Table of contents:

Corona Homeoffice: your rights and obligations
Corona Homeoffice: your rights and obligations

Video: Corona Homeoffice: your rights and obligations

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Covid and Work: Remote working internationally 2023, February
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More and more employees work in the home office during the corona crisis. Read here what rights, but also what obligations you have as an employee.

Table of contents Table of contents Working in the home office: your rights and obligations

  • Can the employer forcibly send me to my home office?
  • Can I decide to work in the home office myself?
  • What rules apply in the home office?
  • Who has to pay for the equipment for the home office?
  • How should the home office be set up?
  • How can you work concentratedly in your home office?
  • How is one insured in the home office?

Table of contents Table of contents Working in the home office: your rights and obligations

  • Can the employer forcibly send me to my home office?
  • Can I decide to work in the home office myself?
  • What rules apply in the home office?
  • Who has to pay for the equipment for the home office?
  • How should the home office be set up?
  • How can you work concentratedly in your home office?
  • How is one insured in the home office?

Can the employer forcibly send me to my home office?

In principle, the employer has no right to oblige his employees to do their jobs from home, because the private apartment is protected by the law.

Rather, an agreement must be reached between the parties involved in which it is clarified that the work will be done from home for a certain or - given the current situation during the corona crisis - for an indefinite period.

Can I decide to work in the home office myself?

Just as the employer cannot arrange the work in the home office without an agreement, the employee is not allowed to work from home without the consent of the employer - not even in exceptional situations such as the Corona crisis. The rule here is that the two parties must have agreed when and for how long the employee works in the home office.

Specifically, this means: If the employer prohibits work from home and was previously not common in the company or was regulated by contract (for example in the company agreement, the employment or collective agreement), the employee must appear at his usual place of work.

The fact that there is a fear of being infected with the Corona virus in the company or on the way to work does not establish a legal claim to home work. This danger is seen as a general life risk that the worker has to deal with.

What rules apply in the home office?

If an employee does his or her job in the home office, the same legal requirements apply as for work in the company building:

  • Break times must be observed,
  • the maximum daily maximum working hours must not be exceeded,
  • There must be at least eleven hours between the end of duty and the next start of work.

Specifically, this means that the employee is also obliged to take a half-hour break at the latest after six hours of uninterrupted activity in the home office in accordance with Section 4 of the Working Time Act (ArbZG). In addition, he may not work more than eight hours a day, in exceptional cases a maximum of ten hours (Section 3 ArbZG). In addition, it is not permitted to postpone work so late into the evening, for example due to the childcare also taking place at home, that it is not possible to maintain an eleven hour rest period before starting work the next morning (Section 5 ArbZG).

The extent to which employees and employers agree to make these regulations more flexible in the light of the corona-related situation is up to the two parties. From a legal point of view, however, the legal requirements also apply to the home office.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus (COVID-19)

To counteract the spread of the corona virus, many people now work in the home office.

Photo: iStock / CasPhotography

Who has to pay for the equipment for the home office?

Anyone who needs to technically equip the workplace away from the company premises in such a way that meaningful work is possible from there depends on why the activity should be relocated to the home office.

If the reason is more a requirement agreed with the employee to protect him, the employer usually has to provide the necessary equipment. On the other hand, if he allows the worker to work from home, because he is accommodating the employee so that he can look after his children, for example, the employee would have to pay for the necessary equipment. In the event of a legal dispute, the exact circumstances would be decisive here.

How should the home office be set up?

In order to work effectively in the home office, the workplace must be designed in a meaningful way. This applies in principle, but also if, due to the Corona crisis, employees are only temporarily dependent on a home office or something similar in their private home.

If you cannot set up your own room as an office, a corner of the apartment that is as quiet as possible should be equipped with a table and chair. There may also be power connections and sufficient space for the necessary work materials. A classic for a workplace in a private home is the office in the living room.

Since nobody can currently say how long the corona crisis will continue, the workplace in the home office should be designed as ergonomically as possible and be provided with sufficient light sources. It may be necessary to work from here for weeks. You should also make sure that you can easily take part in video conferences if necessary. Different video conference systems are used for this, depending on your employer.

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How can you work concentratedly in your home office?

The key to working effectively from home is to eliminate distractions. This is all the more important at the moment, because the current situation is very busy for many people. If additional disruptions are added, the quality of work and the workload can suffer.

These measures help you to concentrate on your home office:

  • Maintaining routines like going to the office (showering, dressing, having breakfast, starting work).
  • Continue the usual arrangements with colleagues or superiors via conference call or video chat. This also helps reduce social isolation.
  • Switch off interference factors (such as the smartphone) or put them out of range.
  • Remove private utensils from home.
  • Adhere to fixed working and break times.
  • Clear delimitation of working hours and free time.

How is one insured in the home office?

When working in the home office, employees are generally protected by statutory accident insurance. However, this only applies to accidents that are directly related to the activity. Example: The monitor tips over from the makeshift desk and injures the employee's hand. In this case, accident insurance will step in. However, if the cup falls on the foot while cooking coffee in the kitchen, the employee's regular health insurance applies.

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