The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales) has launched a legislative initiative to strengthen mobile work. The BMAS draft law has been submitted to the Federal Chancellery. It will then be examined in the individual federal ministries, revised if necessary, and could finally become law.
Current legal situation and new coalition agreement on mobile work
In Germany, there are still no legal regulations for mobile work, employees can contact their employer at any time and express their wish to work on a mobile basis. It is up to the employer to decide independently whether to accept the employee’s request or to reject it and he is not obliged to give reasons for the eventual rejection of the proposal.
Although, compared to other European countries, Germany has a strong “presence or presence culture obligation” in the workplace, German companies are already offering their employees the opportunity to work in mobility in order to keep qualified workers and increase their motivation and job satisfaction.
The new coalition agreement (Koalitionsvertrag S. 41, Zeile 1822ff.) proposes to facilitate mobile work by creating a well-defined legal framework. This will include the right of employees to receive information from their employer on the reasons for a possible refusal, as well as legal certainty for both parties regarding the use of company technology even outside the workplace.
What is mobile work?
Mobile work requires the use of information technology and is characterized by the fact that employees do their work from another location. Mobile work can be carried out in a location chosen by the employee himself or in one agreed with the employer (e.g. home office).
The new regulation refers to regular, i.e. scheduled, mobile work, such as once or several times a week or twice a month on a given day of the week (and therefore not to occasional work). The aim is to reach an equality agreement between employers and employees which, through clear rules, promotes and protects mobile work. At the same time, this new regulation wants to achieve effective occupational health and safety protection and better protection through mobile work accident insurance.
What are the advantages of mobile work?
Mobile work means more time for the family, less stress and less traffic jams. In short: a job that adapts to life. The right to mobile work means that working from home or on the move does not remain a privilege for the few, because the new rules on work mobility increase job satisfaction and worker productivity. Mobile work is of great importance internationally and is highly coveted by many highly qualified employees.
Many people now want to work more in mobility
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that there is much more to it than everyone thought possible. Mobile work suddenly became part of everyday life and made life easier. At first there was a lot of scepticism, but surveys have now shown that almost 90% of respondents have a positive perception of mobile work. Many employers are also more open towards mobile work and home office and support their employees in this respect. According to a representative survey, two thirds of employees would welcome the possibility to work from home at least several days a week even after the end of the pandemic, while maintaining the same kind of support from institutions and their companies.