More stringent covid regulations apply in Germany on November 24. It entails major changes for employers and employees.
- Only vaccinated people, convalescents or people with a current negative coronavirus test result will have access to the workplace in Germany
- Employers in Germany will have to verify employees and should offer them free coronavirus tests at least twice a week
- The new regulations are criticized by some German employers
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According to “Deutsche Welle”, only evidence of vaccination, recovery or a negative result of the current coronavirus test will allow employees to enter the office or plant. This model is called “3G” by the Germans (from the first letters of the words: “geimpft” – vaccinated, “genesen” – healed and “getestet” – tested).
What about unvaccinated people unable to work from home? They must provide the employer with an up-to-date rapid antigen test (or PCR test, but not older than 48 hours) on a daily basis. It is also possible to carry out the antigen test alone on site, but under supervision.
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Unvaccinated people who do not bring a valid test and do not want to undergo an on-site test must take into account that they will simply not be allowed to work in Germany.
Work in Germany – obligations of employers
It is employers’ responsibility to check vaccination evidence or texts before accessing the workplace. Coronavirus clearance certificate or proof of vaccination may already allow the employee to be released from daily checks. Employers should also offer free coronavirus tests at least twice a week.
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As Steffen Kampeter of the BDA employers’ organization warns, the new regulations are a great challenge for companies. Numerous commentators support the principle of “3G” in the workplace, but criticize its implementation.
In most cases, it would be enough to give employers a little more powers. Instead, companies are required to carry out permanent, comprehensive inspections, under penalty of a fine
– said Ulrich Kelber, German government plenipotentiary for personal data protection, in “Deutsche Welle”.
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Ambiguities in the regulations
Employers point out that there is a lot of ambiguity in the regulations. For example, it is not known whether the employer has to check all employees every day or if only random checks are sufficient.
The quick implementation of the new rules is also criticized by German employers. They argue that it is difficult to introduce large-scale controls in a matter of days, for example for shift workers in production.
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