Works badly from home

Home office: rights and obligations when working from home

Occupational safety also applies at home

Just like in a company, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (ArbSchG) and the Workplace Ordinance (ArbStättV) apply in your home office. Your employer must ensure that you do not endanger your health at your VDU workstation at home - and it acts improperly if he does not comply with these regulations.

In principle, he can also check whether you are complying with your confidentiality obligations after consultation. It is of course questionable whether this will actually happen at the moment. Nevertheless, you must protect all important business documents from being viewed by third parties. You are obliged to keep company and business secrets at home as well. Therefore, do not leave any customer data open on your desk - especially not when visitors come.

Current information: The home office flat rate

How does the home office affect the commuter allowance?

The travel costs for the way to and from work push the tax burden down for most employees. In Corona times, however, many work from home. Absolutely necessary from a pandemic point of view, but from a tax point of view this could lead to fewer refunds. Because the commuter allowance may only be used for the days that employees were actually on business. For these routes, however, the new flat rate applies: From the 21st kilometer, 35 cents can be claimed from now on, previously it was 30 cents. Always state travel expenses honestly. Tax offices definitely ask the employer whether employees have been in the office or at home.

Is the home office flat rate worth it for taxpayers?

Only employees who have completely moved their office to their home can benefit from the home office flat rate. Never before have there been so many homeworkers as in times of Corona. And of course not all employees have a fully equipped, separate office at home. Many work at the kitchen table, in the dining area or in the guest room. But those who work from home use more electricity, gas, water, etc. So far, these additional costs could only be deducted with a 'real' office, which is only used for work. And this is exactly where the home office flat rate should provide a remedy.

The problem: The flat rate is included in the general flat rate for advertising costs, which is 1,000 euros. So that's not really added value. The home office flat rate is therefore only worthwhile for employees who spend more than 1,000 euros on advertising expenses, e.g. B. for specially purchased office furniture for the home, an additional computer, training courses or telephone and internet costs. There may then be additional reimbursements for this.

Can the home office flat rate and commuter flat rate be credited at the same time?
That will not do. The home office flat rate can only be claimed for the days on which you worked entirely from home. If you drive to the office - even if it is just to bring documents home for a short time - you have to calculate the daily distance flat rate and deduct the day from the home office flat rate, which is five euros per day and a maximum of 600 euros per year .

What applies to internet problems in the home office?

If the Internet fails more frequently in the home office, it depends on the employment contract whether employers can order attendance in the office. If the home office is expressly specified as the place of work in the contract, the boss has no way of arranging an office presence. Neither can he demand that the employee work at home after the lost working hours. Internet disruption is part of the operational risk that lies with the employer.

The regulation does not apply if the employee is responsible for the Internet failure, for example through a provider bill that has not been paid. Does the employee move to a location during the internet failure, e.g. B. to the parents or a friend, he can usually neither bill the travel costs, nor count the travel time as working time. He bears the risk of the road himself.

Incidentally, if an employee works permanently in the home office, an employer can demand that his employee ensures that the Internet connection is working properly.