Companies forced to offer corona tests to employees
In view of the discussion about a compulsory offer for corona tests in companies, Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) has emphasized that volunteering alone is not enough. "Experience shows that 60 percent of employees already have a test offer. It is already really good that companies are getting involved. But that's not enough," Heil said Tuesday morning on ARD's "Morning Magazine." "We have to do this across the board in view of the wave of the pandemic."
Companies in Germany are to make tests available to their employees once a week in the future if they do not work in a home office. This is the result of a draft by the German government. However, employees do not have to accept the offer. Those who have a lot of customer contact or live in shared accommodation are to be entitled to two tests.
"This is effort, but it is not disproportionate. And the market, according to the Federal Minister of Health, allows that one can also procure such tests," Heil said. "We are not prescribing a particular form of test, but all rapid antigen tests are part of it."
No compensation for companies
Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz also spoke on "German Radio"on Tuesday morning of a national effort that was now necessary. "Everyone has to join in on this." He did not hold out the prospect of financial compensation for the companies. The commitment, which is to be approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, is the right thing to do, he said, because the target of at least 90 percent of companies has not yet been reached.
"We are now helping the rest with a regulation." There will be a documentation requirement for ordered tests. The regulation applies not only to private companies, but also to the public sector.
According to information from the German Press Agency, a package solution is being sought in the German government regarding the test offer obligation. The corresponding amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance is to come together with the planned amendment to the Infection Protection Act for a nationwide corona emergency brake.