Corona That means the mandatory test offer for companies
In the future, companies will have to offer their employees corona tests. But when does the new regulation apply? And who bears the costs? Aziza Yakhloufi, lawyer at Rödl & Partner, answers the most important questions.
Companies on the topic
In the future, companies will have to offer their employees a test offer once a week.
(Image: © Lisa – stock.adobe.com)
Which companies have to offer a test?
The new Corona occupational health and safety ordinance obliges all companies to offer tests. This includes both private and public employers.
Do companies have to offer a test for all employees?
Companies must offer all employees a test once a week – unless the employee works exclusively in the home office. Employees who only partially work from home are therefore entitled to a test offer. Employees with an increased risk of infection should even receive a test offer twice a week. This applies in particular to employees at risk who have frequent contact with other people on a job-related basis and everyone who performs services where physical contact with other people cannot be avoided.
Who will pay for the tests? Can companies have the costs reimbursed?
The employer must bear the material and any personnel costs for the tests. It is not intended that the state will bear the costs.
From when does the test obligation apply and until when?
The obligation to provide a test offer comes into force with the publication of the new occupational health and safety ordinance in the Federal Gazette. This is expected to happen in the middle of calendar week 16. The ordinance is valid until June 30th, 2021.
How does the test procedure have to be organized? Is there a documentation requirement?
There are no special requirements for the test procedure. However, employers must document that they are providing a testing facility. For example, they can prove that they have procured tests or that they have an agreement with a service provider.
Does the test count towards working hours?
This is controversial. The result of the test is convincingly only working time that is subject to remuneration if the employee is obliged to test. Otherwise, it is a voluntary offer by the employer.
What happens if an employee does not want to be tested?
Basically, employees do not have to be tested. There are a few exceptions, however. For example, there are individual regulations in the state ordinances that establish a test requirement for certain professional groups – for example in the state of Berlin for employees with customer contact.
What measures do I have to take as a company if the rapid test shows a positive result?
The previous hygiene and precautionary measures apply. The employee must report the positive result to the employer immediately. As part of his duty of care, the employer must ensure that the employee does not endanger other employees. The employee has to isolate himself and make an appointment with the family doctor in order to be retested with a PCR test (the “gold standard” among the corona detection tests). If this test confirms the positive result, the quarantine at home begins.