In the age of remote work, the short transfer from your bed to your home office isn’t just convenient – it’s a lawfully recognized commute, a German court said, awarding workers compensation benefits to man who slipped and fell in a “workplace accident” at home.
An unnamed man was working from home when he fell and broke his back walking on a spiral staircase that connected his bedroom and home office, the German federal social court said. In initial court proceedings, it was contested that statutory accident insurance would only be afforded to the “first” journey to work, suggesting that the man’s trip and fall on his way to get breakfast after already being in the home office, could be rejected.
The judgment of two lower courts that the walk was not in fact a work commute was overturned by the higher federal social court, ruling the man suffered an accident “at work.”
“If the insured activity is carried out in the household of the insured person or at another location, insurance cover is provided to the same extent as when the activity is carried out at the company premises,” the German federal court said, determining the law applied to “teleworking positions” including “computer workstations that are permanently set up by the employer in the private area of the employees.”