One year Corona: Home office – come to stay | Tyrolean daily newspaper online
Homeoffice wurde im vergangenen Frühjahr schlagartig für viele Arbeitnehmer Realität. Ein Jahr später soll nun ein Gesetz dazu folgen.
Vienna – The corona pandemic has given home offices worldwide a boost that does not stop at Austria. The working form of the voluntary home office has come to stay – even if the intensity will decrease again after overcoming the corona crisis. A solution was struggled for months. This was found by the social partners at the end of 2020. However, Labor Minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP) will not cast it into law until the end of February.
The decision in the National Council could be made at the end of March, it was said last. The actual entry into force should therefore take place almost exactly one year after the first lockdown, which forced people to work from home due to the corona.
Home office remains a matter of agreement
The solution of the social partners with the Federation of Industry (IV), approved by the Ministry of Labor and Finance, stipulates that employers do not have to offer a mandatory option to work from home. Mobile work remains a matter of agreement between employer and employee – in writing. Both sides should be able to revoke the agreement with one month’s notice. Voluntary company agreements should also be possible.
Arbeitsminister Martin Kocher soll die Homeoffice-Regelung finalisieren.
© HELMUT FOHRINGER
The provision of digital work equipment such as a laptop by the employer should not be a taxable benefit in kind. Payments by employers to cover the additional costs in the home office for laptops or mobile devices should be tax-free up to 300 euros per year. In addition, employees should also be able to deduct other expenses of up to EUR 300 as business expenses – in total up to EUR 600.
This regulation should already apply to the 2020 employee tax assessment. In this case, however, the EUR 300 limit applies to 2020 and 2021 together.
Home office for a few hours per week is also possible
The home office application should be very extensive or only possible for a few hours a week. Labor Minister Kocher hoped that there would be advantages for both employees and employers. An evaluation is planned in approximately two years.
After the agreement of the social partners and the Federation of Industrialists (IV), the employers’ associations – WKÖ and IV – sounded less home office euphoric than the employee associations. The IV emphasized that it was a good “crisis instrument” that would apply until 2023. In 2022, however, this will be evaluated to determine whether it is also practicable for non-crisis times.
Chamber of Commerce cares about private use of the advantages
The Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ) hastened to make it clear that it is not a good idea to work in the home office and, thanks to the newly created rules, secure the streaming TV program in the evening free of charge in one wash. Employers must provide the digital work equipment for the home office, including a data connection. The prescribed remuneration depends, among other things, on the proportion of private use.
“It is important that, after lengthy negotiations, clear framework conditions for working in the home office have finally been agreed,” said ÖGB President Wolfgang Katzian after the agreement. Chamber of Labor President Renate Anderl said that the AK’s important concerns had been taken up in the agreement with the government. Digital work equipment would have to be replaced by the employer and a regulation in permanent law had also been created for the important topic of accident insurance. “This also applies to accidents on the way from the home office to the workplace, to a doctor’s appointment, a lobby group or when you bring the children to kindergarten. This creates additional security.” (APA)