The Corona 3G law comes into force on Wednesday the 24th of November. The political plans to contain the corona pandemic have consequences for many employees. What could threaten the unvaccinated in the workplace? Here are the most important questions and answers about the 3G rule at work.
The new Infection Protection Act with rules for 3G at work, on buses and trains comes into force this Wednesday. It was published in the Federal Law Gazette on Tuesday. On Monday, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signed the law with the new Corona requirements.
- Unanimous political support
- Who does the 3G rule apply to in the workplace?
- How will the 3G rule be controlled?
- What data is my employer allowed to collect under the 3G rule?
- Is a self-made rapid test enough for unvaccinated people?
- Which corona rules apply in the workplace?
- Are there any grants from the employer for the tests?
- What are the possible consequences of violating the test rules ?
- 3G Rule in the Workplace: What Do Employers Require?
- What do unions say about 3G access rules in the workplace?
- What about a 2G rule in the workplace?
Unanimous political support
The controversial law submitted by the SPD, Greens and FDP provides for 3G in the workplace as well as in buses and trains to combat the corona pandemic. Here you either have to prove that you have been vaccinated or recovered or you have to present a current negative corona test. But have all the important questions about the new 3G regulation in the workplace been answered?
Who does the 3G rule apply to in the workplace?
The requirements include both employees and, for example, civil servants, judges or soldiers. The Home Office is valid according to the Federal Ministry of Labor rather than “workplace” , as well as jobs in vehicles.
Otherwise, the 3G rule not only includes, for example, the office, but also places outdoors on the company premises. Construction sites are also considered workplaces, as are storage rooms, canteens or accommodation.
How will the 3G rule be controlled?
▶ Basically, employees and employers themselves are only allowed to enter a workplace if they have proof of their 3G status with them. There are only two exceptions: either to be tested in the workplace or to be vaccinated. According to the Ministry of Labor, the 3G obligation to provide evidence “also applies to employees who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons”.
▶ The employer is responsible for checking the evidence. He may, however, also “delegate them to suitable employees or third parties” in compliance with data protection regulations.
▶ The controls should focus on the validity of the test evidence . Because anyone who has not been vaccinated or recovered has to show a negative test every day. Vaccinated or Genesis can be exempted from daily access controls once the employer has checked and documented their evidence.
What data is my employer allowed to collect under the 3G rule?
The employers’ right to information had recently sparked considerable discussions, because the health data of employees is a particularly sensitive commodity. Now, however, the 3G rule is being put into effect in the midst of a massively worsening infection situation and is intended to help break chains of infection.
▶ According to the new Infection Protection Act, the principle of data minimization should apply as a middle way: According to the Ministry of Labor, it is sufficient to “tick off” the first and last names of the employees on a list on the respective control day if the evidence has been provided.
▶ For vaccinated and convalescent persons, the status only needs to be documented once; for those who have recovered, also with the end date of their status. The data must be deleted no later than six months after collection. In addition, employers must ensure that the data does not reach unauthorized persons or even colleagues.
The Federal Data Protection Commissioner Ulrich Kelber criticizes the fact that there is no pseudo anonymization – i.e. a decoupling of the name – for example the data is not deleted immediately after the daily admission control.
Is a self-made rapid test enough for unvaccinated people?
No. A rapid test that is no longer than 24 hours old is required, which is carried out by a “service provider” that complies with the Coronavirus Test Ordinance – this includes public test centers or medical practices.
Self-tests in the company under supervision or by third parties commissioned by the employer are also possible. This is to ensure that the tests run properly. PCR tests must be performed a maximum of 48 hours ago.
Which corona rules apply in the workplace?
Employees who are present at the workplace who have neither a vaccination nor a convalescent status should in future have to be tested daily for Corona . This general 3G rule in the workplace is designed to help break the new wave of pandemics.
The new 3G rule in the workplace is expected to be anchored in the Federal Infection Protection Act. It is to be flanked by the reintroduction of free corona “citizen tests”.
Are there any grants from the employer for the tests?
No. The employers are required to these controls only to control the 3G evidence before entering the workplace and documentation . The regulations of the Infection Protection Act do not result in any further effort for the employer.
However, he must allow home office for office work or comparable activities, unless there are compelling operational reasons to the contrary.
What are the possible consequences of violating the test rules ?
What happens if employees refuse or fail to present a daily test – and then cannot go to the workplace? Can they then be exempted or do they have to fear other consequences? This is an essential question that has not yet been resolved. It is also unclear what happens if employers cannot produce the necessary documents during inspections.
▶ It is conceivable that those who refuse to take tests will have to expect a warning or, in the event of recurrence, a termination. The refusal could be seen as a breach of duty.
3G Rule in the Workplace: What Do Employers Require?
A 3G rule at the workplace only makes sense with a right to information , emphasized the chief executive of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, Steffen Kampeter. And: If the employee does not meet his obligation to provide evidence, he will often no longer be able to be employed. “The principle then applies: Without performance, there is no wage. This is the only way to effectively guarantee in-house health protection. “
The managing director of the German trade association, Stefan Genth, demanded that the costs for the tests should not be passed on to the companies. “Otherwise there is a risk of organizational and financial overload for many employers.” The tests would have to be paid for by the state.
The hotel and restaurant association Dehoga hopes that a nationwide regulation could provide more legal certainty and clarity. “This increases the acceptance of the measures by the employees”, says General Manager Ingrid Hartges. The current legal situation is confusing.
What do unions say about 3G access rules in the workplace?
The DGB chairman Reiner Hoffmann said that due to the currently “escalating infection situation”, effective protection against infections at the workplace is more important than ever: “In addition to the existing occupational health and safety measures, 3G access rules at the workplace can be an effective means of doing this. The cost of the tests must continue to be borne by the employer and the testing must be part of the remunerated working hours.”
Employees in the workplace must be protected from infections as well as possible. At the same time, however, the basic rights of employees should not be disproportionately interfered with. The DGB therefore rejects the duty of employees to provide information about their own corona vaccination status , said Hoffmann. “Nevertheless, we recommend that employees voluntarily disclose their vaccination status.”
What about a 2G rule in the workplace?
This is not yet planned. The implementation of the general 2G regulation in the workplace in Germany is particularly difficult.
Such a regulation would mean that an employee would no longer be allowed to work if he were to exercise his right not to be vaccinated. In this respect, 2G would indirectly “cap” employment opportunities at the workplace, which in many cases would be disproportionate.