Labor Minister: Home office obligation is coming back, 3-G regulation at work

In view of the continuing strong increase in the number of coronavirus infections, Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) is planning to reintroduce an obligation to work from home. His ministry is said to have drawn up a corresponding draft law and has already submitted it to the parties in coalition negotiations, the SPD, FDP and the Greens. In addition, there should be a 3-G obligation in the workplace. This is reported by the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, which has the draft.

The newspaper quotes from the draft: “In the case of office work or comparable activities, the employer has to offer employees to carry out these activities in their home, if there are no compelling operational reasons.” The employees would therefore have to accept this offer, provided there are no reasons against it on their part. According to the newspaper, all three parties of the “Ampel” coalition have been discussing the draft since the weekend. However, no agreement has yet been reached and the FDP in particular has not yet decided how it will position itself.

At the workplace, the Ministry of Labor should also provide for a 3-G obligation, i.e. proof of a complete vaccination, recovery or a negative test result. According to the report, the draft stipulates that employers do not have to offer such tests. Unvaccinated workers would have to apply for a certified rapid test themselves on a daily basis.

Verdi boss Frank Werneke also considers a 3-G regulation at the workplace to be “appropriate and necessary,” as he told the German press agency. “If the employees do not have to provide proof of vaccination, their personal rights are preserved,” said Werneke. They can be expected to prove that they have been vaccinated, recovered or tested. The check by employers could be done “routinely and quickly”. The following applies to employees: “It is much more convenient to reveal the vaccination status. But if you do not want that, you can have yourself tested before starting work.” Green boss Robert Habeck also spoke out against the newspapers of the Funke media group for “3G” in the workplace and a greater use of home office.

The obligation to work from home was included in the “Federal Emergency Brake” (reform of the Infection Protection Act) to combat the epidemic. With the expiry of the measures in June of this year, the home office obligation was not extended. There had been a dispute at the time about the end of the home office obligation: The industrial representatives were against an extension, Vice Chancellor and Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) had spoken out in favor of a continuation.


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