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The Way from Bed to Home Office is an Insured Commute to Work

A work-related accident on the way from bed to home office in the morning is covered by occupational accident insurance. We briefly present the decision of the Federal Social Court of 8 December 2021:

An employee who falls on the way from bed to home office for in the morning is protected by the statutory occupational accident insurance. This was decided by the 2nd Senate of the Federal Social Court on 08 December 2021.

The plaintiff was on his way to work from his bedroom to his home office one floor below. He usually starts work in his home office immediately in the morning without having breakfast beforehand. While climbing the spiral staircase connecting the rooms, he slipped and broke a thoracic vertebra.

The defendant employers' liability insurance association refused benefits on the grounds of the accident. While the Social Court considered this "first morning walk" from bed to home office to be an insured commute, the Regional Social Court judged it to be an uninsured preparatory act that merely preceded the actual activity of work.

The Federal Social Court has now confirmed the first instance decision of the Social Court. According to the binding findings of the lower court, climbing the stairs to the home office served only to start work first thing in the morning and is therefore insured as an activity in the interest of the employer. The plaintiff thus suffered an occupational accident when he fell on his way to his home office in the morning.

Since the number of home office workers increased drastically during the Corona pandemic, it can be assumed that this ruling will play an important role in further cases. This is because employees in the home office may not be treated worse than employees in the workplace with regard to the protection of the statutory accident insurance. After all, the benefits of statutory accident insurance are considered better in comparison to those of general health insurance.

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