Homeoffice, Germany

What about the home office? Rules and regulations and Covid-19

By Dr Angelika Baumhof and Cathrin Kirchbach, Jakoby Dr Baumhof

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to avoid personal contact for much of the past year and a half. In many companies, this was achieved in particular by working from home (known as “home office” in Germany). For this reason, a temporary legal regulation was enacted in Germany, according to which employers were obliged to offer or enable employees to work from home. This regulation ended on 30 June 2021.

Regardless of the legal mandate, many employers implemented home office requirements unbureaucratically and usually without a separate agreement. Since the mandatory rules on the home office have ended, the question arises whether employers now can call employees back to the office or if employees can even refuse to return to the office.

In Germany, by law, employees do not have a right to work from home. Unless there is an individual agreement with the employee, it is at the employer’s discretion to determine the content, place and time of work performance. Employees can therefore be called back to the office now the mandatory rules on home office have ended. However, the employer must offer work conditions that comply with the rules on CORONA Standard Work Conditions which are still in force. For some companies this might still create a need for their employees to work from home. In order to avoid a practice that could lead to a right to work remotely, employees should be requested to return to their workplace in the office after the termination of the government-imposed mandatory rules on home office.

If employees are allowed to continue to work from home, the conditions should be detailed in a written agreement. In particular, provisions should be made on data protection, work equipment, reimbursement of expenses, working hours and occupational health and safety. Otherwise the employer could be liable for health damages.

It is important that this matter be handled with care by the management.


Dr Angelika Baumhof

Dr Angelika Baumhof

GGI member firm
Jakoby Dr Baumhof Auditors Tax Consultants Lawyers
Auditing & Accounting, Tax, Law Firm, Advisory, Corporate Finance
Rothenburg o.d.T., Ebersberg, Germany
T: +49 9861 9405 0
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
W: www.jakoby-baumhof.de

Jakoby Dr Baumhof – Auditors Tax Consultants Lawyers is a mid-size, interdisciplinary company located in the south of Germany, with offices in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, located in Northern Bavaria, and Ebersberg, near Munich.

Dr Angelika Baumhof specialises in corporate and commercial law and contractual civil law. She started her career as a judge at the District Court of Munich and as a prosecutor in Munich. Since 1996, she has been a Partner at Jakoby Dr Baumhof. Her main field of expertise is consulting, but she also practices litigation in all fields of commercial and private law.
Cathrin Kirchbach

Cathrin Kirchbach

GGI member firm
Jakoby Dr Baumhof Auditors Tax Consultants Lawyers
Auditing & Accounting, Tax, Law Firm, Advisory, Corporate Finance
Rothenburg o.d.T., Ebersberg, Germany
T: +49 9861 9405 0
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
W: www.jakoby-baumhof.de

Cathrin Kirchbach is an attorney who specialises in individual and collective labour law, and also advises on social law. She speaks German and English.


Published: Employment Law Newsletter, No.11, Autumn 2021 l Photo: Anke Thomass - stock.adobe.com

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