US companies grant bonuses: is vaccination bonus also coming in Germany?

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US companies give bonuses
Is there a vaccination bonus in Germany too?

In the USA, some companies have rushed ahead and pay their employees bonuses if they can prove they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Is that also conceivable in Germany? That’s what a labor law expert says.

According to statements from politicians of all stripes, there will be no nationwide compulsory vaccination in Germany. But so-called vaccination premiums are currently being hotly debated. In the USA, among others, the branches of the German discounter Aldi and Lidl already grant such bonuses if the employees can prove to their company that they have already been vaccinated. Lidl pays its employees an extra $ 200 if they get vaccinated.

In the USA, however, Aldi does not choose a flat rate, but pays each employee two hourly wages. The discounters also cover the costs that might be incurred for the vaccination. In Germany, no large company has yet to report similar projects. But can such vaccination premiums also be expected from local employees, or are German laws perhaps even speaking against them?

How does it look in Germany?

At least this would also be possible in principle in this country, confirms the lawyer Dr. Peter Hahn of the news agency spot on news. In companies with a works council, the payment of such a bonus would at least require co-determination. The right of co-determination, however, only exists in the design of the payment and not in the actual decision of the employer as to whether such an award should take place at all.

The labor law expert also points out the so-called principle of equal treatment. Thus, such a premium would have to be granted in such a way that no employee would be disadvantaged for no reason. This means that there cannot be a distinction between full-time and part-time employees, working students or mini-jobbers, since employers benefit equally from vaccinating employees regardless of status and degree of employment.

How is data protection going?

However, the expert still sees potential problems in data protection. An obligation to present the complete vaccination certificate is probably not justified because of the principle of data economy, but that of a different, simple vaccination certificate is. The vaccination certificate should also not be filed or saved in the personnel file.

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