First German states rescind quarantine pay for unvaccinated workers

First German states rescind quarantine pay for unvaccinated workers

First German states rescind quarantine pay for unvaccinated workers

Up until now, if someone in Germany is ordered into quarantine and can’t work, they have been entitled to still receive their salary. But some federal states have now begun to rescind this right for unvaccinated people, and the Federal Health Minister says he supports the move. 

States waive right to quarantine compensation for unvaccinated

Under Germany’s Infection Act, employees who are forced to go into quarantine and therefore are temporarily unable to work are entitled to receive wage compensation, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated against coronavirus or not. 

But now some federal states have decided to change their position, and say that unvaccinated workers will in future no longer be entitled to compensation if they are ordered to self-isolate and cannot do their jobs

As Bild reports, the rules will be changed as of September 15 in Baden-Württemberg, while Rhineland-Palatinate is expecting to implement the change as of October 1. Hesse is reportedly also preparing to rescind the compensation for unvaccinated people in future, but the date is not yet set. 

Bavaria, meanwhile, has announced that it will judge whether compensation is due on a case-by-case basis, while Berlin said it would continue to pay out for both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein are calling for a uniform regulation to be implemented nationwide. 

According to Bild, in the past year and half Germany’s states have spent more than 458 million euros on wage replacement payments, with North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria carrying the heaviest burden.

Health Minister says states are free to set own rules

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has said that each state is free to decide for itself whether to continue paying compensation for unvaccinated workers - since the current regulation allows the compensation claims to be rejected if the quarantine could have been avoided through vaccination - although he added that he understood why some were moving to rescind the offer.

“In the end, it’s the taxpayers who finance the wage replacement payment - for someone who could have been vaccinated,” he said. “I don’t see why in the long run others should pay if someone doesn’t opt for free vaccination when they could.” 

SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach, on the other hand, strongly criticised the move, saying that sick people should not be punished for not getting vaccinated. He added that not all unvaccinated people are conspiracy theorists or hardened anti-vaxxers and some have simply not yet been reached by the country’s vaccination campaign. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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