Germany Plans Legal Right To Work From Home After COVID-19

The country’s Labour Minister, Hubertus Heil, said he plans to get the legislation ready in autumn 2020.

07.05.2020 | by Christy Romer
Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

During the coronavirus lockdown, all but essential workers have been forced to stay at home.

While this has led to paid leave for many workers, it has also forced many companies to realise that more flexible, online forms of working are possible.

Working from home is clearly very attractive for many people — particularly those with caring responsibilities, or large office commutes to get to work. Stories have cropped up around the world about a desire to hang on to working from home benefits once lockdown is lifted.

In Germany, the number of workers working from home has increased to almost 8 million people over the past few months. This is equivalent to 25% of the workforce, German Labour Minister Hubertus Heil told Bild am Sonntag, as covered in ABC News.

The senior politician is now pushing for people to have a legal right to work from home if doing so is possible. “Everyone who wants to and whose job allows it should be able to work in a home office, even when the corona pandemic is over,” Heil told the German newspaper. “We are learning in the pandemic how much work can be done from home these days.”

The idea is for legislation to be presented in the autumn, which would give workers the option to choose between switching entirely to working from home, or to do so one or two days a week.

ABC adds that Heil had been calling for the right to work from home since December, even before the coronavirus crisis struck in Europe.

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