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Federal Social Court: Fall on the way to the home office counts as an occupational accident

2021-12-08T15:59:20.139Z

Does the accident protection apply if you fall in the home office? Yes, the Federal Social Court has now ruled. However, one prerequisite is crucial.



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Fall in the home office: is an employee entitled to statutory accident protection?

Photo:

Simona Pilolla / Westend61 / IMAGO

In the pandemic, many people work from home.

The distances are not far, nevertheless it can happen that an accident happens between the bed and the desk.

Is an employee then protected by the statutory accident insurance?

Does this count as an accident at work?

Yes, the Federal Social Court (BSG) in Kassel decided

(file number: B 2 U 4/21 R)

.

Employees working from home are also covered by statutory accident insurance on the way to starting work for the first time in their own apartment or house.

The decisive factor is the "tendency to act" towards professional activity, the court ruled.

This also applies to accidents before the latest change in the law in June.

The court confirms what is already the prevailing opinion: Anyone who does something in the home office that is directly related to work is legally insured against accidents.

Fall from the spiral staircase

In the current case, a man from the Aachen area, who is employed as an area sales manager in the field, sued.

So he travels a lot and does administrative tasks at home.

There he has set up an office above the living rooms, which can be reached via a spiral staircase.

In September 2018, he fell down the spiral staircase on the way from the living room to the home office.

He suffered a fractured thoracic vertebrae and his wife found him unconscious.

Because he was on the direct way to work, he applied to the trade association for trade and goods logistics for recognition of the fall as an occupational accident.

However, the refused, he complained.

Unlike the Social Court of Aachen, the Regional Social Court of North Rhine-Westphalia dismissed the man's action in the second instance: journeys within one's own apartment are generally not insured against accidents.

According to the judgment, the way on the stairs is neither a »company way« nor a way to work, as insured by the employers' liability insurance association.

Rather, his fall occurred "in the domestic sphere," the court found.

The BSG now awarded the plaintiff benefits from accident insurance.

In addition to treatment costs, depending on the consequences of the accident, this can also include pension payments.

The reason given by the BSG was that the way up the stairs was closely related to the work.

The sales manager wanted to start work.

This "objective tendency to act" is decisive.

Accident protection in the home office "to the same extent" as in the company

The Kassel judges emphasized that this applies regardless of a change in the law on June 18, 2021 and was also before.

According to the new regulation, there is accident protection in the home office "to the same extent as when working on the company premises".

The change in the law safeguards the recent BSG case law, according to which company journeys within the apartment are also insured, and in the future also routes to the kitchen door to eat or drink.

In the case of dispute, it was also about such an operating route.

The BSG equates a fall with an accident if an employee has reached the company, but then falls on the way between the company entrance and the workplace.

In the case of so-called commuting accidents, on the other hand, the BSG insists that the accident protection only begins after stepping through the private outer door

.

faq / AFP

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-12-08

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