first published in January 2009

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