Instructions for employees

Last modification: 24.03.2020 / 15:30 pm

Info Return from Austria, Switzerland or Italy

Procedure and documentation of Fridays during school closures

For the coming weeks (as things stand at present until the end of April 2020), the following guidelines apply:

1. Business trips, private travel, stays abroad

  • All business trips to risk areas as defined by Robert Koch Institute (RKI) are prohibited until further notice. The same applies to transit via these areas (including transit with intermediate stops). Since the current situation is developing dynamically, the risk areas can change at any time. Before planning/starting a trip, the RKI website must be checked for developments. 

  • Business trips to non-risk areas must be examined with immediate effect to determine whether they are necessary. If such trips are not absolutely necessary, the business trip should be postponed. Public transport should be avoided.

  • Employees returning from business trips or stays abroad in risk areas must first report by telephone or electronically to their supervisor, the Human Resources Department 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 a risk area 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.

  • This procedure also applies in the case of a person returning from a private stay abroad. If a travel warning already exists at the time a private trip commences and the destination has been declared a risk area by the RKI, 14 additional days must be planned after the holiday for a leave of absence, e.g. by using up holiday time, reducing overtime or with an unpaid leave of absence. This must be agreed to with the supervisor.

  • If persons returning from risk areas 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 Human Resources Department must be informed.

  • Visits by guests or foreign delegations from risk areas must be cancelled.

  • Visits by guests or foreign delegations from non-risk areas must be checked in advance to see if they are necessary and, if possible, postponed or cancelled.


2. Health-related and work organisation 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 and who in the last 14 days before onset of the illness stayed in a risk area 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 Human Resources Department 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 Human Resources Department.

  • If quarantine has been ordered, although there are no health problems, working from home should be considered.

  • The following applies to employees who fall under the recommendation by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, according to which they should voluntarily stay at home for 14 days after returning from Austria, Switzerland or Italy:

    • If they have already started work because they returned a few days ago and do not show any symptoms of illness, the following alternative options should be considered in consultation with their supervisor:
      • Is it possible to work entirely from home?
      • Can parts of the job be carried working out from home?
      • Must special measures be taken to protect other employees (staggered working hours, working in a single office without physical contact with other employees or compliance with all hygiene regulations)?

    • If none of this is possible, the employee will be granted leave of absence with continued remuneration. The arrangements will be made for a maximum period of 14 days after the date of return.

    • If those who have returned have not yet started work, working from home must be considered as the first option if operational requirements allow this and if the work cannot be carried out from home or the person is essential for operations, a working environment must be established in which no third parties can be infected. Here too, if none of the work organization measures apply, leave of absence will be granted for a maximum of 14 days after return.

  • If municipal facilities, day care centres 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 10 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 10 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.

  • The same procedure applies when employees have to take care of family members due to the closure of facilities. 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. Here, too, close coordination with the supervisor is necessary and this measure must be documented on the holiday card.

  • The following must be observed with regard to behaviour 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 Human Resources Department must be informed by e-mail.

  • Alternatively, work organisation 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 should 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 minimised 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 employee's immediate supervisor; the Human Resources Department should be consulted in cases of doubt.

  • Teachers should examine and consider e-learning formats at an early stage.


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 (approx. 1 to 2 metres). In your dealings with others, please avoid physical contact (e.g. shaking hands).

  • According to the recommendation issued by the RKI, no additional protective measures, such as face masks and protective gloves, are required or have been ordered.


4. FAQs

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. A pandemic has now been declared. Measures will be taken according to the University of Magdeburg’s pandemic plan.

Last Modification: 24.03.2020 - Contact Person:

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