If an employee in Germany suffers an accident during his or her work, this is an occupational accident and therefore the employer’s statutory accident insurance must pay for any damages incurred by the employee as a result.
Commuting accidents are also occupational accidents
Accidents that occur during commuting are also recognized as a subcategory of work-related accidents in Germany. These include journeys to work that the employee makes between home and the place of work. As a rule, only the direct route to work is insured, not detours for private matters such as shopping on the way to work.
Falling down the stairs in the home office
Due to changing working conditions, such as mobile working and working from home, new legal questions also arise for social insurance institutions. Recently, the Federal Social Court of Germany (Bundessozialgericht, BSG) had to decide whether a fall that occurs in the home office is to be classified as an occupational accident and thus whether the statutory accident insurance is liable.
A worker in a home office fell on a staircase and injured himself. The employee was of the opinion that it was a work-related accident (more precisely, a commuting accident), as he had been on his way to his home office. The BSG has confirmed this in the specific case. The reason for this is that the office spaces are on a separate floor and the employee was able to prove that he only used the stairs to go to his workspace at home.
It has not yet been clarified whether routes to the WC are also insured in the home office (as is the case in the employer’s office in Germany).
WINHELLER advises companies on remote work
Do you have questions about the arrangement for mobile working and a home office in your company? We will gladly support you! Feel free to contact us with your questions at any time.