On April 13, 2021, the German Federal Cabinet agreed to add a mandatory testing offer for all employers into the SARS-CoV-2 (Corona) Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.
Following the Ministerial Conference on 22/23 March 2021, some Federal States have adopted new regulations that are also relevant for employers. These specify, for example, the obligation to wear a mask at the workplace, to offer rapid tests and, in some cases, the obligation to work from home. Special regulations will be implemented from 31 March 2021 in Berlin, for example. As of today, in Berlin there will be an obligation to offer Corona tests to the workforce, to supervise these tests and an obligation for the employer to issue a test protocol, as well as an extensive obligation to work from home. Other Federal States are much more restrained with their regulations. Since 8 March 2021, all German citizens have the opportunity to be tested once a week free of charge at one of the many Corona Test Stations. The workforce should be encouraged to take advantage of this offer and get tested when working from the office or on the shop floor is essential.
After the decisions became known, criticism was voiced from many sides. Now the Chancellor has reacted to the criticism and, in a conference with the Minister Presidents of the federal states on March 24, 2021 at 11:00 a.m., abandoned the rest days on Easter, as she herself announced at a press conference immediately afterwards.
At the video conference between the German Chancellor and the Minister Presidents on March 22, 2021, the parties involved agreed on an extended “lockdown” over Easter. According to the resolution paper, Maundy Thursday (April 1) and Easter Saturday (April 3) shall be defined as exceptional “rest days.”
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic in particular, many employees have not yet taken all of their leave from 2020. The following article explains when residual paid leave is transferred into the next year, when it expires or becomes void, and what obligations employers have in this regard.