The fact that the federal and state governments are only now venturing into the companies and offices is fatal. An obligation to work from home would also not be correct.
But that is also high time. From next Wednesday, the home office will become the legal rule and will no longer remain the exception. Then the new Corona occupational health and safety ordinance from Labor Minister Hubertus Heil will come into force. In doing so, he is implementing what is probably the most important decision of the federal-state meeting on Tuesday.
The unbearable state of affairs that the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states limit themselves to mere appeals to employers, which are therefore all too inconsequential, will finally be ended. The fact that far fewer people are currently working from home than last spring during the first corona wave clearly shows how necessary and overdue a state regulation is. There are certainly a number of employers who are already treating their employees responsibly. But unfortunately there are far too few.
There is no question that contact reduction is critical to fighting pandemic. The fact that the federal and state governments are only now venturing into companies and offices is fatal. Because it is not only the encounters at work that are the problem, but also the collective movement there and back. The fact that there are exit restrictions in a number of countries, according to which it is forbidden to sit alone on a park bench, while people have so far been idly watching how people push their way to and from work in buses and trains, is one of the absurdities of state corona policy.
Shouldn’t it be better to have an obligation to work from home instead of an obligation on the part of the employer to offer home office? The effect would then certainly be even greater. But that would not take into account the individual living and housing situation of the employees. This is also about what is reasonable. There are very good and respectable reasons why people want to work in their workplace. However, the example of the taz shows where what is now the general rule has long been in effect: the great majority of employees stay at home if it is made possible.