17 votes

Fall on walk from bed to desk is workplace accident, German court rules

8 comments

  1. [6]
    Gaywallet
    Link
    Huge win for workers rights, happy to see it. In my experience most employers are not considering the ramifications of WFH. They'll pay for ergonomics if you come into the office, but they won't...

    Huge win for workers rights, happy to see it. In my experience most employers are not considering the ramifications of WFH. They'll pay for ergonomics if you come into the office, but they won't if you work from home. Policies need to catch up.

    11 votes
    1. [4]
      knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      I definitely get the workers rights angle for things the company can provide, but wouldn't a slip on the way to your desk in the environment you created be your fault? If the work's insurance is...

      I definitely get the workers rights angle for things the company can provide, but wouldn't a slip on the way to your desk in the environment you created be your fault? If the work's insurance is responsible for your living conditions and insured against harm in them, wouldn't that open doors to employers regulating your home to comply with their insurance standards?

      That's the one detail that makes me uncomfortable. I guess on the other hand Germany would also have protections against this.

      12 votes
      1. Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        I don't know enough about German law to really weigh in on the ramifications here. The article words it as follows: Does this mean the journey from your home to a physical office is also an...

        I don't know enough about German law to really weigh in on the ramifications here. The article words it as follows:

        the first morning journey from bed to the home office [was] an insured work route

        Does this mean the journey from your home to a physical office is also an insured work route? If you get in a car accident going to work, do they have to pay for it? This would mean something very different than insured work routes only applying once you arrive at the premises. Which is the case? I don't know.

        wouldn't that open doors to employers regulating your home to comply with their insurance standards?

        I would imagine they could make it a contingency - if you don't comply, then you won't be covered. But they would have to front the costs. Again, speculating... I'm not an expert here in German law.

        4 votes
      2. skybrian
        Link Parent
        Yes, I was wondering that too. Maybe insurance does the inspection and charges more for insurance if you have an unsafe staircase? (Or equivalently, they give a discount for safety improvements.)...

        Yes, I was wondering that too. Maybe insurance does the inspection and charges more for insurance if you have an unsafe staircase? (Or equivalently, they give a discount for safety improvements.) Though, if they’re renting, improvements like that are up to the landlord.

        3 votes
      3. Thra11
        Link Parent
        You could equally fall down the stairs in an office building while working from work. As long as neither staircase was unsafe, most likely nobody is considered at fault.

        wouldn't a slip on the way to your desk in the environment you created be your fault?

        You could equally fall down the stairs in an office building while working from work. As long as neither staircase was unsafe, most likely nobody is considered at fault.

        1 vote
    2. Thra11
      Link Parent
      Unless Germany has some sort of legal right to work from home, couldn't this potentially backfire where companies that only grudgingly allow working from home are concerned? "We have assessed you...

      Unless Germany has some sort of legal right to work from home, couldn't this potentially backfire where companies that only grudgingly allow working from home are concerned? "We have assessed you request to work from home and concluded that it is too dangerous / too expensive for us to insure".

      3 votes
  2. HotPants
    Link
    I wonder if bathroom breaks would be covered.

    The court noted that the employee usually started working in his home office “immediately without having breakfast beforehand”, but did not explain why that was relevant to the case. However, later it said that statutory accident insurance was only afforded to the “first” journey to work, suggesting that a trip on the way to get breakfast after already being in the home office could be rejected.

    I wonder if bathroom breaks would be covered.

    1 vote
  3. MetArtScroll
    Link
    #offbeat, and a good one.

    #offbeat, and a good one.