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SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Regulation: Mandatory testing offer

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19 April 2021

After weeks of tough wrangling, the Federal Cabinet has decided to oblige companies throughout Germany to offer coronavirus tests to their employees. This obligation will be included in the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and will come into force this week. Employers must then offer to their employees a coronavirus test at least once a week, unless they work from home without exception. For certain employees, employers must even ensure such an offer twice a week.

At the beginning of March, the Federal Government and federal state governments had already decided to supplement the national testing strategy with tests in companies. The economy had initially succeeded in preventing the introduction of such an obligation at federal level by agreeing to ensure test offers to employees by way of a voluntary commitment. For some federal states, this was not sufficient and they obliged employers to offer tests to their employees. Saxony was the pioneer, followed by Berlin and Brandenburg.

The Federal Government has now concluded that the number of test offers made so far is insufficient to contain the pandemic. Against this background, employers nationwide will be obliged to offer testing to their employees from the middle of this week. 

In order to support you in implementing the obligation to offer tests, we have compiled practical tips for you below.

Read our full article to find out answers to the following questions:

  • Which tests can be used?
  • What do you need to consider when ordering the tests?
  • How often do you have to offer tests?
  • Can the test be made compulsory for your employees?
  • Is it obligatory to involve the works council?
  • May/must the test take place during working hours?
  • Who does carry out the tests?
  • You involve employees in carrying out the sampling/tests. What qualifications must the personnel involved have?
  • You involve employees in carrying out sampling/tests. How do you have to protect these personnel?
  • Is it necessary to obtain data protection consent from the employees before being tested?
  • How do you organise the testing?
  • How do you dispose of used rapid tests?
  • Do you have to report positive test results to the health department?
  • Who pays for the costs?