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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Germany wants to give people a legal right to work from home.

Why it matters: The proposal is a testament to how far the world has come amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the once-fringe idea of telecommuting finding a place in the law books.

The backdrop: Germany was ahead of other countries on telework even before the pandemic, the World Economic Forum notes. 40% of Germans wanted to work from home at least part-time, which was a much higher share than that in other wealthy countries.

With the new law, which is in the drafting process, Germany wants to legalize that right to work remotely and enact regulations to bring structure to this new and at-times nebulous way of working, Hubertus Heil, the country's labor minister, told the Financial Times. "

The question is how we can turn technological progress, new business models and higher productivity into progress not only for a few, but for many people," Heil told the FT. "How do we turn technological progress into social progress?"

  • The regulations Germany is considering include limiting work-from-home hours to address telework's disruption of work-life balance.
  • Critics of the law say it could chip away at workers' collective bargaining power or encourage companies to outsource jobs, per the FT.

Go deeper: Remote work won't kill your office

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
Nov 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

Deutsche Bank proposes a work-from-home tax

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

There's a new idea for a tax: a tariff on the teleworkers who have the privilege of doing their jobs from home.

The big picture: The rationale from Deutsche Bank, which proposed the tax in a research note, is that remote workers are not contributing as much as they were to the economy because they're not commuting or buying lunch by the office or grabbing that afternoon coffee.

4 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.