In Brief: Should home officing be a legal right in Germany? Some officials say yes

Germany’s labor minister says he plans to introduce a measure making home officing a legal right before the fall. But the head of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations, said rewriting labor law during the worst economic downturn in decades is a bad idea.

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

 

By Benjamin Restle and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

Since lockdown restrictions were put into place in March, Berlin has seen an increase in the number of emergency calls related to domestic violence, confirming the fears of some family and children advocacy experts.

Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik reported on Monday the number of calls rose by 34%, compared to last year. But she added, the number of complaints filed only increased by 3%.

Meanwhile, Berlin Interior Senator Andreas Geisel says Berlin saw a 23% drop in overall crime when comparing a period this month to the same time in April last year.

There were decreases in sexual offenses and theft, among other crimes.

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German business owners are criticizing a proposal to make home officing a German right even after the pandemic is over.

German Labor Minister Hubertus Heil told the weekly Bild am Sonntag he plans to introduce a measure codifying home officing before the fall.

Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who backs the idea, told the tabloid that the past few weeks show how well home officing works.

But Steffen Kampeter, who heads the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, said rewriting labor law during the worst economic downturn in decades is a bad idea.

He added the German government should be loosening restrictions on businesses, not tightening them.

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Berlin’s 12 districts have agreed to start reopening playgrounds starting Thursday, though children must adhere to social distancing rules while playing.

Officials say it’s the responsibility of parents and other caregivers to keep a close eye on children.

People may also resume playing contactless sports on Berlin fields, though activities where you can’t practice social distancing, like soccer, are not allowed.

 

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