Altmaier gives in, BDA is angry: compulsory testing for companies is coming

Altmaier collapses, BDA is angry
Compulsory testing for companies is coming

Companies have to prepare for mandatory testing for their employees. After Minister of Economics Altmaier has given up his resistance, the regulation could be decided tomorrow. The economy is reluctant: The regulation costs companies up to seven billion euros a month.

All companies in Germany should in future have to offer their employees corona tests if they do not work in the home office. A package solution is being sought in the federal government. The corresponding change in the occupational health and safety ordinance is to come together with the planned amendment to the Infection Protection Act for a nationwide Corona emergency brake. This also extends the obligation for companies to allow their employees to work from home wherever possible.

Many companies have so far created voluntary test offers for their employees, but this is not enough for the government. As can be seen from a draft of the regulation, which ntv is available, they should make tests available once a week. However, you do not have to document that your employees also use the offers. Self-tests paid for by the company for employees are also possible. Anyone who has a lot of customer contact or lives in shared accommodation should be entitled to two tests. “Spiegel” reported that Peter Altmaier’s Ministry of Economics had given up its resistance to mandatory testing despite opposition from business.

“New declaration of no confidence in companies”

The economy doesn’t like the prospect of compulsory testing. “What the federal government is now planning is nothing less than a further declaration of no confidence in the companies and their employees in this country,” said BDA chief executive officer Steffen Kampeter. The central associations of the German economy had previously campaigned for more state support for the voluntary corona tests. In a joint letter to the Chancellery, the business associations asked the federal government to help companies expand the range of tests.

The CDU Economic Council expects the tests to cost German companies more than seven billion euros a month. Some small and medium-sized companies could not manage that. “In addition, there would be a not inconsiderable amount of office and documentation work for the companies. That is why there must be no general test requirement,” warned General Secretary Wolfgang Steiger.

Survey: 60 percent of companies are already testing

In principle, companies can claim the costs for rapid tests as part of bridging aid III if they meet the requirements for this. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, in addition to disinfectants and protective masks, rapid tests and the training of employees on hygiene measures are also eligible for funding.

A survey commissioned by the federal government showed that 61 percent of the employees surveyed have an employer who offers corona tests. Other employers had promised the employees tests. If you add this group, a total of around 70 percent of employees received a test offer or at least it was announced to them, explained the Ministry of Economic Affairs. 43 percent of the companies stated that they did not test or wanted financial support because of the costs.