The Federal Council gets one on the roof for plans to work from home. For many, the duty goes too far. It is only symbolic politics.

Federal Councilor Alain Berset wants to reintroduce the obligation to work from home.

 Employers reject the home-office-obligation as unsuitable

Employers find home office unsuitable.

 Employers reject the home office obligation as unsuitable

During the crisis, many companies had already introduced voluntary home office regulations wherever possible.

That's what

  • The Federal Council wants to reintroduce the home office obligation.

  • Employers reject coercion.

  • The unions are demanding better controls.

The Federal Council is tightening the measures against Corona and is once again putting the obligation to work from home up for discussion. As Health Minister Alain Berset announced on Friday afternoon, he considers a simple recommendation to work at home no longer appropriate if other companies have to close at the same time. After consulting the cantons, he wants to make a definitive decision by December 14th.

There is massive criticism from the Swiss Trade Association, which rejects the obligation as unsuitable for SMEs. During the crisis, many companies – wherever possible – introduced voluntary home office regulations. The potential for this measure has therefore already been exhausted and is only symbolic politics. There is no evidence of an increased risk of infection in the workplace and the protection concepts in the companies have proven themselves.

Mask requirement remains in the office

Although there should be no 3G or 2G compulsory at work for people who cannot work from home, the Federal Council does not want to waive the mask requirement at work.

The Swiss Confederation of Trade Unions, on the other hand, sees home office as an effective tool for protecting the health of employees. However, the dangers of working from home should not be ignored. For example, employers should ensure that the mixing of private and professional life and other psychosocial risks are prevented.

In addition, the bosses should assume the costs and expenses of the home office and health protection if home office is prescribed for epidemiological reasons. The trade union federation also demands that inspections and consultations at the workplace by the inspectorates and Suva be massively increased.

«Only half of the employees can work from home.»

The trade union umbrella organization Travail Suisse sees it similarly. The home office obligation should, if at all, be implemented moderately and with a clear time limit, according to a message. The individual situation of employees must be generously taken into account.

«Only half of the employees can work from home at all. The protection concepts must be strictly applied and monitored for all other employees », says Thomas Bauer, Head of Economic Policy at Travail Suisse.

The Swiss Commercial Association is also supporting the reintroduction of a home office requirement to contain the pandemic. However, it also demands that health protection in the home office, clear agreements on the availability of employees and the assumption of costs for equipment and consumables are discussed and regulated, as a spokeswoman says.

.20hdY “> Many companies are already relying on home office

On request, many companies confirm the assessment of the trade association that they already voluntarily rely on home office where this is possible. For example, Zurich Insurance, Novartis, Roche, Swisscom, Post and Migros.

Around three quarters of the workforce cannot work from home, says a Migros spokesman. At Swiss Post, a large number of them do not work in office jobs either. Of the around 54,000 Swiss Post employees, only 7,000 to 8,000 work from home every day.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7341

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