Germany: Current requirements for Health and Safety in the Workplace in light of Covid-19
The rules and regulations to be observed by employers in order to comply with their health and safety obligations under German law, are currently subject to frequent changes as a result of the corona pandemic, and often depend on the federal state in which the employees work. For example, Berlin recently introduced the obligation to wear a face mask at the office, if not sitting at the desk. In light of the dynamic situation, local employers will have to keep themselves informed of the relevant changes. They will also need to review the health and safety measures that they previously implemented, on a regular basis.
Aside from specific local rules, there is a nationwide standard of occupational safety in light of the corona pandemic. In particular, employers should take the following measures and precautions:
- provide easily accessible washing facilities;
- ensure cleaning of sanitary facilities at least every working day;
- ensure increased ventilation;
- limitations on business trips / increased home office work;
- floor markings in the workplace to ensure the necessary distance of 1.5 meters between employees;
- limiting the amount of external visitors as much as possible; and
- individual protective measures, such as providing face masks / rearranging offices where the minimum distance cannot be maintained
If an employer does not fulfil the necessary requirements and at the same time, is not able to ensure a comparable level of protection, employees may have the right to refuse to work, while keeping their salary entitlement. In addition, the competent authorities, which monitor compliance with health and safety standards, may impose fines for infringements.
Pusch Wahlig Workplace Law attorneys are available to assist you with these and other workplace issues. For more information, visit https://pwwl.de/
For more information please contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at firstname.lastname@example.org.