Where can I get information about accessibility in digital teaching?
Accessible study programmes are without question connected with accessible teaching. For this reason, the Representative for Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses has compiled information for teachers on how they can make their digital teaching more accessible to students with health impairments. The document (pdf) can be found at http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/408350.html
As part of the University of Göttingen’s participation in the Stifterverband’s Diversity-Audit “Vielfalt Gestalten” (designing diversity), the IT Department has developed handouts and checklists that provide you with information on how to create accessible teaching and learning materials. These and other tips are available on the website of the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Unit at https://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/625078.html
In agreement with the Staff Council (Personalrat), the deadline for carrying out annual reviews in 2020 has been extended until 31 December 2020.
Jahresgespräche (Annual reviews) must not be conducted via video conferencing, because undisturbed and confidential discussions cannot be guaranteed.
According to the current regulations of the state government regarding the restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the collection of personal data is required in certain cases. In particular, this concerns the conduct of exams which are attended in person and excursions, as well as other specific events that require attendance, in addition to visits from external people, e.g. visitors or suppliers, onto the premises of the University. The collection of data is based on Art. 6 Para. 1 UAbs. 1 lit. c) DSGVO (fulfilment of a legal obligation) and must be publicised to those concerned in advance by means of an information sheet in accordance with Art. 13 DSGVO. A model for this kind of information can be found on the homepages of the Data Protection Officer German/English).
The purpose of this arrangement is to enable the relevant authorities to trace possible chains of infection in the event of an incident of infection. Please note that the collection of data by the University in these cases is exclusively for this purpose and that the corresponding documentation is only to be presented to the responsible public health department upon request. In this respect, the University is obliged to keep the data private and secure and to destroy it after one month at the latest.
In order to increase data protection and data security, the details of the persons are to be collected on individual pieces of paper, which are kept for 4 weeks with a deletion date. Each piece of paper or, in the case of several pieces of paper, the bundle of pieces of paper regarding one day are to be kept in a sealed envelope, as the data are solely for the Health Authority. The corresponding deletion date must be marked on the envelope and, in the event that the Health Authority does not request the release of the data beforehand, the data must be destroyed securely – if possible with a cross-cut shredder or by professional disposal (e.g. REISSWOLF).
#8 12 June 2020
(English translation provided for informational purposes. If the English and German versions allow different interpretations, the German version should be followed).
Travel for work – within Germany
From 15 June 2020, business trips within Germany were once more possible using the standard approval procedure, without prior approval by the Krisenstab (crisis management team), in the knowledge that this particular situation would be handled responsibly and individually. As of 1 October 2020, applications for business trips will generally only be made via the Lucom Platform.
Due to the increasing number of infections and the emergence of regional hotspots in Germany, managers and those travelling for work have important responsibilities. The urgent need for a planned business trip must be assessed for digital alternatives in individual cases. Even a business trip that has already been approved should therefore be checked for the current infection rate before the start of the trip and, if necessary, approval withdrawn.
By checking the RKI website, managers and travellers can inform themselves at any time about the current coronavirus case numbers and level of risk across Germany, listed here by administrative districts: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/478220a4c454480e823b17327b2bf1d4/page/page_1
Please make sure you know the current regulations of the state of Lower Saxony and the City of Göttingen regarding quarantine after returning from a risk area within Germany.
Travel for work – abroad
All business travel abroad remains subject to the approval of the crisis management team.
Business trips that cannot be postponed due to, amongst other reasons, research work and in particular seasonal field and terrain work (e.g. measurements, sampling, assembly/disassembly of research equipment), are eligible for approval on a case-by-case basis. The necessary approval to undertake business travel in exceptional circumstances must be sought in good time from the crisis management team, at least one week before the start of the trip by email to the Travel Expenses Team (Reisekosten, email: email@example.com) or via the Lucom-Workflow (send to the central Travel Expenses team).
Even after an exemption has been granted, please note that it can be withdrawn at any time if a travel warning for the destination is issued by the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) or if the destination is declared a risk area by the RKI (Robert Koch Institute) before the start of the business trip. In individual cases, the Travel Expense Team will inform the *traveller* and the institution about such a withdrawal. Travel expenses already incurred at this point in time, as well as cancellation costs, will be reimbursed.
We request that business trips be limited to those that are absolutely necessary and that online alternatives (video conferencing) continue to be used as much as possible.
Travel and safety instructions and special entry and return requirements
Since some countries have imposed entry bans or particular controls on certain groups of people or flights from certain regions, all business travellers must obtain information from the Germany- based embassy or consulate for their destination (see the homepage of the German Federal Foreign Office) before starting their journey. All travel and security instructions must be observed. Changes to the entry and quarantine regulations are sometimes made without any prior notice and with immediate effect. It is therefore the duty of business travellers to continuously monitor the situation and obtain information (State of Lower Saxony).
Please also note the University information on „Rückkehr aus dem Ausland und Quarantäne – arbeitsrechtliche Aspekte“ (return from abroad and quarantine – aspects of employment law) on this page.
Hygiene and distancing measures
We appeal to all staff to observe the hygiene and distancing rules to minimise the risk of infection and for their own health protection on business trips of course as well as at other times. For this reason, arrival and departure and activities on site must always be carried out in accordance with up-to-date appropriate hygiene and distancing regulations and occupational health and safety standards. When using the railway, the appropriate regulations of Deutsche Bahn must also be observed.
Means of transport
In principle, the use of all usual means of transport is permitted again and reimbursable within the scope of Lower Saxony’s travel cost regulations (NRKVO). Reimbursement for use of a private vehicle is based on the provisions of Lower Saxony’s travel cost regulations (NRKVO). Reimbursement for the use of a private vehicle is based on the provisions of § 5 NRKVO.
The maximum number of people in company vehicles or in hired vehicles during the coronavirus pandemic is 50% of the permitted number of seats. In the case of odd numbers, the number may be rounded up to the next figure. If the minimum distance cannot be maintained, face masks (Mund-Nasen-Bedeckung or MNB) must be worn. Taking into account the University’s duty of care, the obligation to wear a face mask also applies to the driver of the company car provided by the employer. For longer journeys, even if the minimum distance is maintained, a break must be taken after 60 minutes and the car must be ventilated. Avoid loud conversations or singing (aerosol-generating behaviour) while driving. The operating instructions during the coronavirus pandemic issued by the Safety/Environment Section for service vehicles must be observed.
Taking students along on business trips within the conditions of the above-mentioned permitted cases is allowed if the regulations on distancing can be maintained and their presence is absolutely necessary. The same applies to sending students on trips in accordance with the travel cost guidelines for invited and students posted elsewhere.
Travel costs for business trips that cannot take place
Where expenses are incurred as a result of the cancellation of a business trip, a travel allowance shall be reimbursed at the rate of the costs incurred in making the necessary travel arrangements. However, we would like to point out that every opportunity must be taken immediately to keep the costs low and to cancel obligations already entered into as far as possible. Trips to high-risk areas and areas with a travel warning issued by the Federal Foreign Office, which were booked as a package tour through a tour operator, can generally be cancelled without incurring cancellation costs if the trip was booked before the travel warning was issued. The HR Department has prepared a leaflet with important questions on how to deal with trips and travel expense reimbursements that are related to Covid-19. This can be found at https://intern.uni-goettingen.de/infocenter/persinf/Documents/R/Hinweise-Dienstreisen-im-Zusammenhang-Covid19.pdf.
If you have any questions, please contact the relevant officers at the central Travel Expenses Team or the Team Leader, Marc Andre Kunze.
Emergency childcare at the University
In the summer semester 2020, the University’s emergency childcare services were adjusted due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this adjustment will be discontinued for the time-being. With immediate effect, the original service of “childcare in emergencies and off-peak times” is available again, i.e. there are no longer any coronavirus-related restrictions about who might be entitled to it. Further information is available at: https://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/205540.html
see A-Z EVENTS
For general questions about protection against the virus and travel to the affected regions please see the following websites (in German):
- Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung
- Auswärtiges Amt
- Gesundheitsamt Göttingen
Or in English:
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- NHS Common Questions about Coronavirus
The Bundeszentrale also offers a download of the most frequently asked questions about the novel coronavirus (in German):
The Krisenstab (crisis management team) of the University of Göttingen is working in close cooperation with the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG), the City and the Göttingen Health Office as well as the Studentenwerk. It is headed by Vice Presidents Professor Norbert Lossau and Dr Valérie Schüller. Represented on the crisis management team are, among others, the HR Department, Teaching and Learning, Göttingen International, Facility Management, Chief Information Officer IT, the Data Protection Officer, Security and Environmental Protection, Occupational Health, and the Animal Welfare Officer. In addition, there are representatives from the University Senate and Personalrat as well as guests from the UMG, the City and health authorities as well as the student union. The crisis management team coordinates all relevant topics and currently meets twice a month.
For the daily work, the leadership of the crisis management team consults twice a week with the President of the University, Professor Reinhard Jahn, and other members of the Presidential Board are consulted as required.
Are the dining facilities open?
Some of the dining facilities have opened again. Please check Studentenwerk’s website:
Anyone affected by discrimination, as well as observers, counsellors and all other interested parties can find answers to their questions on the following webpage: Guide: Dealing with discrimination at the University of Göttingen, for instance:
- What is discrimination and how do I recognise it?
- What can I do?
Students who have experienced or observed discrimination can use the online notification form to report discrimination (anonymously if necessary) or contact the service for Anti-Discrimination Counselling for Students directly.
#CD 26 May 2020
What is an emergency plan and what should it contain?
In order to be prepared for possible scenarios, the University’s institutions have been asked to draw up emergency plans in case an infected person is identified in the surrounding area and/or the area or building has to be closed. The emergency plan should address the following questions:
- What preventive measures can I take within the department / facility to minimize the risk of all employees being absent at the same time?
- What tasks must be performed even if only a few employees are still available?
- What tasks can no longer be performed if no or very few employees are available?
- Will deadlines be met and must external agencies be informed that certain tasks cannot be completed at the moment?
UNDER CONSTRUCTION (Please refer to the German entry “Veranstaltungen” until we have a translation ready)
Excursions and practical training in the field, including those with overnight stays, are permitted. However, the following applies: a minimum distance of 2m must be maintained and the general hygiene guidelines must be observed; if necessary, the number of participants must be limited to ensure compliance with these measures.
The contact details of the participants must be recorded in accordance with the Nds. (Niedersachsen) coronavirus regulations (ie name, first name, full address, telephone number).
The business trip regulations of the University are to be followed for travel and accommodation.
For excursions outside Lower Saxony, please observe the appropriate state regulations and contact the local health authority or local regulatory agency as necessary.
Please also refer to the information in the A-Z-index under BUSINESS TRAVEL.
What happens to annual leave that has already been approved during this period of working from home?
At present, annual leave that has already been approved can only be cancelled for critical business reasons because your work is urgently needed during this time. Your manager must provide a detailed justification to support any such request. Requests for the withdrawal of a period of leave lasting longer than one week, can only be made via the manager of the HR Department (firstname.lastname@example.org). In the current circumstances, this responsibility is not handled by the administrators of the worktime system. At the request of the employee, an approved holiday for a period of up to one week can be cancelled for important official reasons with the consent of the appropriate manager (with institutional responsibility), and local worktime administrators.
If I had planned to take a holiday now, but have not yet applied for it, do I have to take it?
Planned but not yet approved recreational holidays (especially during the Easter holidays) should also be taken as far as possible, in order to ensure and not compromise the effectiveness of the University when normal operations begin. An application should only be waived if working at home or your actual presence at the workplace is absolutely necessary. If you do not submit an application for annual leave, you should always be available for work and can be called upon at any time.
How can I protect myself from infection?
As with influenza and other acute respiratory tract infections, following standard guidelines for coughing and sneezing, good hand hygiene and keeping a distance from anyone who is infectious (at least 1.5 metres) also protects against transmission of the new coronavirus. Shaking hands should be avoided. Please note this advice from our occupational health service: If you want to protect yourself against infection from corona viruses via hand-contact, thorough hand-washing is completely sufficient. The use of hand-sanitizers is not necessary. Since disinfectants and personal protective equipment – which are urgently needed in the care of sick people – are now in short supply worldwide, we strongly urge you not to use them inappropriately and unnecessarily. Hospitals and medical services urgently need these scarce resources to protect the people they have to care for and treat. At present, numerous tips and advice can be found in the media and on the Internet. How can you figure out which are the most useful ones? Our corporate health service recommends the Internet pages (only currently available in German) of the Robert Koch Institute and infektionsschutz.de of the Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO) both have websites which contains many tips in English, including:
- wash your hands properly and frequently
- maintain social distancing
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth
- maintain good hygiene when coughing or sneezing
- if you have fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical advice early
- Stay informed and follow advice from your healthcare provider
As this webpage has become so busy in the last few days, we have made the most important graphics available for local download:
At present, interviews can only be conducted in person in strict compliance with the rules on hygiene and distancing, or online in urgent cases. Online interviews are to be arranged in such a way that the applicants as well as the staff council (Personalrat), equal opportunity officers and representatives for severely disabled persons have the technical and organisational opportunities to participate. Please pay special attention to the comparability of the interviews if there are technical problems or if the applicant is held back due to the technology. If you wish to carry out an online interview, this should be agreed with all participants and applicants. For data protection reasons, only BigBlueButton or DFNcon software may be used. A declaration of consent under data protection law is not necessary in the crisis period caused by the coronavirus. The conversations may not be recorded. You will find the relevant instructions on the GWDG website.
You can use rooms at Wilhelmsplatz to conduct interviews, for example, in compliance with the distancing and hygiene regulations. Please make your reservation via Central Event Management (Veranstaltungsmanagement) and indicate the number of applicants and the maximum number of people in the interview in addition to the preferred date (email@example.com).
The HR Department has prepared an information sheet with all the important information on the amendment of the law regarding fixed-term employment contracts for researchers. The changes were published in the Federal Law Gazette on 28 May 2020 and thus came into force.
You can download it from the following link: https://intern.uni-goettingen.de/infocenter/persinf/Documents/M/Merkblatt-WissZeitVG%20EN.pdf
According to Section 7 (3) WissZeitVG, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) was authorised to extend the permitted time limit by a maximum of six months, if this appears necessary due to the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Federal Republic of Germany, by means of a statutory ordinance with the approval of the Bundesrat (Federal Council). The BMBF made use of this authorisation and the Bundesrat approved the WissZeitVG-Befristungsdauer-Verlängerungs-Verordnung (the regulation regarding extending the limit on the period of time or WissBDVV) (https://offenegesetze.de/veroeffentlichung/bgbl1/2020/43?q=WissZeitVG#page=25) in its meeting on 18 September 2020. The regulation therefore came into force on 1 October 2020.
On the basis of this regulation, the total permitted time limit for employment contracts in accordance with Section 2 (1) WissZeitVG can be extended by a further six months beyond the extension made in Section 7 (3) sentence 1 WissZeitVG. The extension applies to the employment contracts already recorded in accordance with Section 7 (3) sentence 1 WissZeitVG, which exist or have existed at a point in time between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020. If employment is established between 1 October 2020 and 31 March 2021 (in accordance with Section 2, Paragraph 1 of the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetzes or WissZeitVG), the total time limit permitted in accordance with Section 2, Paragraph 1, Clauses 1 and 2 is extended by six months.
If you have any further questions, please contact the HR Department directly.
What liability aspects need to be considered in connection with the reduced-presence operation of the University during the corona pandemic?
There are no special provisions regarding the liability of employees and the University or Foundation. The usual University liability framework also applies in the context of the resumption of the reduced-presence operation. In this respect, the principle remains that employees of the University are only liable in the event of gross negligence or wilful breach of duty within the scope of their official duties.
The specifications contained in the catalogue of measures concretise the duties of care which are necessary in the context of the current situation to protect against corona infection and which are expected of employees. If these are observed, it can be assumed that the employees are not liable in this respect.
If managers can offer their staff (including student assistants) a safe workplace (keeping the minimum distance from each other, wearing face masks), there is no need to stay away from the workplace even for those at risk. If there are questions regarding the assessment of an employee’s health and/or the design of a safe workplace, the Betriebsärztliche Dienst (occupational health department) offers advice for managers and employees.
We are currently working on the translation of this article and will make it available shortly. Please come back! If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The current status according to state law can be found on the website of the state government at (https://www.niedersachsen.de/Coronavirus/vorschriften-der-landesregierung-185856.html in German). In particular, the current „Niedersächsische Verordnung über infektionsschützende Maßnahmen gegen die Ausbreitung des Corona-Virus“ (Lower Saxony regulations on infection-protection measures against the spread of the corona virus) and the state government’s phased plan „Neuer Alltag in Niedersachsen“ (New day-to-day life in Lower Saxony) are available for download in German.
General rulings and information from the City of Göttingen can be accessed, in German, at https://www.goettingen.de/aktuelles/notfall-erlass-das-aendert-sich-ab-sofort-2020-03-17.html You will also find the link to the current general rulings from the Amtsblatt (the Göttingen Official Gazette) (https://www.goettingen.de/rathaus/bekanntmachungen/amtsblatt/amtsblatt-2020.html).
We are currently working on the translation of this article and will make it available shortly. Please come back! If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
If an employee’s place of residence is in a risk area within Germany (as defined by the RKI), it is still possible to work on site in the office. In this respect, there is no ban in entering the premises. As concerns working from home, the appropriate and up-to-date regulations apply, which individual managers are responsible for implementing. For students or visitors coming to the University from risk areas within Germany, the coronavirus regulations of the state of Lower Saxony are to be observed. It is currently still possible to enter the University and attend courses and examinations in person, provided that all hygiene and distance rules are observed, although we recommend – where possible – that appointments be kept digitally or postponed until the situation has improved.
#ÖA & 5 15.10.2020
People at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease
People who have an increased risk of developing severe Covid-19 should be offered the option of staying away from the workplace if the recommended occupational safety measures cannot be observed there. Particular attention should be paid here to maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 m from other persons or, if this is not possible, wearing a mouth-nose cover for all persons involved. Office workplaces in an individual office, for example, do not pose a risk of infection; the care of small children in a day care centre would not be recommended for persons at risk.
If managers can offer their employees (including student assistants) a secured workplace, there is no need for risk groups to stay away from the workplace. If you have any questions regarding the assessment of an employee’s illness and/or the design of a workplace that is as safe as possible, the company medical service offers advice for managers and employees.
The medical certificate required under the previous regulations should be presented to assist the occupational health service in any case, but is now no longer sufficient in itself to obtain leave from work.
Can I take part in staff development courses during the coronavirus pandemic?
Yes, you can. The HR Development Section is now making available its initial offerings as online courses. These can be found in the qualification portal and are marked ONLINE. The classroom courses will not take place until further notice.
All participants for planned classroom courses will be contacted if they are to be held elsewhere. Otherwise you can assume that the course will not take place.
How do I register for staff development courses?
Due to the current situation, the HR Development Section does not currently require a completed registration form. It is sufficient to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put your supervisor in cc and send us the following details:
- Course title
- Date of the course
- Last name, first name
- Institution / Institute
- Phone or email
You will receive a response from the HR Development Section as soon as possible.
I am employed by the University and I am currently on holiday / travelling in a private capacity abroad. A return flight is currently not possible. May I start my period of mobile working in my current location or do I have to extend my vacation?
The University welcomes every effort by its employees to overcome the problems caused by the coronavirus crisis. When working abroad, however, there are arguments against mobile working due to certain aspects of social security law. Since you are not on a business trip abroad, you cannot simply resume work at your current location without constraints. In addition to the lack of technical or other requirements, the usual social insurance regulations still apply, even in this difficult period. In consultation with your manager, who will justify the necessity and the possibility of your activity in writing (by email to you), you could spend a maximum of 25% of your working time per month abroad doing mobile working. If you are unable to get a return flight to Germany after these days, please apply for annual leave (holiday), a leave of absence without pay or – if you are part of the system to record your working time – take time off in lieu.
Do student assistants have to make up their hours as soon as they can work again?
In principle, the same rules apply to student assistants as to employees covered by standard employment agreements. This means that research and student assistants are also released from work with pay. If it is possible to carry out the required duties from home, this should be agreed with the supervisor and the tasks assigned accordingly.
If student assistants are absent due to the coronavirus, notification of absence in connection with the coronavirus is required (see “Abwesenheit im Zusammenhang mit dem Corona-Virus” on the Formular Center on the Mitarbeiter Portal under “M”).
Can we retrospectively reduce the hours worked by student assistants because they were unable to carry out their work?
No, retrospective contract changes are not permitted. You are welcome to request a reduction in working hours for the future in agreement with the student assistant.
To do so, please submit an application for a change in working hours and send it to the appropriate administrator in the HR Department. In addition, hours not worked do not have to be made up, as the same exemption regulation applies to this group as to employees covered by standard employment agreements. This is treated like paid time-off.
Working from home can be a solution, provided that the work can be carried out in the home environment.
Information and tips for students with children can be found at Corona: information on Work-Life Balance
The Facebook Group: “Studieren mit Kind an der Uni Göttingen” (Studying with children at Uni Göttingen) offers the opportunity to exchange ideas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/707007979634877
Receiving scientific visitors from abroad is currently again possible.
Please refer to
for further details (translation will follow shortly)
Information for international students in particular is available here: https://uni-goettingen.de/en/629270.html
(English translation provided for informational purposes. If the English and German versions allow different interpretations, the German version should be followed).
Regulations on University business on-site and working from home, including the exception of the working time service agreements, at the University of Göttingen from 1 October 2020
The aim of the regulation agreement, which was agreed between the Personalrat (staff council) and the Office, regarding the exemption of the service agreements on working time hours is the gradual transition from reduced teaching and research operations to a predominantly face-to-face operation, in compliance with the applicable rules on distancing and hygiene and through the targeted use of supporting modern working methods, such as working from home or shift work in shared spaces, in order to be able to comply with the hygiene and related requirements imposed by the pandemic.
The national and international situation does not yet permit a return to full university operation on-site, but there is a growing wish and need to return to physical presence. Naturally, compliance with the applicable hygiene and related guidelines plays an important role in this respect. The following regulation was therefore agreed jointly with the Personalrat (staff council):
• Use of individual offices in person is, in general, preferred as a priority, unless other conditions make it impossible to comply with distancing and hygiene regulations.
• Use of shared offices is possible in principle, provided that distancing and hygiene rules can be observed. Adequate ventilation must also be guaranteed.
• Working from home as an additional measure to support infection control if the following conditions are met
Explanatory note on the use of shared offices:
The use of offices containing several people is also possible, taking into account the regulations and measures to protect against infections. Whether multiple-occupancy of an office/several offices in one area is advisable from an infection control point of view in a specific example can be clarified by a risk assessment to be prepared in this respect with possible support from the Safety/Environmental Section or the Betriebsärztlicher Dienst (occupational health). See also “Gefährdungsbeurteilung Schutz gegen Ausbreitung Coronavirus“ (risk assessment protection against the spread of coronavirus) on the homepage of the Safety Section (in German – https://www.uni-goettingen.de/de/623905.html). If it is not possible to comply with the guidelines and measures for protection against infection, the formation of groups with working from home (as described below) is recommended as a supporting measure. The specific design is the responsibility of the appropriate manager(s), if necessary in consultation with the Safety/Environmental Section and/or Betriebsärztlicher Dienst (occupational health).
Explanatory note on working from home (Home Office):
Working from home can continue to serve as a way to support the implementation of the hygiene and distancing regulations if the work can be done from home and if there are no obstacles to this for official reasons such as the need to offer a service in person etc. To be clear, this means that the organisational units that have previously been working mainly or exclusively from home will return to normal operation in such a way that at least a proportion of staff is guaranteed on site at all times (insofar as this corresponds to regular operation before the coronavirus). Shift-changing models, whatever form they take, that are specific to institutes should comply with hygiene and distancing regulations, and must be kept in writing to trace possible chains of infection. It is also the case that working from home can only be possible if the official work assignments can be carried out from home. This means that the working area itself at home must be suitable as an office, and all other technical and infrastructural requirements must be met in accordance with the information security guidelines of the University and the data protection guidelines. This also includes the availability of the hardware and software used for work. There is no automatic right to be allowed to work from home. To permit working from home, absence due to holiday of colleagues and ensuring the smooth running of the business, of course, needs to be taken into account.
For staff who meet the requirements for working from home and cannot work on site for reasons of hygiene and distancing, these regulations continue to apply unchanged:
- Employees who participate in work-time recording should record their actual working hours independently via ESS as soon as possible. If this is not possible whilst working from home for technical reasons, the times must first be noted down and entered in the system on site the next time they log in.
- Employees who have to take over caring responsibilities may, in agreement with the manager, also perform their activities outside the standard flexitime hours in deviation from the service agreement. However, no night, Saturday or overtime bonuses are payable. In order for recording to be enabled, such staff must be reported to the HR Department (email@example.com) by the manager. The provisions of the Arbeitszeitgesetzes (working hours act), in particular taking breaks, must be observed.
- The accumulation of flexitime credits when working from home is to be avoided as far as possible. If an individual employee, a group of employees or an institution is required to work overtime due to business reasons, the responsible manager must submit an application for overtime to the HR Department (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- If you work partly on site and partly in your home, journeys between your place of work and your home do not count towards work-time.
Explanatory note regarding at-risk groups:
For people who are counted as being at-risk according to the RKI, the following regulation continues to apply:
- At-risk groups should be allowed to stay away from the workplace if the recommended occupational health and safety measures cannot be observed there. In this case, particular attention must be paid to maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5m from other people or, if this is not possible, to the wearing of a facemasks by all those concerned. For example, a workstation in an individual office does not pose a risk of infection.
- If managers can offer their staff (including student assistants) a safe workplace, there is no need for at-risk groups to stay away from the workplace. The Betriebsärztlichen Dienst (occupational health service) offers advice for managers and employees on how to assess the medical condition of an employee and/or how to design a safe workplace.
- A medical certificate stating that a person belongs to the at-risk group is not sufficient in itself to be granted leave from work. Instead, a statement from the Betriebsärztlichen Dienst (occupational health service) is required.
If an institution-specific regulation exceptionally results in moving the normal working pattern for a certain period of time (e.g. to ensure the operation of some sort of shift system), it requires the approval of the Personalrat (staff council), this must be obtained as usual by the HR Department.
The above regulations will be adjusted at short notice if occurrences of infection and legal regulations make this necessary.
The Safety/Environmental Section and/or Betriebsärztlicher Dienst (occupational health) are available to answer questions regarding the potential design of on-site workplaces with regard to safety precautions. As always, you are welcome to direct any questions regarding employment law to the HR Department.