Berlin (dpa) – Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) plans to introduce a home office requirement for businesses through a new regulation.
In addition, there are stricter rules in the workplace to prevent the corona virus from spreading further in professional life. The corresponding draft for the regulation has been submitted to the German press agency. Employers warn against a “home office bureaucracy”.
From a so-called seven-day incidence of 50, employers should therefore be required to ‘offer employees in the case of office work or similar activities to perform these activities at home (home office) if there are no compelling operational reasons’, states the draft regulation. . In addition, a minimum surface area of ten square meters per employee in a room may not be undershot, “insofar as the work to be performed allows this”. The news portal “The Pioneer” had previously reported about it. The local authorities are responsible for any checks on the implementation of the planned requirements.
However, the regulation also leaves room for maneuver. It is said that in the event that the above measures cannot or cannot be fully implemented, the employer must “ensure equivalent protection of workers through other appropriate protective measures”, “in particular through ventilation measures and adequate separation between those present”.
Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) said on the sidelines of digital consultations with EU Finance Ministers: “I think we can all agree that now is the time to create more home offices where possible.” This reduces contacts in the companies and contacts on the way to and from work. He is confident that “binding force” will be the result of the deliberations of the federal and state governments. “That’s my very solid impression,” said Scholz. He sees great agreement on this matter.
The planned regulation imposes further requirements on employers for the organization of daily working life in the company: For example, from an incidence value of 50 under certain conditions, “at least medical face masks” (surgical masks) must be provided. Eating together in the break room is also prohibited from this value. Employers in larger companies where employees work in confined spaces are also required to offer weekly quick tests starting at 200.
Criticism came from the economy: “Just a few days after the Federal President, unions and employers made a resolute and concerted appeal to companies and workers, politicians proposed some sort of substitute action for the home office bureaucracy,” said the Federation of Germans . Employers’ associations. Such effectiveness would “no doubt” lag behind the actions of the social partners.
It was also said that the announcement of a “home office ordinance” was noticed with surprise. “It remains to be seen whether those responsible are clear that they are making future common interests within the framework of the social partnership more difficult or impossible.” Social partnership is always more effective than “bureaucratic actionism”.