Instructions for employees
Last modification: 19.05.2020 / 5:45 pm
The following instructions apply until further notice:
In principle, missions should only be ordered and authorised if they are strictly necessary for the performance of the service. The current regional infection situation must be taken into account. The official concerns and the duty of care must be weighed up. It is still recommended to refrain from business trips if other forms of information exchange can take place. In any case, the hygienic regulations must be observed. If there is reason to fear that a quarantine will be imposed on return, business trips must be approved by the Rectorate in absolutely exceptional cases.
Private trips abroad or to risk areas cannot be prohibited by the OVGU because they affect the off-duty behaviour of employees and staff. Due to the entry 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. This applies for the period of validity of the SARS-CoV-2 quarantine regulation. It should be noted that even in this case, there are great 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.
- Employees returning from business trips or stays abroad must first report by telephone or electronically to their supervisor, the Department of Human Resources and the Public Health Department in charge. Supervisors are obliged to inform those returning from business trips or vacation about these rules before they return to work.
- Persons returning from abroad who do not have any symptoms of infection may not come to work until a maximum of 14 days after their return. Supervisors must check whether employees can work from home instead. In cases where it is not possible to work from home, the supervisor will grant leave of absence. This decision must be documented and sent to the Human Resources Department. In special cases, it may be examined in consultation with the university management whether a return to work can be advocated.
- If persons returning from abroad are tested for corona infection (voluntarily or at the request of the Public Health Department), they are usually given a sick note until the test results are available. In this case, too, it must be decided whether it is possible to work from home, since the main purpose of this sick leave is to stay away from the office. Work may be resumed immediately after a negative test result is received. Supervisors and the Department of Human Resources must be informed.
- Visits by foreign guests or delegations must be cancelled.
2. Health-related and work organization measures
- Employees who fall ill are subject to the general regulations for illnesses. If employees are infected with the coronavirus, the department and the supervisor must be informed immediately so that appropriate measures can be taken. It must be assumed that the Public Health Department will not be able to react very quickly. Other arrangements will be made for persons who had contact with the infected person up until the onset of the disease.
- The regulations regarding continued salary payment and the payment of sick pay are applicable, and the requirements of the Public Health Department must be observed.
- Employees who have a concrete suspicion of having been infected with the coronavirus and who show either unspecific general symptoms or respiratory problems of any severity and who in the last 14 days before onset of the illness have had contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 or who show unspecific general symptoms or respiratory problems of any severity must immediately call a doctor or the medical on-call service (tel. 116117) in order to decide on the next steps to be taken. After this, the Department of Human Resources and the supervisor must be informed. Pending final clarification of their state of health, staff members will be given leave of absence and will continue to receive remuneration, unless they are already on sick leave. Due to supervisors’ duty of care, employees who show clear signs of a flu-like infection must be instructed to stay at home. Supervisors are called upon to diligently meet their duty of care towards their employees.
- Employees who have been quarantined or banned from working by the Public Health Department will receive compensation equal to sickness benefits for a maximum of 6 weeks. The employer can claim reimbursement from the authority that issued the measure. These cases must be reported immediately to the Department of Human Resources. If quarantine has been ordered, although there are no health problems, working from home should be considered.
- In the event that municipal facilities, day care centers or schools are closed as a result of COVID-19 and unless there is another care option or the possibility to work from home, staff may be absent from the university for a maximum of 30 days if:
- children under 12 years of age are affected by the closure
- suitable proof of school closure is presented to the supervisor
- another caregiver is not available.
- The total of 30 working days is reduced if the employee regularly works less than five days a week.
- With a view to maintaining operations, it is assumed that employees will make use of this option in a responsible manner. Since the number of days is limited, it is in both parties' interest to consider working from home or shifting working hours. The days do not have to be taken together. In particular, alternating models must be examined, if work and private interests permit this. Combining working from home and leave of absence can help to stretch out the days available, so that solutions can be found to cover the entire closure period. The days will be documented like holidays on the holiday or stamp cards. This is the responsibility of the divisions. The Department of Human Resources must be informed of the arrangements made retrospectively and in summarized form. In the event that employees have to take care of family members due to the closure of facilities, the provisions of German care legislation apply. Leave of absence (max. 10 days) is only granted if an employee proves the need to take care of a family member and if no other person is available. These cases must be coordinated with the Department of Human Resources.
- The following must be observed with regard to behavior in case of suspected infection in your environment: Increasingly, there is a suspicion of infection through the establishment of infection chains. If employees of the OVGU are not directly affected, but it cannot be excluded with certainty that infection has occurred, the supervisor decides on the matter while giving sufficient consideration to the specific circumstances of the individual case. This means considering whether it is possible to work from home or to work in another way without physical contact to other members of staff. If this is not possible, staff members may be given leave of absence for up to 14 days or until the person suspected to be infected has tested negative. When deciding on the measure to be taken, consideration must be given to the manner in which operations are to be maintained, possibly in restricted form, in order to ensure that the necessary work can continue.
- If working from home or leave of absence is deemed necessary, the Department of Human Resources must be informed by e mail.
- Alternatively, work organization measures must be examined, e.g. transfers in the employee’s own department. In such cases, the right of management is broader than usual, and supervisors can also delegate activities to employees that are not part of their normal duties.
- The minimum distances in offices must be observed and gatherings of people in small spaces must be avoided. It should be checked whether personal contact is absolutely necessary or whether other means are possible. In offices where several people work, it can be checked whether contact can be minimized and hence the infection chain broken when people work at different times of the day. In cases where employees are able to work from home, it should be examined whether alternating models could be a solution so that the employees of a department are each affected to the same extent. These measures are primarily the responsibility of the immediate supervisors; in case of doubt, the Human Resources Department must be consulted. The information laid down in the instruction dated April 28, 2020 must be observed, especially regarding working from home and the rules regarding hygiene.
- If minimum distances cannot be maintained and if it is also not possible to install plexiglass walls, a mask covering the nose and mouth must be worn, which the university provides for employees.
- Teachers should examine and consider using e learning formats.
3. Protection against infection
To protect against infection, please observe the general etiquette for coughing and sneezing as well as personal hygiene, in particular, by regularly washing your hands properly. Maintain a sufficient distance between yourself and people with flu-like symptoms (2 meters). In your dealings with others, please avoid physical contact (e.g. shaking hands).
You can find answers to frequently asked questions on our FAQ page. This is updated regularly.
These measures apply with immediate effect. In light of the fact that the infection is spreading at a dynamic rate in Europe and Germany, it may be necessary to adjust measures at short notice. The WHO has declared a pandemic, therefore measures are being taken according to the Pandemic Plan of the University of Magdeburg.