Politics on alert again – is the lockdown coming for the unvaccinated?



Helpers test a man with a rapid test for corona.  Archive image

The Bundestag passed the new Infection Protection Act with the votes of the traffic light parties. Among other things, one is planned 3G scheme in the workplace. Employees should also work from home if possible. If the Federal Council gives the green light on Friday, the changes will apply from next week. The most important requirements for employees:

A new paragraph provides for “nationwide uniform protective measures” in order to contain the spread of the pandemic. Workplaces in which physical contact “with one another or with third parties cannot be excluded” may therefore only be entered by employers and employees who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested (3G). This requirement also applies to transports organized by the employer for employees to or from the workplace. Anyone who takes a test or vaccination offer immediately before starting work in the company may enter it beforehand. Otherwise, a vaccination certificate, a recovery certificate or a test certificate must be kept available for control or deposited with the employer. PCR tests must be a maximum of 48 hours old, rapid antigen tests 24 hours.

HOW FREQUENCY ARE CHECKS AND WHAT HAPPENS IN THE EVENT OF VIOLATIONS?
The draft law states that employers are obliged to monitor compliance with the requirements “by means of verification checks on a daily basis and to document them regularly”. Otherwise there is a risk of a fine. Employees and visitors to medical facilities are obliged to submit the required evidence. If employees refuse to accept the 3G rule, employers can try to make it possible to work without contact with other people. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) pointed out that unvaccinated people without a current test threaten financial consequences: Then, for example, continued payment of wages is in question. The Greens emphasized that redundancies could not be ruled out in the future.

HOW DOES THE TESTS WORK?
So far, employers have been obliged to offer their employees at least two tests per week. In addition, there has recently been the option of being tested once a week in community centers free of charge. Employees could incur costs for any further tests that may be necessary – employer representatives have already emphasized that they do not want to cover the costs.

WHAT ABOUT DATA PROTECTION?
So far, employers have only been able to query the corona vaccination status to a very limited extent. But now employers should be able to process personal data on vaccination and test jams and use it to adapt hygiene concepts. If you do not want to disclose your vaccination status, you have to switch to the daily tests.

IS THERE AN OBLIGATION TO GO TO THE HOME OFFICE AGAIN?
Yes, if possible. In the case of office work or comparable activities, employers must offer employees to carry out these activities at home “if there are no compelling operational reasons to the contrary”. According to the text of the law, employees must also accept this offer if there are no reasons to the contrary on their part.

(Source: Ed. / Dpa / reuters / afp / ap / epd / kna)

Image source: Julian Stratenschulte / dpa


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