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16th Dec 2021

Court rules the walk from your bed to desk is officially a “commute”

Katy Brennan

The struggle is real.

Sometimes, especially in this weather, pulling the blankets off and dragging yourself out of your cosy bed to your WFH set-up can take a lot of effort.

This week, a German court made the ruling that the walk from your bed to your desk is classed as a commute.

It came to the decision after a man fell on the way from his bed to his computer and successfully claimed it was a workplace accident.

En route to his home office, the man slipped and fell down the stairs, breaking his back.

Needless to say, his employer’s insurer refused to cover the accident claim at first. A regional social court initially had judged that the claimant’s walk as an “uninsured preparatory act that only precedes the actual activity.”

However, a higher social court said the man should be protected by his employer’s accident insurance because he walked straight from his bedroom to his desk first thing in the morning. It viewed the“first morning journey from bed to the home office as an insured work route”.

It clarified that only accidents during the day’s first trip to work should be covered,  so an accident while moving to the home office later in the day might not have been dealt with the same way.

The official court ruling reads:

“The plaintiff suffered an accident at work when he fell on the way to his home office in the morning.

“It is not known if the man was forced to work from home because of the pandemic or if he had done so previously.

“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.”