Germany’s school, kindergarten and care home staff to be required to show vaccine status

Germany's school, kindergarten and care home staff to be required to show vaccine status
A classroom in NRW. Photo: Guido Kirchner/dpa
The German government agreed on Thursday that staff in schools, kindergarten and care homes will have to let their employers know if they have been vaccinated or recovered from a coronavirus infection.

“The employer may (…) require the employee to provide proof of vaccination or the existence of natural immunity with regard to the coronavirus disease-2019,” the draft law states. 

The bill states that employees could be “put to different tasks” or the organisation could even “refrain from employing unvaccinated people.” Such measures are “in the interest of protecting against infection”, it adds. 

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Business associations had been pushing for the government to issue a general allowance for companies to ask staff whether they have been vaccinated.

READ ALSO: German industry seeks powers to know worker vaccine status

But the focus on schools, kindergarten and care homes came as Health Minister Jens Spahn admitted there was no majority in parliament for a blanket allowance, which had raised concerns among trade unions about medical confidentiality.

The exception for care homes and schools was made based on the presence there of “especially vulnerable people or the possibility of infection due to the close proximity of other people”, states the draft law.

“How are you going to explain to a relative that their mother died of Covid because the caregiver was not vaccinated?” Spahn said in a statement to German daily Spiegel.

Spahn stated that employers would not have the right to dismiss a staff member who is not willing to be vaccinated. 

“The employee could not be deployed in certain areas or would have to be given special protection,” he said.

The law will only remain in effect as long as the emergency Disease Protection Law remains in force. The Bundestag recently extended the special pandemic laws for a further three months until the end of November.

SEE ALSO: Germany is seeing ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’, says Health Minister


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