At least since the initiative of the Federal Greens to enforce a home office requirement, if necessary with the help of fines, there has been heated debate again as to whether there should be a right to work from home or even an obligation. This is what parties and associations in Rhineland-Palatinate say about it.
The discussion about a larger contribution from the economy when working from home is ongoing. So far, the federal government has only issued a request to employers to approve home office – where possible. And you want to continue to rely on voluntary work when it comes to home office, said a government spokeswoman on Wednesday.
The Greens, on the other hand, want to put pressure on the Bundestag with a specific proposal. On Thursday evening there was a first reading on a motion from the group. It stipulates that employers are obliged to enable employees to work from home, as far as the operational requirements allow. Violations against it should be able to be fined, it says in the application. He was then referred to the Labor and Social Committee for further advice.
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Greens: Also reduce contacts in the world of work more
The Greens in Rhineland-Palatinate also demand that there should be a right to work from home and mobile work – during the pandemic and beyond. But the Greens do not want to go as far as the Federal Greens in the state: “We urgently appeal to the sense of responsibility of the companies and companies in Rhineland-Palatinate to lead their employees through this crisis as well as possible, so that an ad hoc duty is enforced with fines from our point of view is not necessary “, communicated the state party in writing on SWR request.
SPD: Home office wherever possible
The SPD in Rhineland-Palatinate also demands that employers allow working from home wherever possible.
The party proposed months ago at the federal level to introduce a right to work from home.
The proposal failed at the time due to resistance from the CDU and CSU. A major setback, says the state SPD: “With a legal right to be able to work from home for at least 24 days a year – regardless of Corona – we would be a lot further now.”
FDP: Home office shouldn’t become an obligation
For the Rhineland-Palatinate FDP, job security and health protection are of central importance, says top candidate Daniela Schmitt. She rejects the obligation to work from home, because operational requirements are different everywhere and wherever possible, home office is already offered. “Anyone who demands a home office obligation or even fines for companies that cannot make this possible is putting jobs and thus livelihoods at risk,” said Schmitt.
CDU: The re should be generous home office regulations
Instead of a legal regulation for home office, the CDU Rhineland-Palatinate also relies on employers’ sense of responsibility “to enable generous home office regulations for health protection”.
The aim is to minimize contact. It is not enough just to reduce contacts in the private sphere to what is absolutely necessary. “In professional life too, wherever possible, everything must be done to keep the number of contacts as low as possible,” said the state CDU. “Regulations going beyond this must be examined in the light of the further development of the infection process.”
AfD: Right to work from home does not make economic sense
The AfD Rhineland-Palatinate does not believe in the right to work from home. In view of the heterogeneity of the various professional fields and company structures, it is “neither practicable nor economically viable.” Nonetheless, working from home, if possible, is a “desirable option”. In a press release it says: “It offers mothers and fathers in particular a good opportunity to combine family and work.”
The companies should be supported in the implementation.
DGB: More mobile working would be possible
The re is a clear demand from the unions that the possibilities of working in the home office must be expanded. It is currently observed that in many companies more mobile work is possible, according to the German Trade Union Federation (DGB) Rhineland-Palatinate / Saarland. According to current figures, only 14 percent of employees would work from home. In contrast, it was 27 percent last April.
However, the DGB Rhineland-Palatinate / Saarland is skeptical of any obligation to work from home. “When it comes to the question of how deeply the work can penetrate the private sphere, then the voluntary nature of the employees is the basic benchmark for us.”
Verdi: Occupational safety must be guaranteed
Even at Verdi Rhineland-Palatinate / Saarland, they don’t want an obligation, but an appeal to introduce the home office generously. It is important, however, that occupational health and safety is guaranteed, according to state district manager Michael Blug. It should not be the case that working from home causes new illnesses, for example when you sit at the kitchen table on a laptop for eight hours. “That leads to health problems,” said Blug.
LVU: The economic consequences of having to work from home would be immense
Warnings about the obligation to work from home come from entrepreneurs.
The State Association of Entrepreneurs’ Associations (LVU) Rhineland-Palatinate announced that the obligation would affect the industries and income groups very differently. “In addition, the economic consequences would be immense.” Productivity is falling. In addition, data from Oxford University showed “that the economic slump in the Corona crisis can primarily be explained by the decline in the mobility of consumers and workers.”
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