Can you deduct the cost of working from home from tax? Who pays if your company cell phone falls on the kitchen floor or the laptop is stolen? Working from home brings up many questions concerning labor law and insurance.
Employees are not normally entitled to work from home. On the contrary, most employment contracts specify that the office is the primary place of work. In other words, if your employer wants you to come back to the office, you must do so.
However, if there was already a contractual agreement in place before the pandemic allowing you to work from home on certain days, this applies again.
If working from home is only a temporary arrangement, this isn’t possible. Anyone wishing to deduct a proportion of rent etc. from their tax for a private office must meet strict conditions.
No. If you have technical problems when working from home, such as a power cut or internet problems for which you as an employee are not responsible, the employer must bear the related risks (obligation to continue salary payments, payment of overtime).
Yes, when working from home you must still comply with the statutory provisions of labor law such as working hours and rest periods. Under labor law, you are also obliged to document the hours that you worked at home, unless any other arrangements on a simplified way of recording working time or a corresponding waiver has been agreed.
The contractually agreed working hours including breaks also apply when you're working from home. Our tip: Speak to your employer about when you have to be available and also how quickly you have to respond to emails.
Your employer must normally provide you with work equipment and materials that you need for your job, or compensate you accordingly. This is what the law provides for.
However, employers and employees may deviate from this rule. This means that an agreement is normally permitted where you procure equipment at your own cost or you have to use your own existing equipment. If your employer already provides you with a fully equipped work station at your place of work, it does not have to pay for an additional work station if you are voluntarily working from home. Consequently, whether compensation is due or not in individual cases depends on whether there is a fully equipped work station at the place of work and if not, whether an agreement to that effect was drawn up.
Repair costs for WiFi (WLAN) generally have to be covered by the employee.
Damage to private devices must be covered by the employee, even when these devices are being used to work from home.
No insurance pays for the work laptop: the loss is not covered through either personal liability coverage (GIC exclusion B5.6) or household contents insurance (laptop not in private use). Commercial property insurance normally excludes simple theft.
Your cell phone and wallet are covered by your household contents insurance through simple theft away from home (provided you have sufficient coverage). Cash is not insured in this instance.
In most cases, your employer's commercial property insurance will pay for the stolen (work) devices. Household contents insurance provides no coverage for your employer's devices (not professional equipment). Provided you have sufficient coverage, your household contents will pay for damaged or stolen property in your own private ownership.
Nothing can happen by opening a fake email, but if you open a link in a phishing email and enter personal details, the cybercriminals have achieved their aim. To err on the side of caution when an email seems strange, you can enter the URL in the address bar manually rather than clicking on the link to the site.
Control systems aimed solely at monitoring whether employees are carrying out their work are prohibited in the office or if an employee is working from home. Consequently, work presence when employees are working from home cannot be constantly monitored and checked. If employees are informed in advance, appropriate monitoring of security or checks on work productivity are permitted while adhering to the principle of proportionality.
If the conditions for working from home are unsuitable, you should discuss this with your employer. However, the hurdles are quite high before working from home is considered to be unreasonable.
This must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If you’re working from home for a long time, you must also place greater emphasis on having an ergonomic workplace setup at home.
As your employer cannot carry out any checks in your home, you must take personal responsibility here. If you have to buy new furniture because your workplace at home does not meet health regulations, particularly if it is being used intensively and over a long period, your employer should contribute toward the cost. However, the company is not obliged to provide an ideal office at home for every employee.