How often are employees paid

The following applies from now on: One corona test per week by the employer

As of: 04/20/2021 6:52 a.m.

From now on, companies must offer their employees a weekly corona test. The companies cannot oblige their employees. They are also not allowed to control the results.

by Hilke Janssen

A corona test obligation for the economy was discussed for a long time. What remains is that companies only have to offer their employees one corona test per week. This is then voluntary and, for data protection reasons, may not be checked by the employer. Does this test offer make sense at all?

Tests have been in use for a long time

The test offer has been running for three weeks at the automotive supplier Nass Magnet. The boss procured the tests himself. 80 percent of the almost 300 employees at the Hanover site have used the weekly test so far. "We cannot make the tests binding," said managing director Klaus Kirchheim to the NDR Lower Saxony. But he still finds it useful. "We believe that this can uncover many cases that would otherwise not be discovered," said Kirchheim.

A question of cost

And the entrepreneur goes one step further: In contrast to many other companies, he could also live with a mandatory test for the workforce - even twice a week, if desired. However, Kirchheim demands, the federal or state government would have to pay for the tests. Nass Magnet expects costs of 250,000 euros per year - only for one corona test per employee per week. "I think that's pretty expensive," says managing director Kirchheim.

Business associations against "bureaucratic mischief"

The business associations in Lower Saxony have vehemently opposed a strict test requirement for weeks. The employers 'associations (UVN), the employers' association NiedersachsenMetall and the Lower Saxony Chamber of Commerce and Industry unanimously consider an obligation in the companies to be unreasonable. The general manager of NiedersachsenMetall, Volker Schmidt speaks of "bureaucratic mischief". In the case of a compulsory test, many questions remained unanswered, says Schmidt. For example, what happens if employees refuse the corona test.

Survey: companies are very willing to test

In any case, the economy considers an obligation in the companies to be superfluous, because a lot of tests are already carried out voluntarily. Nobody needs a test bureaucracy, according to the IHK in Lower Saxony. A joint survey by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the employers' associations among a good 1,000 companies has shown that the willingness to test is high overall. Accordingly, around a third of the companies stated that they would offer all employees a test offer. Another third makes offers to parts of the workforce. At the time of the survey at the end of March, only 13 percent were planning no operational tests. The survey does not reveal how many employees are offered a test in total.

Althusmann considers mandatory testing to be superfluous

Economics Minister Bernd Althusmann (CDU) sees his opinion confirmed that mandatory tests are superfluous. In any case, it is in the company's own best interest to offer regular tests. Cautious headwinds are coming from the trade unions in Lower Saxony alone. The DGB generally welcomes the fact that companies must now offer tests, but would like more than just one test per week.

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NDR 1 Lower Saxony | Current | 04/20/2021 | 8:00 a.m.