| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

Germany set to end work from home obligation, Merkel aide tells weekly

Germany will not prolong until the end of June a law requiring employers to enable employees to work from home because to the coronavirus outbreak, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Chief of Staff.

In the previous six weeks, Germany has gradually reduced lockdown measures as virus levels have decreased.

After establishing a work-from-home mandate in January, the provision was enshrined in “emergency brake” law, which permits the government to implement lockdown restrictions if infection levels exceed specific levels.

As coronavirus infection numbers are sinking, the home office rule does not need to be extended on June 30, when the emergency law regulating the lockdown expires, Helge Braun, Merkel’s chief of staff, told the WirtschaftsWoche weekly.

“The emergency brake will not be extended at this time because we have a favorable situation at the moment,” Braun said.

It might have to be reimposed in the autumn, depending on the progress of vaccinations and the spread of new variants, he said.

Some officials urged that the home office rule be extended.

Hubertus Heil, the Labor Minister, stated in April that he was working on legislation that would let employees to work from home even after the coronavirus outbreak was gone.

According to the Ifo economic institute, about a third of German employees worked from home at least partly of the time during the third wave of the epidemic in March, but that number had dropped to 31% in May.

On Wednesday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 1,455, bringing the total to 3,717,625 cases, less than half the increase seen a week ago. The death toll increased by 137, bringing the total to 90,074.

  • Reuters