As of today, employers in Germany will allow their employees to do their work from home without coming to the office. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil said businesses found not complying with regulations will be asked to explain why it is not possible to work from home. Those who do not comply with the new regulation will be fined up to 30 thousand euros.
The directive on home work entered into force today, pursuant to the German government and state governments’ decision to expand the scope of coronavirus restrictions. Accordingly, as of today, employers will have to offer their staff the opportunity to work from home without coming to the office, if there are no technical obstacles.
Upon the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Germany, many institutions and companies, especially official offices, removed the obligation to come to work for their staff who did not have any obstacles to working from home, allowing them to work from their homes. In accordance with the decision to increase the scope of restrictions, the practice, which was previously a recommendation of the government to employers, has now become mandatory.
Fines of up to 30 thousand euros may be imposed on companies or businesses that do not comply with the decision, although there is no obstacle to their staff working from home.
Coalition partner Social Democratic Party (SPD) Parliamentary Group Deputy Chairman Katja Mast explained the basic principle of the new arrangement with the words “Whoever can work from home, he will work from home”.
Stating that especially office work should be done from home, Mast said, “We have greatly limited our private contacts, now it’s time for professional contacts.
Speaking to the German press agency dpa, Mast said that businesses do not need to strictly monitor whether they comply with the rules in question. “Many things are regulated by exemplary behavior and following each other. This applies to both business and personal life.
Whether businesses comply with the regulations will be inspected by the state’s officials responsible for occupational health and safety.
Labor Minister Hubertus Heil said businesses found to be failing to comply with the regulations will be asked to explain why Homeoffice is not possible. The Minister noted that those who do not have a valid excuse will be fined.