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Bloke breaking his back on 'commute' from bed to desk deemed a workplace accident

Thank goodness he didn't make a diversion for Coco Pops

A German employer has been left on the hook after a worker slipped and broke his back on the "commute" from his bed to the home office.

It's not something companies coping with the ongoing work-from-home wave will want to hear, but the bloke's fall on his spiral staircase was ruled a "workplace accident" by Germany's federal social court, The Guardian reports.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the company's insurance wouldn't cover the claim, and two lower courts disagreed whether the – ahem – trip counted as a commute, but the higher court ruled "the first morning journey from bed to the home office" was an "insured work route."

"First morning journey" are the operative words here as it was emphasised that the guy started work "immediately without having breakfast beforehand" – the suggestion being that if he had descended the staircase and fallen while on his way to fill a bowl of Frosties, the claim he was commuting could have failed.

The court said: "If the insured activity is carried out in the household of the insured person or at another location, insurance cover is provided to the same extent as when the activity is carried out at the company premises."

It added that the law applied to "teleworking positions" where "computer workstations" are "permanently set up by the employer in the private area of ​​the employees."

Across the Channel, it came to light this week that more than half of UK employees would quit if their company pulled hybrid working options. It is nice to see that, thanks to the pandemic, workers are holding more cards than usual. ®

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