Coronavirus

FDP on home office rules: “Coalition slept too long”

The FDP MP Johannes Vogel in the Bundestag.

Bernd von Jutrczenka / picture alliance via Getty Images

The FDP considers the Federal Government’s Home Office Ordinance drawn up by Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) to be inadequate. In an interview with NewsABC.net, the labor policy spokesman for the FDP, Johannes Vogel, criticized the fact that the regulation would lead to more bureaucracy and, in case of doubt, even less home office.

According to the ordinance of the federal government, employers must in future and depending on the Corona incidence value in their region allow home office if there are no “compelling operational reasons” against it. The company must explain what these are to the occupational safety authorities on request. The regulation does not specify what reasons are permissible. A company agreement on home office must also be in place between bosses and employees.

“Yes, we need a home office in Germany wherever that is possible, especially now in lockdown. I also have no sympathy for employers who refuse, ”Vogel told NewsABC.net. “But I also have no sympathy for a federal government that is not doing its job properly and, above all, is creating more bureaucracy with the current home office regulation.”

Smaller companies in particular, which are already under heavy economic strain from the Corona crisis, should not be harmed by additional bureaucratic effort.

“We should have modernized the home office rules years before the pandemic”

“Actually, we should have modernized the home office rules years before the pandemic,” Vogel continued. “The coalition slept too long there – at the height of this lockdown it cannot go on like this. Last summer at the latest, with the experience from the first lockdown, we should have finally acted. “

The Working Hours Act would have to be adapted in order to enable flexible working in the home office. At the same time, a new legal framework would be needed, which would have to be laid down by law in the Bundestag and not by government decree.

“According to current law, employers are obliged to check the workplaces of their entrepreneurs for compliance with all regulations and legal standards, etc.,” said Vogel.

That could lead to absurd situations: “For example, that a workstation in the home office cannot be used because the desk lamp is not at the right angle or because laptops are used. Laptops are forbidden as soon as home office takes place occasionally. Sounds absurd, but the legal situation in Germany is. ”

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