Instruction for employees

last modification: 08.04.2021 / 1:15 pm

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is challenging OVGU employees and brings with it particular burdens. It is therefore important that all players in the individual areas treat each other in a spirit of solidarity and fairness and find solutions together wherever possible. In this sense, the university management appeals to all employees to adapt their behaviour to the special circumstances and to master everyday business with a sense of proportion and the necessary sensitivity.

Here you will find the current OVGU instructions, adapted to the current Containment Ordinance of the State of Saxony-Anhalt.

FAQ for employees

Note: The list of the most important and frequently asked questions and answers regarding the Corona pandemic is not exhaustive and will be updated as necessary.

Which hygiene regulations currently apply at OVGU?

The hygiene measures that have been announced since the beginning of the pandemic still apply. These include:

  • Maintaining a minimum distance of 1.50 metres,
  • Frequent hand washing,
  • Regular ventilation in closed rooms,
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette,
  • Abstaining from shaking hands and hugging,
  • Wearing medical mouth and nose coverings in all public buildings and for students during face-to-face events. It is also important to keep your distance and wear a mask outdoors if distances cannot be maintained.
  • A medical face mask must be worn on campus grounds if the minimum distance of 1.50 metres cannot be maintained.
  • For events (e.g. laboratory practicals) where the minimum distance of 1.50 metres cannot be maintained and/or internal meetings, the wearing of an FFP2 mask is mandatory.
  • In addition, committee and commission meetings must be held online; this also includes meetings of student groups. Group formations in the entire campus area are prohibited.
  • Meetings and gatherings must be conducted online from 5 persons upwards. A general switch to digital formats is recommended.
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What should I do if I have cold symptoms or suspected infection with the coronavirus?

It is still recommended that patients with symptoms of infection be more strongly isolated in their own homes. If it cannot be excluded that those affected have been infected with the coronavirus, a test should always be carried out in cases of doubt (fever center). Those affected and their superiors can decide on their own responsibility what measures are to be taken. An example of a differentiated approach is, for example, a known allergy that regularly manifests itself through snuff-like symptoms (hay fever). In such cases, it must be jointly agreed which measures are appropriate.

If you have had contact with a confirmed corona patient or have received a positive result yourself, please report this immediately to the public health department and send this information to

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Where can I get support in questions of hygiene or disinfectants and mouth-nose covers if necessary?

The OVGU offers its employees additional voluntary occupational health care. In addition, the company doctor provides individual advice on work-related health risks. Pre-existing conditions and fears can also be discussed here.

If necessary, the Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Protection (K43) will provide hand disinfectants for attendance at face-to-face events. In this context, reference is made to the corresponding safety data sheets (SDB) and the operating instructions prepared by K43 for the use, storage and transport of disinfectants.

If required, disposable gloves as well as mouth-nose covers are also provided by the Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Protection (K43) for participation in face-to-face events.

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Does the obligation to work no longer apply if I depend on public transport and cannot or do not wish to use it?

No, commuting to work is part of the private sphere. Here, all possibilities for flexibility must be examined. If the working hours are recorded, overtime hours can be reduced or undertime can be built up. Leave can be granted, if necessary, also unpaid. Since mobile work is explicitly supported in level 3, all possibilities must be examined.

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Will I be released from work if I have to look after my children due to the closure of their day care center or school?

 

If day-care facilities, schools or individual classes or groups are closed as a result of COVID or if an individual decision is made by the public health department to order a separation, employees and civil servants have the possibility to take a leave of absence of up to 34 working days, for single persons up to 67 working days, with continued payment of the remuneration. This also applies to foster parents.

Conditions are:

  • Children affected by the closure have not yet reached the age of 12 or are disabled or dependent on assistance.
  • A suitable proof of the closure will be presented.
  • There is no other caregiver available.

If the weekly working hours are distributed differently than five days per week, the entitlement is increased or reduced. Time off can also be granted on an hourly basis.

There is no possibility of time off work if the facilities would be closed anyway (vacations, closing times).

The days off granted so far are to be credited against the 34 or 67 days.

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Under what circumstances does the employer endorse emergency child care at a child care facility?

In principle, written confirmation that your presence at work is essential will only be issued in exceptional cases. Managers are asked to carry out the requisite assessment. Here you find information on the rules in connection with emergency childcare.

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For which occasions can the days off (34 days per year or 67 for single persons) under the Infection Protection Act be taken?

1. days off and company shutdown

The company shutdown has been announced since the end of the year before last. The days off according to ISchG cannot be taken for this. Employees use vacation, overtime compensation or unpaid time off for this purpose.

2. days off in regular vacations or in times when vacations were planned because children's facilities had closing times even without Corona and therefore vacations were planned.

Time off under the ISchG does not apply to periods of regular vacation. A "conversion" of planned vacation or the reduction of overtime cannot take place during this time. For reasons of equal treatment, vacation that was planned to cover closing times of the daycare centers should also not be converted, even though there are no such uniform regulations here as there are for vacations. In this case, the heads of the structural units must decide, because only they know why vacation was planned beyond the shutdown period, if necessary.

3. time off for officially ordered closing times

For officially ordered closing times, i.e. currently from 16.12. to 18.12.2020 and from 07.01.-08.01.2021, the days off according to ISchG can be used. For the care of school-age children, this can be assessed without any problems. For children attending other childcare facilities, this applies if individual closing times have not already been determined (see point 2). This also applies if there is after-school care, due to which the parents had not planned a vacation. The after-school care is also affected by the official closure, so that the days off can be used for it.

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What should employees do who have to take care of family members due to the closure of other facilities?

The following notes have already been published in the Administrative Manual III, dated 28.10.2020. For the sake of completeness, they are listed again here in abbreviated form.

Extension of the payment of sickness benefits for statutorily insured persons for the illness of children under 12 years of age.

In deviation from the previous statutory regulations, the entitlement to sick pay for the calendar year 2021 exists for each child for a maximum of 15 working days, and for single-parent insured persons for a maximum of 30 working days. The entitlement is for insured persons for no more than 35 working days, for single-parent insured persons for no more than 70 working days.

Extension of the possibility of granting special leave in case of illness of children up to 12 years of age or relatives in need of care (civil servants)

In 2021, up to 18 working days per child, up to a maximum of 43 working days, and up to 35 working days per child, up to a maximum of 89 working days, for single persons, are available for the care of sick children up to the age of 12. The special leave may also be used if child care facilities close due to the pandemic.

Extension of the possibility of granting special leave in case of illness of children up to 12 years of age or relatives in need of care.

In addition to the existing provision, special leave with pay shall be granted for up to five working days for each child and up to 10 working days for each child for single parents in a leave year. This provision is limited in time until Dec. 31, 2020.

As an alternative to the exemption options described above, further exemption options were created by the "Act on the Continuation of Regulations Concerning the Epidemic Situation of National Scope". They supplement the previous regulations from the Infection Protection Act.

If community facilities such as daycare centers, schools or individual classes or facilities for people with disabilities are temporarily closed as a result of COVID-19, or if an individual notice is issued by the health authority ordering isolation, employees and civil servants* have the option of taking time off for up to 34 working days from 01.04.2021, and up to 67 working days for single persons, with continued payment. This also applies to foster parents.

Requirements are:

  • Children affected by closure have not reached the age of 12 or are disabled or dependent on assistance.
  • Closure occurs outside of regular school or facility vacations or scheduled closing times.
  • The requirements for emergency care are not present.
  • Appropriate proof of closure is provided.
  • No other caregiver is available.
  • Overtime that can be reduced is no longer available.

If weekly hours are distributed other than five days per week, the entitlement is increased or decreased. Time off may also be granted on an hourly basis.

The possibility of time off from work does not exist if the facilities would be closed anyway (vacations, closing times).

For the period from March 28, 2020 to April 01, 2020, the 34/67 days could also be taken. There is no possibility to carry over days from this period. The counting starts anew. The regulation is initially limited until 30.06.2021. However, if the epidemic situation persists, the entitlement to the days off exists until 31.03.2022 at the latest.

If leave has already been granted, no conversion to this exemption status can be made.

 

Extension of the possibility of granting special leave to care for close relatives for civil servants

In amendment to the regulation in the vacation ordinance of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, special leave is to be granted with immediate effect until 31.12.2021 for a maximum of twenty working days, whereby the salary will continue to be paid for 19 days. The prerequisite is that the acute care situation has arisen due to the COVID 19 pandemic and care cannot be provided in any other way. The declaration of the civil servant is sufficient as proof. The relative does not have to be ill with Corona him/herself; the leave can also be granted if, for example, nursing care cannot be provided due to the pandemic-related bottlenecks.

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How is the recording of working time dealt with during the time of a basic operation?

According to the current regulations at the OVGU, scientists* have confidential working hours. For non-scientific personnel, working hours are regulated in the service agreement on working time regulations within the framework of the 40-hour week and flexible working hours as well as regulations on flexibility within the framework of part-time employment contracts at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (without MED). At the company workplace, working hours are recorded as usual.

In mobile work, employees are responsible for observing working hours, breaks and rest periods. The times are entered into the Excel table. There is no overtime in mobile work. Availability and attendance times at the workplace must be agreed between employees and superiors. Accessibility must also be guaranteed in mobile work.

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What is the procedure if employees belong to a risk group?

Certain groups of people are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease.

The following has been defined:

Membership of a so-called risk group and any protective measures taken by the employer or the employer's staff must be determined in each individual case on application by the company medical service. Within the scope of the recommendation of the company medical service, employees are subject to compulsory service. The relevant deployment is regulated as usual by the supervisor.

  • Mobile work should be enabled, if the work task allows it
  • Transferred service, minimization of official contacts
  • Limitation of consultation hours
  • Compliance with hygiene regulations
  • Granting of vacation, reduction of overtime hours, building up of minus times, unpaid vacation in consideration of the official interests

 Pregnant women should be especially protected. The employment of pregnant women as lecturers is on a voluntary basis in accordance with the risk assessment and the recommendations of the company medical service.

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Can approved leave be taken?

Requested and approved vacation should be taken according to plan so as not to fall behind in the granting of vacation. Approved leave may be taken back only if required by urgent business needs. In consultation with the employees, the leave that cannot be granted now must be granted within the next few weeks. It should be urgently avoided that during the period in which normal operations can be resumed, vacation entitlements arise from postponements.

Leave is to be granted with priority if mobile work is not possible and other measures for the adherence to the hygiene regulations do not take effect completely. In order to achieve the desired reduction of contacts in these areas as well, vacation should be offered if the official concerns allow it.

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What must be observed when travelling privately abroad or when travelling to domestic risk areas?

Private trips abroad or to high-risk areas affect the off-duty behavior of employees and staff. Due to the coming into force of the SARS-CoV-2 quarantine regulation, however, it can be assumed that such trips are made in full knowledge of the legal situation. If a trip is booked or undertaken at a time when the restrictions resulting from the quarantine regulation were already known, the consequences must be borne by the employees and staff themselves.

This means, for example, that in the event of quarantine on entry or return, difficulties on the return journey or prohibitions on activities, leave or unpaid leave must be applied for if mobile work cannot be fully performed. This applies for the period of validity of the SARS-CoV-2 quarantine regulation. There are very large regional differences in the regulations that have been made, so that in particular the regulations that apply to the respective place of residence and work must be observed.

You will find the RKI's information on the RKI website.

As the situation is very dynamic, especially with regard to the assessment of risk areas, it is often not possible to assess the risk before the start of the trip. It is recommended to discuss the possibility of mobile work with the supervisor(s) before the start of the trip in order to minimize the consequences of a quarantine. If a quarantine is ordered by the authorities, there is a claim to payment of the remuneration according to the Infection Protection Act.

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What happens if a destination is declared a risk area after the start of the journey?

If the destination is first declared a risk area during the trip and then a quarantine must be maintained, it is an officially defined quarantine. In this case, continued payment of wages will be made. However, mobile work has priority here as well. In this case, too, close coordination between employees and their superiors must take place.

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Are business trips in Germany and abroad permitted?

In principle, business trips should only be ordered and approved if they are absolutely necessary for the performance of the service. As of level 4, business trips are generally not permitted.

If, in exceptional cases, business trips are approved by superiors, the current regional infection situation must be taken into account. The interests of the service and the duty of care must be weighed up. Even in exceptional cases, business trips may only be approved if they are indispensable and there is no travel warning at the time of departure. The decision is the responsibility of the approver.

Current travel warnings and advisories must be observed at the start of the trip, and trips that have already been booked may have to be canceled if the risk to the travelers is too great. Costs for cancellations or non-refundable expenses are to be borne by the decentralized travel budgets or the third-party accounts. This also applies to travel within the scope of further training. For this reason alone, increased attention and sensitization of travelers and approvers is required when approving business trips.

If corona testing is required upon entry or exit or to prevent quarantine, these costs may be reimbursed as incidental expenses through the travel expense report. If a quarantine is imposed upon return, it is considered an excused absence.

This is not the case if a business trip is taken despite an existing travel warning.

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Can I refuse to work if third parties with whom I have professional contact come from abroad?

No, the work cannot be refused. Special attention must be paid to the hygiene regulations. Even if there is a special risk of an existing basic illness, work cannot be stopped. If necessary, relocations in the own area are to be checked. In such cases, the right of direction is broader than usual, and the employer can also assign employees activities that are not normally part of their duties. Organisational measures must be taken to keep contact as low as possible. Minimum distances must be observed and the accumulation of many people in a small space must be avoided. It may be considered whether in offices where several employees work, it is possible to achieve by staggered service that contact can be minimized and thus chains of infection can be interrupted. In cases where employees are able to carry out their tasks in the home office, it should be examined whether alternating models, by which the employees of one area are affected to the same extent, can be a solution to maintain operation. These measures are primarily the responsibility of the immediate superiors; the personnel department must be involved in cases of doubt. Meetings and consultations should be kept to an absolutely necessary minimum. If possible, they should take place in digital form. In addition, a mouth-and-nose cover should be worn if there is contact with third parties.

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Is there a right to mobile work?

Mobile work can only be granted if the activity is suitable for it. This means:

  • all or a substantial part of the work can be done in mobile work,
  • the superiors (deans, heads of organizational units, etc.) have the task of drawing up a work plan for the employees concerned, unless they are independently engaged in scientific work
  • availability by e-mail and telephone must be guaranteed
  • there is an obligation to check the e-mail and website several times a day. The setting of call forwarding or information on the answering machine must be organized,
  • Personal presence is not necessary (e.g. because there is no regular customer contact),
  • Data protection concerns are observed.
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Which minimum standards must be observed when agreeing on a home office, what must be documented?

The OVGU has a Working from Home Agreement. Many of the facts relating to equipping the workplace and conclusion of an agreement are not applicable in the current situation. Other facts must nevertheless be taken into account:

  • Definition of the duties to be performed when working from home
  • Compliance with data protection and IT security
  • Definition of attendance times
  • Rules regarding breaks, compliance with maximum working hours and rest periods
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Are groups of workers excluded from the possibility of mobile work?

Employees who cannot do their work from home are NOT allowed to do their work in mobile work. These are usually technicians, laboratory assistants, workers (K4, K5), library employees, employees with reference tasks whose work equipment is exclusively available at the university or who process documents that are not suitable for mobile work (personal documents, personnel or student files), etc. Employees who do not have the technical prerequisites for digital work and for whom no device can be procured, cannot use mobile work either.

If mobile work can be allowed, it must be determined whether work must nevertheless be done on site (mail processing, picking up work for mobile work, participation in meetings, etc.).

If employees can do at least part of the work from home by creating the technical conditions, shared service can be arranged to prevent contacts within the offices. For the part of the mobile work it is also valid that a definition of the tasks and a control takes place. The immediate superior is responsible; there should always be coordination with the next higher level in order to avoid unequal treatment.

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What legal regulations apply to working from home?

The service agreement on mobile work applies without restriction.

However, there are no individual agreements on mobile work, but arrangements are made between supervisors and employees. Work tasks are defined, assigned and controlled.

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Which work tasks can be transferred in mobile work?

Employees can only be instructed to work from home if their work can also be carried out from home.

Employees who work from home are expected to perform all of the tasks assigned to them, and availability must be guaranteed during core working hours.

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How is accessibility in mobile work ensured?

The accessibility of employees by e-mail and telephone must be guaranteed. There is an obligation to check e-mails and the website several times a day. The setting of a call diversion must be organised.

In principle, availability must be ensured in the time between 8.30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Persons who look after children during core working hours and therefore have to work flexibly make appropriate arrangements with their superiors or within the organisational unit. The heads of the organizational units must ensure that the regulations are implemented.

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What do I have to do when I travel to Germany from a risk area?

Digital Arrival Registration (Digitale Einreiseanmeldung (DEA))

If you travel from a risk area, you must complete the digital arrival registration before entering the Federal Republic of Germany. Local public health authorities can access this information online, which enables the enforcement of quarantine rules. They can also demand proof of testing or can ask you to take a test after your arrival.

If for technical reasons (such as lack of hardware or technical issues with the website) you cannot register online before your arrival, you are obligated to fill in a substitute registration on paper. Please check the form for information regarding drop-off points (for example: with your airline/other carriers or with Deutsche Post E-POST Solutions GmbH, 69990 Mannheim). The substitute registration will be forwarded to the public health authorities of the traveller’s destination address.

Quarantine

According to the Corona-Arrival-Regulations (CoronaEinreiseV) of the Federal Ministry of Health dating from 13 January 2021 and according to to an order of the quarantine regulation of Saxony-Anhalt dating from 9 March 2021, all returning or first-entry travellers from risk areas must quarantine for 10 days.

  • Travellers from risk areas (excluding high incidence or virus-mutation areas) must produce a negative test result within 48 hours of entering Germany. A test result from your home country is acceptable if the test swab was taken max. 48 hours before your arrival in Germany. The public health authorities can demand to see this negative test result within 10 days after your arrival.
  • Travellers from areas with especially high infection risks (high incidence or virus-mutation areas), are obligated to be tested before starting their journey to Germany. The swab must be taken max. 48 hours before arrival in Germany.

All travellers from risk areas are obligated to quarantine for 10 days. One can only shorten this quarantine time by obtaining a second negative test result. The earliest date for this second test is on the fifth day (arrival day + 5 days) after entering Germany. The quarantine ends with the receipt of the negative test result.

Travellers from virus-mutation areas cannot shorten their quarantine time at all.

If during your quarantine you experience any typical symptoms of an infection with SARS-CoV-2 such as coughing, fever, sneezing or new loss of taste or smell, you must contact the public health authorities immediately.

Hotline: 0391 540 2000 (Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-4.00 p.m.)
Email:

Fieberambulanz (Fever Centre), Brandenburger Str. 8
Register with the public health authorities (hotline see above) or use the appointment service hotline (116117)

Opening hours:

  • Mon-Fri: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m.
  • Sat&Sun, public holidays: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
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Are further training courses offered?

Training events for employees are regularly offered as online formats. This applies to both internal and external speakers. Events where personal attendance is required for learning success are postponed until the Containment Ordinance is lifted, unless it is absolutely necessary. This may be the case for legally required further training or for further training courses that impart mandatory knowledge (e.g. legal regulations). In this case, further training must be carried out in our own rooms in compliance with individual hygiene concepts.

Coachings and mediation are carried out as required. As a rule, it is assumed that coaching sessions are conducted online. A presence coaching has to be justified and is carried out under hygiene conditions.

Mediations are suspended or continued in digital form if the parties involved consider it appropriate.

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Are the university buildings open?

With the coming into force of Stage 4, the buildings of the University are closed to the public. Until further notice, the regulations of the announcement - "Access options in the event of closure of the buildings in basic operation; issuance of additional locking authorization for building entrance doors" (HÖB Part III of 24.03.2020) will again apply for an unlimited period.

Therefore, as of 21.12.2020, access is only possible for employees by means of locking authorization for the respective building entrance doors. Special regulations apply to buildings 6, 9,10 and 50 and will be communicated on a departmental basis. If necessary, the information and security service (Tel. 54444) is available at any time for consultation on the currently applicable procedures or for individually necessary arrangements within the applicable framework conditions.

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What information is available on the use of the Sports Centre?

Unfortunately, the offers of the Sports centre including outdoor sports courses are suspended until further notice. However, the Sports Centre currently offers online sports courses.

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What information is available about using the University Library?

The University Library has been closed to the public since 16 December 2020. You can still loan and return available media by appointment. Among other services, the University Library offers a digital lending service or the provision of semester apparatuses. You can find more information about the library's services here.

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What happens if you don't come back from a risk area?

If the employee cannot return in time due to travel restrictions or quarantine at the vacation location and therefore cannot start work again punctually after the end of the vacation, there is no salary entitlement. Fault is not relevant here, as the employee always bears the so-called "travel risk". In this case, solutions should be found together with the superiors (taking vacation, reduction of overtime) to minimize salary losses.

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What regulations apply to employees who come from risk areas (especially for commuting)?

Increasingly, domestic cities/urban districts are also being declared risk areas. If employees come from these areas and have their regular residence there, the following measures must be taken:

  • Employees are strongly recommended to install the Corona-Warn-App and check it daily.
  • If they receive a message that they are a Category I contact person, the regulations for this group of persons apply.
  • If possible, attendance times should be reduced and mobile work should be arranged.
  • If presence is required, hygiene rules must be strictly adhered to by employees, in particular the obligation to wear masks and the rules governing distances.
  • If employees work in places where the required minimum distance to other employees cannot be maintained, the use of plexiglass panels, the wearing of masks or the transfer to individual offices should be considered. If it is appropriate, it is also possible to arrange for staggered service.
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Last Modification: 08.04.2021 - Contact Person: Katharina Vorwerk