Employers must allow their employees to work from home in the future. The federal and state governments decided that yesterday. The Ministry of Labor is now working on how exactly the decision will be implemented. NewsABC.net has drafted a corresponding new regulation.
Accordingly, companies will also have to pay attention to the seven-day incidence value in the future. So far the number was only relevant for cities and counties. The new regulation obliges companies to take protective measures in two stages. Which level applies depends on the number of new infections at the place of operation and – due to commuters and field staff – also on the value of the surrounding region (cities, districts, counties).
Step 1: Where the incidence is between 50 and 200, the employer must allow home office. Exception: there are “compelling operational reasons” against it. The company must explain what these are to the occupational safety authorities on request. The regulation does not specify what reasons are permissible. There must also be a company agreement on home office between bosses and employees. Companies must provide their employees with medical masks (at least surgical masks). In addition, groups of employees must be formed who work together and take breaks together. This should make it easier to follow up the contacts in the event of an infection.
Level 2: The next stage begins with an incidence value of more than 200. As of today, this is the case in around 50 districts in Germany. If more than 50 employees work in the company, the companies must also offer weekly corona tests for all those who cannot keep the minimum distance of 1.5 meters. The same applies to employees who regularly have to travel by bus and train for business reasons. From an incidence of 200 employees in canteens are no longer allowed to eat together. Currently, however, they are only allowed to offer food to go anyway.
The specifications in the respective stages apply until the respective incidence value in a region is undercut for five days. You can look up these numbers at the Robert Koch Institute on a daily basis.
The new regulation also regulates what happens if employers do not adhere to the requirements. According to this, companies commit an administrative offense if they deliberately or negligently do not document their risk assessment and check it regularly (Section 2) or do not provide employees with medical masks. Then they face a fine of up to 30,000 euros. Employees who do not wear their mask can be fined up to 5000 euros.
For the implementation of the regulation, the Ministry of Labor expects an average of additional costs for employers per employee of around 36 euros per month, e.g. for masks. If companies still have to purchase rapid tests from an incidence, around 190 euros per month per employee is expected.