Can my employer request a corona test?

Berlin (dpa / tmn) – A corona test is mandatory for holidaymakers returning from risk areas since the end of July. It remains to be seen if this will work at all levels. Can the employer also request a test from his employees?

Yes, says Alexander Bredereck, an employment lawyer in Berlin. However, this is not arbitrary. “The employer needs special interest in this. For example, he cannot say that he wants a corona test of all his employees.”

The question arises as to when there is such a legitimate interest: this is the case if there are indications of an increased risk of infection, explains the specialist lawyer. “At the moment, with a global pandemic, the risk of infection is increased almost everywhere.”

It is essential that the employer does not make their own assessment of what they believe is an increased risk of infection. On the contrary, he must take into account the measures taken by the authorities when making his decisions. For example, those of state authorities, which, for example, issue quarantine regulations or the requirements of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

In collaboration with the federal government, the RKI determines, for example, which countries are considered to be risk areas. If the workers then return from vacation there, the employer can request a review, Bredereck says.

“You can also discuss the employer’s obligations to protect and care for its employees,” adds the specialist lawyer. If there is an increased risk of infection for other employees, for example because an employee returns from a country to which a travel warning applies, the employer can request a corona test.

However, while there is essentially an agreement and the possibility of working from the home office, according to Bredereck, the employer has no legitimate interest in requesting a test.

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