Temporary staff

Special regulations apply to staff on a fixed-term contract. Here you can find out everything you need to know about third-party funding, flexible working hours and so on. Please address all specific questions to your administrative assistant. 

Please Note

The COVID-19 pandemic and changes to the Law on Temporary Employment in Higher Education (WissZeitVG): What research staff on a fixed-term contract need to know (in German)

Fixed-term employment for qualification purposes

The duration of the work contract is extended in accordance with § 2 para. 5 no. 1 WissZeitVG for a maximum of 2 years for fixed-term employees only, by the period of leave granted to care for one of more children under the age of 18 or family members requiring care.

Details about leave

Automatic extensions requiring only the assent of the member of staff is granted for periods

  • In which parental leave has been granted
  • During which the employee was not permitted to work (“Beschäftigungsverbot”) or in which the employee was on maternity leave (§ 2 para. 5 p. 1 no. 3 WissZeitVG).

The duration of the interruption is not subject to any particular time restriction. If the contingent of parental leave open to a member of staff has been taken in full, or a parent takes a subsequent period of parental leave, the duration of the contract will be extended by the extent of the leave period after all parental leave times have ceased. As a result, parental leave can only be taken into account pro rata temporis in granting the extension if the member of staff continues to work for the University part-time during the leave period. Part-time employment outside the University or research institute which is not pursued in conjunction with academic qualification will not be taken into account.

Should the fixed-term employment contract end before the end of the leave of absence, the employee has the right only to extend their employment by the time of the period spent on leave. The extension of the contract will start immediately upon the original end of the fixed-term of employment. If the reason for interrupting the contract (maternity leave or parental leave) is still applicable at the point at which the contract ends, the start point of the contract extension will be postponed until the reason for interrupting the contract ceases to apply. The point from which the employment contract is extended starts on the day after the end of maternity leave or parental leave.

Extending the fixed-term period of employment

If the institute at which personnel are employed on a fixed-term contract makes a corresponding application, the persons stated above are able to extend the duration of their fixed-term employment by up to two years to perform care for children under the age of 18. Such an extension beyond the longest-permissible period of fixed-term employment in accordance with § 1 and 2 para. 1 WissZeitVG will only be granted once the legal period available has been used to its fullest extent. Such applications require submission of the child’s birth certificate and confirmation of registration.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Law on Temporary Employment in Higher Education2 (in German) on its website.

Third-party funded fixed-term employment

Members of staff employed by third-party funded projects on a fixed-term basis in accordance with § 2 para. 2 WissZeitVG will be issued with a contract extension wherever possible. Third-party funded fixed-term employment contracts will only be issued once the periods foreseen by WissZeitVG have been exhausted.

The Part-Time and Fixed-Term Employment Act (“Teilzeit- und Befristungsgesetz”, TzBfG)

Members of staff employed on a fixed-term basis in accordance with § 14 TzBfG do not have a legal claim to extension of their employment contract equivalent to the period of the leave of absence. 

A family walking through a wood in fall
© Colourbox

Flexible working hours

The ability to work flexible hours is an important factor in enabling people to combine a career with family responsibilities. Please address any questions relating to this issue to the relevant HR department.

In accordance with §11 of the Collective Agreement for Public Service of the German States (TV L) employees can apply for and will be granted a reduction in working hours if they

  • Are responsible for the care of at least one child under the age of 18
  • Are responsible for the care of family members (a doctor’s certificate is required)

 This permission can only be granted if no pressing operational issues militate against it.

§ 8 of the Law Regulating Part-Time and Fixed-Term Employment (“Gesetz über Teilzeitarbeit und befristete Arbeitsverträge”, TzBfG) permits all employees to reduce their contractually-agreed working hours in agreement with their employers, as far as there are no operational grounds to deny this. 

Regulations for civil servants

In accordance with § 64 of the State Civil Servants’ Act in North-Rhine Westphalia (“Landesbeamtengesetz NRW” LBG) civil servants can apply for and will be granted a reduction in working hours for up to five years (with the possibility for extension) as far as no compelling operational issues militate against it. Working time can be reduced by up to 50 % of the regular working hours if

  • The applicant is responsible for the care of at least one child under the age of 18
  • The applicant is responsible for the care of a relative.

When must an application for the extension of part-time working hours be submitted?

Six months before the end of the period of reduced working hours at the latest.

Members of the University staff who wish to reduce their working hours after or during parental leave should discuss their situation with their supervisor as soon as possible.


Human Resources

Please address specific questions to the HR department.


Universität Bonn
Dezernat 3 - Personalmanagement
Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
53113 Bonn

Please also read 


What is academic qualification? The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provides answers to this question and others in its FAQs.

 Learn more (German only)

Part-time employment and fixed-term employment contracts

Read the law yourself.

Learn more (German only)

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