Deutsche Bank is proposing a 5pc levy for those who choose to work from home outside of lockdowns stating that working from home is a ‘privilege’.
Following the rise of homeworking and statements from companies like Twitter that their staff can work from home indefinitely, does the proposal have legs?
Angela Love, director at Active Workplace Solutions, comments: “There is simply no logic to Deutsche Bank’s proposal to tax people working from home between lockdowns. Where were these suggestions when people were working remotely pre-pandemic? Home workers are not makeshift units to be taxed, they are real people who have gone through an awful lot of upheaval in 2020.
“I completely support searching for measures to help vulnerable jobs but taxing home workers is not the way. You have to also consider the reasons why some people are working from home. Some will have their own health reasons, others may share a property with someone who is vulnerable therefore won’t risk the commute. Whilst we can’t deny that some workers and demographics have wonderful settings in their home working environment in order to work productively, others do not.
“Yet, despite that, they will continue to work from home to keep them and others safe. And that’s admirable. Taxing them for making that call is wrong. Even after Covid-19, some people will still work from home, regardless of whether they actually want to or not. Punishing them for it will only deepen the wound financially and emotionally and this will result in other major long-term effects.”
Deutsche Bank Research suggests a tax of 5 pc of a worker’s salary if workers choose to work from home when they are not forced to by the current pandemic.
The tax would be paid for by employers and the income generated would be paid to people who cannot work from home.
This could earn $48bn (£36bn) if introduced in the US and would help redress the balance, the bank says (according to the BBC).
Deutsche Bank strategist Luke Templeman comments: “For years we have needed a tax on remote workers. Covid has just made it obvious. Quite simply, our economic system is not set up to cope with people who can disconnect themselves from face-to-face society.
“Those who can WFH receive direct and indirect financial benefits and they should be taxed in order to smooth the transition process for those who have been suddenly displaced.”