Table of contents:
Video: Corona Virus - The Most Important Legal Questions
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-06-05 00:21
Yes, the employer is obliged to inform its employees if a coronavirus case occurs in their own company. The reason for this is the duty of care towards the other employees.
How far does the information obligation go? When does data protection take effect in such cases?
The information that an employee has been infected with the corona virus falls under the so-called health data worth protecting. To rule out that other employees are endangered, the company may disclose the information. Restriction: The employer may only pass on the information that is absolutely necessary. He doesn't need to give the name of the patient in a larger company.
Does an employee have to tell the entrepreneur if he comes from a risk area?
If the employer so requests, the employee must tell him whether he has been in a region at risk or in places with a significantly higher risk of infection.
Can the employer force its employees to be tested for the virus?
The employer can order that the employee be examined by the company doctor if he has been exposed to particular contagion risks. This can be the case, for example, if he has been in a region for which the Federal Foreign Office has issued a travel warning and if he has been there in places with increased travel and public traffic.
Coronavirus: Which trade fairs are taking place?
Can the employer send employees on a business trip if there are known coronavirus cases at the destination?
In principle, the employer can arrange a business trip to such destinations. The employee may only refuse the business trip if it is unreasonable for him. This is the case if the business trip would pose significant risks to life and health. This in turn applies to business trips to areas for which the Federal Foreign Office has issued a travel warning. A safety note alone is not enough. Personal circumstances of the employee can also make a business trip unreasonable for him, for example if he belongs to a risk group.
What are the rules for visiting trade fairs, trade exhibitions and other major events?
The employer may continue to send its employees to trade fairs, specialist exhibitions and major events. However, the two cases mentioned above are an exception.
To what extent can companies force their employees to reduce their working hours or work overtime?
The employer does not have the right to reduce working hours without wage compensation. However, he can, if necessary, order that overtime be reduced. Short-time work is also an option. Conversely, he can order overtime if an order may no longer be able to be processed and as a result, operating systems, goods or jobs are at risk. This can be the case, for example, if another employee falls ill.
Can the employer send his employees on forced leave?
In principle, this is possible, unless the employee has a legitimate interest in taking his vacation at another time.
Can the employer commit his employees to home office for a limited time?
The employer must not simply send the employee to the home office. The worker must also agree.
Can an employee stay at home for fear of infection?
The employee is obliged to do his job. So he can't stay at home just because he's afraid of getting infected.
Who pays wages in a quarantine?
The employee receives compensation for up to six weeks in the amount of his regular salary, then in the amount of sickness benefit. As in the case of illness, the employer must initially continue to pay the wages for six weeks. However, he can have this payment reimbursed by the competent authority.
The daycare center or school remains closed out of concern for the virus. Can the employee stay at home?
The employee can stay at home and is still paid. Prerequisite: The child must actually be supervised. This is usually the case with kindergarten children, younger school children or seriously ill children. The employee must also have unsuccessfully sought other childcare options, for example through the grandparents. In addition, it must not be excluded in the employment contract.
How far do the employer's obligations go in the event of a pandemic? Does he have to provide disinfectants and face masks?
The employer is obliged to inform his employees about the illness and the dangers of being infected at work. He must also take necessary, possible and reasonable measures to ensure their health. It is reasonable to establish operational rules of conduct (especially hygiene rules), to ensure hygiene in the workplace and to establish rules for eating and drinking in the company.
Whether the employer is obliged to provide disinfectants depends on the type of business and the risk of infection. For example, if employees have regular contact with customers, the company must provide disinfectants. However, the Ministry of Health has currently no evidence that respirators reduce the risk of healthy people becoming infected. Therefore, these do not have to be provided by the company.
This article first appeared on our partner portal Maschinenmarkt.de.
* Volker Serth is an employment law expert at the business law firm FPS in 60322 Frankfurt am Main, Tel. (0 69) 9 59 57-213, [email protected], www.fps-law.de/de/