Home office, mobile work, remote work - there are many terms for working outside the employer's premises. When the Corona pandemic banished many employees to the home office, the term home office was commonly used - but only comparatively few employees actually work in a home office in the strict sense. The way the workplace is set up determines which legislation applies.
In order to determine the legal differences, it is first necessary to define what is hidden behind the individual terms:
Whether home office or mobile work, in both cases the employee works outside the company. But the legal nature of both scenarios brings about significant differences:
The same occupational health and safety requirements apply to the permanently established home office as to workplaces in the company. The employer must comply with the guidelines of the Workplace Ordinance, carry out a risk assessment for the home workplace and instruct the employee accordingly. He is responsible for ensuring that the workplace does not pose a health risk to the employee.
The Workplace Ordinance does not apply to mobile work, as there is no fixed workplace. Accordingly, the amount of work involved in occupational health and safety aspects is low. Nevertheless, some regulations must be complied with, the risk assessment and the Industrial Safety Regulation. However, there are often restrictions here. In order to fulfill his obligations, the employer should properly document the inspections and instructions.
For both forms of work, the employer must bear the costs of setting up the workplace and operating it in accordance with Section 670 of the German Civil Code. For a telecommuting workplace, furniture in particular is required in addition to work equipment such as a PC and printer. If the employer does not provide the furnishings or work equipment, the employee is entitled to reimbursement of the expenses.
In the case of mobile work, the costs are significantly lower than in the case of teleworking, because here a notebook, a smartphone and a headset are generally sufficient. If there is an agreement to this effect, the employee can also bear the costs for the purchase.workstation.
With regard to the Working Hours Act, there are no differences between mobile work and home office - the regulations on maximum daily working hours and compliance with rest breaks and hours must be observed in full. The employer must ensure this. Especially with mobile work, it is extremely difficult to control working hours and break times. After all, even spontaneously checking e-mails during the train ride home interrupts the eleven-hour rest period between two workdays.
In the home office, the employer can and must set up the workplace in such a way that data can be transferred securely to the company network, for example via a VPN (Virtual Private Network). In addition, the employee must prevent access by third parties, for example through security mechanisms on the computer or by locking the office room.
Ensuring data privacy is much more challenging when working on the move. In a café or on the train, it's easy for others to take a look at the notebook screen or eavesdrop on a business call. Special protection mechanisms need to be put in place here, such as a privacy screen for the notebook screen and the avoidance of phone calls in public spaces.
Both models have their advantages and disadvantages and are therefore suitable for different initial situations:
Although the second draft bill for a Mobile Work Act (MAG) has already been introduced, employees do not yet have a right to mobile work. However, it is to be expected that remote work will increasingly become standard in the coming years and that many employers will offer the option at least as an additional benefit.
In any case, employer and employee should contractually stipulate the most important key data, such as:
In this way, the home office is legally on a secure footing and can develop into a successful model.
You might also be interested in this:
Want to find out more about applicant management with rexx Recruitment software? If you would like to visit us at one of the HR trade fairs, we would be happy to send you free tickets. Or make a personal appointment to get to know us!
29. July 2021, online
24. August 2021, online
08. September 2021, online
14. September 2021, koelnmesse, Eingang West, Messeplatz 1, D-50679 Köln Halle 4.2 / Stand C.14
16. September 2021, online und ggf. live
28. September 2021, online
05. October 2021, Köln
13. October 2021, online
13. October 2021, Wien
27. October 2021, München
11. November 2021, online
22. November 2021, Düsseldorf
29. March 2022, Zürich
05. April 2022, Stuttgart
03. May 2022, Hamburg
19. May 2022, online
06. July 2022, München
13. September 2022, Köln