LONDON — White collar staff reaping the financial benefits of working from home should be taxed to help other workers who aren’t getting the same advantages, experts at Deutsche Bank said in a new report.
In its report on how to rebuild the economy after COVID-19, the bank proposed a 5% daily tax on each employee that continues to work from home, which could raise tens of billions of dollars for governments. The money could be used to help lower income workers who have taken on greater risk because their jobs can’t be done remotely, it said.
The tax would amount to just over $10 a day, assuming the average salary of an American working from home is $55,000. That’s roughly the amount the worker might spend on commuting, lunch and laundry, which would leave them no worse off than going into the office, the report said. It could raise up to $48 billion in the U.S. Deutsche Bank carried out similar calculations for Germany and the U.K.
But the proposals faced heavy skepticism.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of job search engine Adzuna.co.uk said the idea was misguided and predicted it would be incredibly unpopular.
“It punishes progressive companies and those with kids or caring responsibilities, who were responsible during the pandemic, who are already taking on more costs and helping the environment by staying at home,” said Hunter. “Let’s be honest, there are many better ways to raise taxes!”