Corona Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance

As previously announced, the Federal Cabinet on Tuesday also approved the Second Ordinance Amending the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (SARS-CoV-2-ArbSchG).

This means that the employer's obligation to offer tests, which was previously only contained in some Länder ordinances (Saxony, Berlin, Brandenburg), will be regulated in a uniform and binding manner throughout Germany. In addition, the occupational health and safety regulations in this ordinance (for example: obligation to offer home office, square metre regulations, tightened mask obligation) will be extended. And this until 30 June 2021, unless the pandemic situation ends before then.

The regulation has already been published in the Federal Law Gazette and will thus come into force on Tuesday, 20 April 2021.

With regard to the employer's new test offer obligation, § 5 of the ordinance contains the following contents:

  • Obligation to offer at least one Corona test per calendar week for employers vis-à-vis all employees who do not work exclusively in their homes.
  • Obligation to offer at least two Corona tests per calendar week for employers towards certain groups of employees with particularly high infection risks.

Who is at particularly high risk of infection ?

  1. Employees who are accommodated in collective accommodation by the employer or at the employer's instigation.
  2. Employees working in indoor climatic conditions that are conducive to transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
  3. workers in establishments providing personal services where direct physical contact with other persons cannot be avoided
  4. employees who, for operational reasons, carry out activities involving contact with other persons, provided that the other persons do not have to wear mouth/nose protection
  5. Employees who, for operational reasons, come into frequent contact with other persons.
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