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Duties of care and protection and liability risks for employers in connection with COVID-19

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The end of uncertainty? With the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Standard, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is contributing to increased reliability in occupational safety measures and standards to be observed in the face of the pandemic.

With our article, we provide an overview of the employer's duties of care and protection in connection with COVID-19, taking into account the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Standard.

At the same time, we will discuss the implementation steps that are necessary and also examine how these can be carried out in compliance with data protection regulations.

Furthermore, we present the liability risks associated with non-compliance with the requirements of labour law and the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Standard for employers, their management bodies and managers and make recommendations on measures to effectively limit liability risks.

The article, in particular, reflects the following issues:

  • Employers’ duties of care and protection in connection with COVID-19 in consideration of date protection requirements
  • Liability risks for employers towards employees in connection with COVID-19 under contract and tort law
  • Potential regulatory, corporate and criminal liability of employers and its organs in connection with COVID-19

In view of the dynamic developments, the present article can only reflect the status quo as it currently stands - further legislative developments will have to be taken into account as well as future official orders and recommendations and decisions of the courts.

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