Home office rules: Because of Corona in the home office: Do employees have to use their own technology? | message
Do you legally have to use your private laptop in the home office?
The coronavirus is currently forcing many employees to work from home. The employer often assumes that the employees work at home on their own devices. But does an employee even have to do that?
The labor lawyer Alexander Bredereck gives the “Handelsblatt” information on the subject of home work. He makes it clear that the employer must, in principle, provide the employee with the necessary technology for working from home. Conversely, employees are not legally obliged to provide private equipment for work. But can you simply refuse to work as long as the employer does not provide the equipment for the home office?
For a good working relationship, you should also use your own device
If the employer does not provide devices for the home office, employees should not just put their hands on their laps. Simply saying that you stop working because you don’t have a company laptop isn’t a solution either. Especially in a suddenly occurring situation such as the corona pandemic, many employers are not prepared to have so many devices ready and accordingly cannot give out as many to their employees. If an employee is also employed in a small business that does not have protection against dismissal, refusal to work could mean dismissal. And that is probably not what the employee wants.
What if your own technology limits your own performance?
However, if your own technology is not up to date or has to be shared with other household members, so that the work to be performed suffers – then the employer should be informed. It is then up to the employer to either provide better equipment, such as your own company computer, or to tolerate the reduced performance.
Data protection regulations must still be observed
If you work from your private computer, this work must be done in accordance with data protection regulations, as strict guidelines apply in this regard in Germany. If the employee cannot comply with these, for example because several people in the household use the computer, this must also be communicated to the company. Once the company has been informed, it is their responsibility to determine how to proceed. The employee is no longer responsible if data protection cannot be observed. However, if the employer gives the employee certain requirements for data protection-compliant work and these are within the scope of what is possible for the employee, the employee must follow them – even from home.
Finanzen.net editorial team
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