On 20 February 2022, the Social Court of North Rhine-Westphalia (AZ: L 19 AS 1236/21) rejected the claim of a ‘Hartz IV’ welfare recipient demanding 20 FFP2 masks per week or a monthly payment of 129 euros to their employer.

The court held that there was no legal basis for providing masks in kind, and that the payment in cash is not justified because the pandemic affects everyone and the FFP2 mask wearing requirement in public transport only lasted for 2 months, surgical masks being acceptable otherwise. Also, the claimant had been offered FFP2 masks from its employer but had then rejected them.

Full text of the decision available at de