Man slips while walking from bed to home office. It’s workplace injury, says German court

According to a report in a German court, a man who fell from his bedroom to the home office and was injured can claim accident insurance benefits because he was technically commuting to work The guard.

The case is gaining traction as several companies around the world switched to working from home due to the pandemic. The German judgment offers an interesting perspective on how insurance claims are to be viewed under the current circumstances.

In the judgment of December 8, the court stated that it viewed the first morning trip from work to the home office as an insured way to work, according to the report in The guard continued to say.

According to the report, the case was based on a back injury the employee sustained while walking from his bedroom to the home office one floor down. It said the nameless man was walking on the spiral staircase that connects the rooms when he slipped and injured himself.

The court order ruled that the plaintiff had the accident at work when he fell on the way to the home office in the morning, the report says.

According to The guard, the court said, the man “usually starts work immediately without having breakfast”. The meaning of this statement was not elaborated, but the British newspaper noted that statutory accident insurance only applies to the first trip to work. This suggests that “a trip on the way to breakfast after having already been in the home office may be refused,” the report said.

The case went to court after the person’s labor insurance refused to accept the claim, the media report said. Two lower courts had disagreed on whether the short walk would be a commute. However, the Federal Social Court found that “the first morning drive from bed to home office” [was] an insured commute, ”it added.

The Federal Social Court in Germany is an appeals court that negotiates in matters of social insurance in matters of occupational accident insurance.

During the coronavirus pandemic, several companies around the world offered their employees opportunities to work from home. However, the media report said it was unclear whether the person’s home office status was induced by the pandemic or not. The court has stated that the ruling applies to “teleworking workplaces” and defines a workplace as “computer workstations that are permanently set up by the employer in the private sector of the employees”, it said.

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