Policies and procedures for telework once the business reopens.
Employees have no legal right to work from home under German law. At the same time, the employer cannot unilaterally order employees to work from home. Therefore, telework requires either an individual agreement between employer and employee or a company agreement with the works council, which has a co-determination right when home office is introduced. Where telework takes place, the requirements of employee protection remain unaffected. In particular, this applies to working time requirements and workplace protection. The statutory maximum working hours as well as the minimum rest periods and breaks must also be observed for telework. Workplace requirements also remain the same (lighting, wall distances, equipment, etc.). The employer must also ensure data protection is maintained in the home office. It is generally possible to delegate these obligations to the employee to some extent, as the employer has no general right to access the employee’s home. However, the employer remains liable and should at least check the health and safety requirements on a spot check basis.