After a long struggle to find the right way to deal with the exploding infection figures, the Bundesrat (upper house of the German parliament) approved the law to amend the Infection Protection Act and other laws on the occasion of the repeal of the determination of the epidemic situation of national significance on 19.11.2021. This means that the draft law, which was already passed by the Bundestag on Nov. 18, 2021, can enter into force promptly.
In addition to far-reaching restrictions in public life, the focus will again be on occupational infection control.
3G at work
After some After several federal states have enacted a requirement for 3G access regulation in the workplace, a nationwide uniform regulation will apply in the future. With the new Federal Infection Protection Act, employees are in principle only permitted access to the workplace with 3G proof (vaccinated, tested, recovered). This obligation also applies to transport to the workplace organized by the employer. This regulation applies to all workplaces where physical contact with other persons cannot be excluded. For special establishments, such as hospitals and care facilities, even stricter regulations apply.
From a data protection perspective, it must be taken into account that this regulation affects employee data which, as health information, enjoys special protection under Article 9 of the GDPR. Consequently, the highest degree of attention must be paid to data protection-compliant implementation.
Home office obligation
With the entry into force of the amended law, a home office obligation applies again throughout Germany. This applies to employees with office jobs or comparable activities. In detail, the legal regulation that was already in force at the beginning of the year has essentially been reactivated. Accordingly, employers must offer their employees the option of working from home, unless there are compelling operational reasons for not doing so. The employees, on the other hand, must accept this offer unless there are relevant personal reasons to the contrary.
If employees pursue their activities outside the company premises, data protection concerns must always be taken into account. In particular, the security of data processing must also be taken into account by means of appropriate measures. This also applies in the case of a legal obligation to work from home.
Over the course of the last year, we have already supported you with drafts for contractual regulations, instructions for action and guidelines for data protection-compliant home office use. Due to the comparable legal regulation, these can be used again or continue to be used.
New occupational health and safety regulation
The requirements of the new Federal Infection Protection Act are formulated in abstract terms. In order to specify in detail which measures employers must take, the Federal Ministry of Health is authorized in Section 28 b (6) to issue a corresponding legal ordinance (Corona Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance). According to the will of the legislator, regulations on documentation and monitoring obligations of the employer will then also be made there in particular. Since documentation in the area described here always involves the processing of employee data, the forthcoming provisions are highly relevant, particularly from a data protection perspective.
You can find the corresponding press release here.
Your team at aigner business solutions GmbH will continue to inform you about relevant developments in the area of conflict between employee data protection and infection control.
Do you have further questions about data protection? Then please contact us.
Jan Schwemler absolviert bei der aigner business solutions GmbH eine Ausbildung zum Kaufmann für Büromanagement. Jan hat in der Wirtschaftsschule Passau kaufmännische Abläufe erlernt. Nun lernt er die Umsetzung in der Praxis kennen. Seine Kreativität, Talent für Bildbearbeitung und Leidenschaft für Videoschnitt darf er in unserer Marketingabteilung einbringen. Nicht zuletzt durch seine Mitarbeit dürfen sich unsere Kunden und Follower stets über neue interessante Inhalte auf unseren Social Media Kanälen und in unseren Newslettern freuen.
This post is also available in: German