Germany will end the obligation to work from home, Merkel advisor says weekly

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Offices and residential buildings are lit as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues amid an extended lockdown and a demand by the federal government for more home office opportunities in Frankfurt on January 28, 2021. REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach

BERLIN, June 16 (Reuters) – Germany will not extend a rule that forces companies to allow working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic beyond the end of June, said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff on Wednesday.

Germany has gradually lifted the lockdown measures over the past six weeks as infections have declined.

After the measure first introduced an obligation to work from home in January, the measure was enshrined in an “emergency brake” law, which allows the government to impose lockdown measures if infections exceed certain thresholds.

Since the number of infections with the corona virus is falling, the home office rule does not have to be extended on June 30, when the emergency law to regulate the lockdown expires, Merkel’s chief of staff Helge Braun told WirtschaftsWoche weekly.

“The emergency brake is currently not being extended because we are in a favorable position at the moment,” said Braun.

Depending on the progress of the vaccinations and the spread of new variants, it may have to be reintroduced in the fall, he said.

Some officials had suggested extending the home office rule.

Labor Minister Hubertus Heil said in April that he was working on a law that would give employees the right to work from home even after the Corona crisis.

At the height of the third wave of pandemics in March, almost a third of employees in Germany worked at least temporarily from home, but in May it was 31 percent, according to the Ifo Economic Institute.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose 1,455 to 3,717,625 on Wednesday, less than half the increase a week ago. The death toll rose 137 to 90,074. Continue reading

Reporting by Emma Thomasson Editing by Riham Alkousaa

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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