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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure DE-2020-27/1585 Updated – measures in Germany

New Normal Working Model at Siemens

Siemens "New Normal Working Model"

Country Germany , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 July 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
Author Birgit Kraemer (Hans Boeckler Foundation) and Eurofound
Measure added 09 December 2020 (updated 21 January 2022)

Background information

Siemens is a typical case of a German company applying telework arrangements to manage the pandemic situation, while simultaneously using the pandemic as an opportunity to increase telework in the company. According to a German study, three quarters of German companies have used telework to manage the labour process during the pandemic. The study also found that around half of all employers in Germany would like to increase the use of telework among office workers. Please find the study for background information here: .

Content of measure

Siemens management presented a new teleworking concept in July 2020. According to the „New Normal Working Model", employees may carry out their tasks remotely wherever this makes sense and line managers agree to the arrangement. Employees may work from home or outside of their homes, for example while traveling. The New Normal Working Model constitutes an extension and amendment of existing telework arrangements in the company. The measure covers around 140,000 employees working for Siemens. The new telework arrangements are intended to set standards for post-pandemic working conditions. The trade union IG Metal announced in July that it would seek negotiations with Siemens in October in order to reach an agreement regulating the details of telework.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

19 May 2022

Siemens management and works council have concluded a new company-wide agreement called "MobileWorking im NewNormal" on working from home. Employees can chose telework for two or three days per week.

Use of measure

No information about the impact of the measure or the state of negotiations between IG Metall and Siemens was available at the time of writing (early December 2020). (The WSI research team will try to update this case in January 2021, contacting IG Metall).

Contents

  • Telework

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Employees
Employer

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

  1. This is a management-led initiative at individual company level.
  2. Social partners outside the company were not involved.
  3. In principle, the employer bears the cost of the measures, for example related to telework equipment. Details related to work space and other employee needs remain unclear.

Views and reactions

The sectoral trade union IG Metall supports telework in principle but voiced concerns related to a lack of working time regulation. The trade union urged management to enter into negotiations about an agreement in order to ensure decent working time arrangements and avoid an over-burdening of employees

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      C - Manufacturing C26 Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products
      C27 Manufacture of electrical equipment

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), New Normal Working Model at Siemens, measure DE-2020-27/1585 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/DE-2020-27_1585.html

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.