Occupational Diseases Reform Act: 2nd and 3rd Reading in 1 Go
This is what it will come down to next Thursday, May 7. Votes are scheduled to begin at 4.15 p.m.
Originally, a public hearing was planned. This was cancelled due to the Corona measures and the statements were submitted in writing by the requested associations, which were then put online. There was no longer any discussion in the Committee for Labour and Social Affairs.
The committee summarised the positions of the associations as follows: "Public Hearings". Also included there are the individual statements. With the exception of the employers' associations, all the others regard the abandonment of the so-called injunction as positive. The latter means that if a BK (Berufskrankheit = occupational disease) is suspected and reported to a BG (Berufsgenossenschaft = Federal Employers' Association), the person concerned must give up the work due to which he or she has (allegedly) became ill. For many, this is often not possible if there is no other job alternative. This provision will now be dropped. Instead, other workplace solutions will be sought.
This is of course a thorn in the side of the Employers' Association of the Metal Industry and in its statement complains about the additional costs incurred as a result; these costs are "unacceptable".
The only positive change we ourselves see is the now, finally, planned official institutionalisation of the "Medical Expert Council 'BK' at the BMAS (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales = Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs). There are now to be scientific experts appointed; The aim is to create 10 scientific staff positions in order to be able to advance the work and the discussions in this relevant body more quickly. It remains to be seen whether scientific staff will then be able to compensate for the structural imbalance of know-how and the preparation of meetings. We will keep an eye on this.
The draft of the DIE LINKE group will be polished off smoothly, the Greens have not even put forward a position of their own - the problem obviously does not play a special role in this party in the Bundestag.
If the bill is waved through on Thursday, it could only be stopped via the Bundesrat. There, the states of Hamburg (SPD/GREENS) and Schleswig-Holstein (CDU/GREENS/FDP) had already attempted to bring in other proposals; NRW (CDU/FDP) had likewise tried to do the same.
However, the corona seems to overshadow everything at present.