Germany STOPS wages for unvaccinated people in quarantine (From Nov. 2021)


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Effective immediately, unvaccinated people will have to forego continued payment of wages in the quarantine case 

Unvaccinated workers have so far received a wage reimbursement if they had to be quarantined. The regulation is now no longer applicable. There are exceptions, however.

▶ Employees who are not vaccinated against Corona and have to go into quarantine have so far been reimbursed for the loss of earnings. Continued payment of wages will cease to apply from November 1st. This is what the majority of the health ministers of the federal states decided at the end of September. 

▶ Two federal states did not approve the decision: Bremen and Thuringia. Who is affected by the new regulation? Adults for whom a vaccination recommendation has been made and who could also be vaccinated. There are a few exceptions, however.


Reimbursement of wages for time in quarantine

So far, the regulation has been as follows: Anyone who can no longer work as an employee because of an imposed quarantine is entitled to continued wage payment in the event of financial loss. The employer makes an advance payment. The state then reimburses the money at the employer’s request. 

During the absence from work, the wages can be reimbursed in full for a maximum of six weeks. From the seventh week onwards, only 67 percent of the loss of earnings will be awarded. From then on, the upper limit for the amount is 2,016 euros. With immediate effect, this wage reimbursement will no longer apply to many employees.

Who is not affected by the new regulation?

▶ Every adult who has been infected with the corona virus is exempt from the new regulation. Because infected employees are generally entitled to continued payment of wages in the event of illness. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not affected by the end of the year. 

▶ Compensation for the financial loss will also be given to everyone for whom no vaccination recommendation is or was not available up to eight weeks before the quarantine. Civil servants are also excluded from the new regulation.


Why is the regulation on continued payment of wages being changed?

The health ministers of the federal states consider it to be a lack of solidarity that the loss of earnings for unvaccinated people in quarantine continues to be subject to taxation. Because there is now an offer for every citizen to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Paragraph 56 of the Federal Infection Protection Act already stipulates that employees are not entitled to continued payment of wages if quarantine could not have been due to a previous vaccination. Until recently, however, there was not enough vaccine nationwide, with the result that not everyone who wanted it could be vaccinated. A situation that has since changed.

The Minister of Health of Baden-Württemberg Manfred Lucha defends the new regulation. In a radio interview with “Deutschlandfunk” he speaks of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. Sufficient information had been provided and there were sufficient offers for vaccination. “Now everyone who has unfortunately not been vaccinated so far is also deciding that they can no longer have this state solidarity at their disposal.”



Criticism of the decision to end the wage reimbursement in quarantine

Social associations criticize the new regulation for the end of wage reimbursement in the event of quarantine. The German Trade Union Federation (DGB) has a clear position on this: “If we want more people to be vaccinated voluntarily, then it is far better to advertise than to keep increasing the pressure on the unvaccinated.” Continued payment of wages in the case of quarantine creates unrest and uncertainty. The new regulation divides society and workforces into companies. The trade unionists reject “compulsory vaccination through the back door”.

Who actually has to be in quarantine?

In the meantime, almost only people who have not yet been vaccinated have to go into quarantine. Those who are fully vaccinated are usually not affected by the legal measure. Quarantine must be adhered to if you have had contact with someone who is infected with Corona. The regulation also applies to travelers returning from high-risk areas for ten days. Areas where a variant of the coronavirus occurs are called virus variant areas. Those returning from these areas must be quarantined for 14 days.

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