Home work

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Two girls tie artificial flowers at home, New York (1924).

Employed homework is a form of wage labor (or non-independent gainful employment) in which the workplace is either in the employee's own home or in the workplace of the employee's choice, while the employer provides the means of production and acquires ownership of the manufactured product . The remuneration for working from home is usually determined by (red) “binding stipulations” as minimum wages per hour or per item processed, in exceptional cases also by special collective agreements. State remuneration auditors (trade supervisory offices - state offices for occupational safety) monitor compliance with the minimum working conditions.

In contrast to employees, the homeworker is not subject to the client's right of direction and is also not integrated into his company. Nevertheless, his work is in principle subject to social insurance contributions according to the same principles as for employees in health, long-term care, unemployment, pension and accident insurance .

Independent home work is in contrast to this independent of an employer. A customer can commission this. If home work is carried out without a fixed order or a specific order for one's own account, one speaks of house traders . These offer their products or services either themselves or through sales organizations (in network marketing).

When teleworking from home, employees do telework in their own home, usually supported by means of communication such as the Internet, fax, telephone or video telephony.

The internet gave rise to new possibilities for working from home, so that the term home working changed significantly. In Switzerland , the Home Work Act of 1981 was adapted on January 1, 2009 in line with the new media and online technology .

In 2008 there were around 4.7 million homeworkers in Germany; in the following years - 2009 and 2010 were marked by an economic crisis - their number decreased.

In Germany

Although homeworkers are in a specific way at risk of exploitation, according to the prevailing opinion in German labor law they do not count as employees : "Due to the lack of personal dependency, homeworkers are not employees in terms of the general concept of employee". From a different, foreseeable, majority view, they are typically employees.

Home Work Act

The Home Work Act ( HAG ) protects home workers by regulating unit or hourly wages and special payments. Homeworkers within the meaning of the law are those who work in a self-chosen workplace (own apartment or business premises) alone or with their family members on behalf of tradespeople or interim foremen, but leave the exploitation of the work results to the directly or indirectly commissioning trader


Homeworkers are often equated with employees (in a different perspective: they are not deprived of the employee protection they deserve): "If the legislature wanted to equate homeworkers with employees, it has to do so through appropriate references or fictions (cf. § 5 Paragraph 1 Sentence 2 ArbGG ; Section 20 (2) BEEG ; Section 5 (1) sentence 2 BetrVG ; Section 12 BUrlG ; Section 10 , Section 11 EFZG ; Section 7 (4), Section 8 (5), Section 9 (1) sentence 1 in conjunction with sentence 2, Section 4, Section 18 Section 2, Section 24 MuSchG ) ... The protection against dismissal for homeworkers is regulated separately. The general protection against dismissal for homeworkers according to Section 29 HAG is limited to the obligation of the client, depending on the duration of the employment relationship Members of a works council or youth and trainee representative who work from home enjoy special protection against dismissal in accordance with Section 29a of the HAG, including the public-law dismissal for employees protection applies to home workers only on the basis of a separate statutory order "

Trade law

Home workers must report their home work to a trade office . In addition, it must also be stated who they employ. This is from the occupational safety and labor inspection monitored. The Home Work Act applies above all to home workers, house traders and intermediate masters .

In the Netherlands

In the Netherlands , a law came into force in July 2015 that gives employees a legal right to work at home from their employer. The employee can make this claim by applying to the employer. The employer can reject the application if certain statutory requirements are met. The employer also bears the burden of proof that the requirements are met .


See also

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Law on Home Work (Home Work Law [HArG]). (Switzerland)
  2. spiegel.de February 20, 2014: Interview with Karl Brenke , labor market and economic expert at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW)
  3. BAG, judgment of August 24, 2016, Az. 7 AZR 342/14, Rn. 23, full text .
  4. BAG, judgment of June 14, 2016, Az. 9 AZR 305/15, Rn. 24 full text .
  5. I want to work from home - you can go to spiegel.de on April 14, 2015, accessed on July 15, 2015

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