Due to a high number of Covid cases and not sufficient vaccination quotes, the German government has issued a mandate that all employers are obliged to let their employees work from home. Deviating from this mandate has only been possible if either the employee’s individual situation at home does not allow productive working or if certain resources and means are only available on site at the office.
Since the numbers are stagnating and the hospitalisation rate does not exceed the capacity of the hospitals, the government has decided to lift several Covid restrictions on March 20, 2022. Among them is the work from home mandate. While this of course is a relief, many employees who are asked to return to the office, are afraid to get infected at their work place because of the current l high infection rates.
Here is what you need to know now:
Employees are afraid of infections at their work place
According to a survey from the German Trade Union Federation in February 2022, approximately a third of all participants, and especially those who work in close contact with other people, are afraid to get infected with Covid at their workplace and risk suffering from Long Covid.
Although many companies have introduced hybrid working during the pandemic and are planning to continue offering this option to their employees, it is expected that offices become more crowded again.
What happens now?
For this reason, the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has consulted on short notice and decided to stand by their decision to lift the work from home mandate. However, companies may continue offering their employees work from home or hybrid working arrangements, provided the organisational and personal situation allows it and both parties agree.
Protective measures in offices
During the transitional period where employees start returning to their workplace, companies and employees are advised to continue with the known protection measures. Those measures include keeping distance, working from home whenever possible, wearing a mask when walking around in the office and frequently opening windows. In addition, the ministry encourages employers to keep on offering their employees at least two free Covid test per week and offer vaccination opportunities during working hours where possible, for example in cooperation with the Occupational Physician.
How TCP/People2.0 can help?
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Would you like further information about how we could assist you and your company regarding working with temporary workers and contractors compliantly following local tax rulings, GDPR and work safety regulations, don’t hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message via our contact page. We would be delighted to speak to you regarding the possibilities.