Home Worker Can Claim for Fall on ‘Commute’ from Bed to Office, Court Rules

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A German court has ruled that a man who broke his back while moving from his bed to his home office was commuting and is owed compensation.

A court in Germany has ruled in favour of a man who attempted to make a claim to his employer’s insurance over an injury he suffered when getting up to work from home.

The man, who broke his back falling down a spiral staircase after getting up to walk to his home office, was initially refused an insurance payout for the accident.

However, according to a report in The Guardian, the German Federal Social Court ruled in favour of the injured man, finding that he was commuting to work at the time of the fall and therefore the incident qualifies as a workplace accident.

“The plaintiff suffered an accident at work when he fell on the way to his home office in the morning,” the court ruled.

The court noted that the employee usually started work “immediately without having breakfast beforehand”, with the newspaper reporting that it was later said that the statutory accident insurance would only cover what was called the “first” journey to work — raising questions over whether someone would still be owed compensation had they gone to grab a coffee from their own kitchen before work.

“If the insured activity is carried out in the household of the insured person or at another location, insurance cover is provided to the same extent as when the activity is carried out at the company premises,” the court decided.

It is unclear whether the injured party in this case was working from home as a result of restrictions brought about by the Chinese coronavirus or for other reasons, with the court adding that the law applied to any instances involving “computer workstations that are permanently set up by the employer in the private area of ​​the employees”.

Germany announced a lockdown of the unvaccinated last week, barring those without proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 from events, leisure facilities, and all non-essential retail.

The German parliament will also soon decide on whether to implement a regime of forced vaccination in the country, following the example of neighbour Austria.

A majority of Germans are in favour of the draconian measure.

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