5-speed listening (Workplace Accidents - Level 6)

Injuries in home offices are workplace accidents



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A German court has ruled that sustaining an injury while walking from your bedroom to your home office constitutes a workplace accident. The judges decided that walking a few metres from your bed to your desk in another room in your house can be considered a commute to work. As such, any injuries sustained on that short journey can be eligible for compensation payouts. The landmark ruling was made in a case where a man slipped while descending a staircase from his bedroom to his home office and fractured a vertebra. The court decided that the "first morning journey from bed to the home office is an insured work route". This decision could start a rush to get similar cases heard in courts.

The notion of what constitutes a workplace has changed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of people have switched from working in offices to working at home. This has implications for health and safety issues as well as the legalities around workplace accidents. One big question concerns who is responsible for ensuring a home office satisfies safety requirements, and to what extent an employer is liable for injuries sustained in an employee's home. An expert on German employment law said new legislation would be needed to decide future claims. He told the CNN news agency that: "It seems likely that insurers will…have to revisit this ruling often."

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Workplace Accidents - Level 4  |  Workplace Accidents - Level 5

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