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Information for employees

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Information for employees

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The pandemic has turned many work processes upside down, caused some concern and raised many questions. Here we have collected the most important information and rules of conduct on the pandemic. The information is updated continuously - so please check back regularly for new information.

 

(Updated 02/12) Employment law-related measures due to the current lockdown

The Department of Human Resources Management has compiled "Employment Law-Related Measures due to the Current Lockdown" regarding the impact of the lockdown on work. This involves further information on the topics: Working from home, trainees, childcare, persons with pre-existing conditions, business trips, entering NRW and officially ordered quarantine.

(Updated 02/12) Persons with pre-existing health conditions

 

The Robert Koch Institute confirms that persons with pre-existing health conditions are at greater risk of serious illness due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. This includes:

  • Heart conditions (e.g. coronary heart disease)
  • Lung conditions (e.g. asthma, chronic bronchitis)
  • Liver conditions (chronic liver diseases)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Immune system disorders (connected with a weakened immune system or medicines like cortisone that cause weakening of the immune system).

To qualify as a high-risk individual falling within this category a corresponding medical certificate must be presented, which in some cases must be supplemented by an occupational health exam. All further information on the employment law implications can be found in a recent handout from the Human Resources Department.

 

(Updated 02/12) Work/ Working from home

Bitte Abstand halten

 

Working from home should be the preferred option for University employees who are not required to work on-site due to operational exigencies as long as their day-to-day work can be performed remotely.

If because of the pandemic situation employees are unable to suitably work from home or on University premises (full or part-time), those employees must be released from the corresponding work obligations. In such case, existing time account credit balances (accrued overtime and other extra hours, allocable flex time blocks) are to be used up accordingly.

However, when accrued work times have been used up, such employees are not legally deemed to be on vacation leave. Instead, they have to be prepared to resume work immediately when required. Please notify the responsible Human Resources department accordingly; no form is required.

For employees who perform their regular day-to-day work from home, wholly or in part, the individual’s contractually agreed standard work hours are applied as minimum for time accounting purposes. As required for the performance of work responsibilities, additional work hours may be necessary within the statutory labor law limits. Such hours worked must be properly documented. Time spent commuting between home and work is not considered working time.

There is no problem with allowing employees to work from home as long as they reside within the EU, as this has no problematic social security or tax implications. Otherwise however there are problematic issues requiring decision-making on a case-by-case basis.

In the event infection numbers worsen, it is possible that a stay-home order could be imposed. In such case, only essential workers will be permitted to enter University buildings or campus areas. Such workers must keep the corresponding documents which have to be presented to the authorities readily available and hand these over promptly as required for verification. A sample document can be downloaded here.

All further information on the employment law implications can be found in a recent handout from the Human Resources Department.

 

(Updated 02/12) Childcare

Where closing of schools and other facilities results in unavoidable childcare responsibilities, work can, following agreement with relevant supervisors, be carried out from home or with flexible low-risk working hours (e.g. working early evenings). When such arrangements are not possible, work time obligations may be made up for through flexible work hours/flex time scheduling or by using up accrued overtime or accrued vacation.

For the year 2021 the possibility was created under § 45 para. 2a of Book V of German Social Code (SGB V) for parents to receive sick pay for children (Kinderkrankengeld) in case of closures of schools and other facilities and/or the suspension of compulsory attendance by filing with their statutory health insurer. The rules are that any parent holding statutory health insurance can apply for 20 days of sick pay per child in 2021, capped at 45 days total. Single parents are entitled to 40 days per child capped at 90 days total. The sick pay amount is approximately 90% of net salary, which is more favorable than the compensation available under the Infection Prevention Act.

To be entitled to sick pay for children, parents must hold statutory health insurance covering their child/children, which must be below age twelve. The rule further applies that there must be no other individual in the applicant household able to look after the child instead of the parent/s.

The specific requirements are:

  • The maximum child age is eleven (i.e. eligible up to the child’s twelfth birthday); no age cap for disabled children dependent on help. Additionally:
  • The child must be supervised, looked after or cared for at home by the employee or self-employed applicant personally during the period of closure, because
  • other reasonably proper care is unobtainable
  • and both the child and the worker must hold statutory health insurance.

All further information on the employment law implications can be found in a recent handout from the Human Resources Department.

(Updated 02/12) Exemption in case of quarantine

 

If the public health authority orders home quarantine, affected employees receive pay in accordance with the Infection Prevention Act. The responsible Human Resources department must be notified.

If an employee becomes subject to quarantine per order of the public health authority while on vacation leave, the vacation leave time in question is used up. If however an individual holds a doctor’s certificate documenting illness at the time such quarantining is ordered, the affected vacation days may be rescheduled. This is contingent upon the employee providing timely notification of illness (see Holiday Leave Policy Guide). These regulations apply irrespective of lockdown periods.

(Updated 02/12) Entering the state of North Rhine-Westphalia

 

Under the latest amended Corona Entry Ordinance of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia of January 15, 2021, individuals entering the state of NRW from a recognized virus variant area are required to isolate in self-quarantine for a period of ten days.

 

After a minimum waiting period of five (5) days from the date of entry, such individuals may undergo Covid-19 testing and only then exit quarantine early in case of a negative result. Such individuals must present a medical certificate with the test result to the public health authority as documentation. This certificate must be retained for a period of ten days.

Testing is furthermore required when an individual entering the state has symptoms typical of corona within ten days of the entry date. An overview of virus variant areas can currently be found on the RKI website.

When entering the state from a high-risk area not recognized as a virus variant area, isolation in self-quarantine is mandated for a ten-day period unless a negative test result is obtained within 48 hours prior to or immediately upon entry. This self-isolation period may be ended upon testing and receiving a negative result. In this case however, the test may be done at any time during the period of self-isolation, in contrast to the above situation; this differing procedure is referred to as ‘early release testing’ (Freitestung). The RKI defines what areas are designated as high-risk.

(Updated 02/12) Business trips

Virologists and the government are urgently warning against unnecessary travel in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. This includes business travel in general. Business travel therefore must be avoided to the extent possible, utilizing online videoconferencing instead.

It must be determined for any absolutely necessary business trip whether the employee is traveling to a high-risk destination. In response to the virus mutations observed, ‘virus variant areas’ are now recognized for further differentiation.

Employees have the right to refuse to travel to an area/country designated by the authorities (German Federal Foreign Office, RKI) as a high-risk area for which an official travel warning has been pronounced. The University cannot expect employees to work under circumstances that pose a substantial health risk, and this principle applies regarding travel to a high-risk area.

Please refer to the information provided in Circular No. 92/2020 as well.

(Updated 02/12) Returning from personal travel

For individuals returning from an area/country which was defined by the competent authorities as a high-risk area for SARS-CoV-2 or any mutation thereof as of the time of initial commencement of the travel in question, early release from isolation in self-quarantine is not an available possibility regardless of whether the individual is able to work from home. Pay entitlement for the work days missed is forfeited unless made up for otherwise.

Employees returning from such travel who are positive with SARS-CoV-2 or a mutation thereof may furthermore forfeit entitlement to sick pay on grounds of being at fault for falling ill. Please note that it may be required to file a digital notification of entry upon entering Germany.

Employees are responsible themselves for becoming informed regarding the latest updated travel regulations.

(Updated 01/28) Ordering and disposal of medical masks

The current Corona Protection Ordinance of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (CoronaSchVO NRW) and SARS-COV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (SARS-COV-2-Arbeitsschutzverordnung) of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs include new regulations for the provision of medical masks for employees. As a first step, the University of Bonn provided medical masks to its employees. (see Circular 10-2021)

It is now possible to independently order the medical masks and FFP2 masks needed from LYRECO. Information on the ordering process is provided in Circular 17/2021. Instructions on how to properly wear and dispose of the masks are also provided.

Mouth and nose covers must be worn at the University of Bonn irrespective of whether minimum distance is kept or not. Please refer to the applicable individual hygiene and protection concepts for additional regulations available on the corona-related sections of the University website. Where persons do not wear mouth and nose covers due to medical reasons, a medical certificate is required as proof and a protective shield covering the entire face must be worn instead.

Use your mask also on your way home and dispose of it in your household waste. If you do not use the mask on your way home, please dispose of it only in the marked waste containers.

(New 01/28) Coronavirus tests for employees

In certain cases, employees can arrange for coronavirus testing through the University. The University has concluded agreements with the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) and BONN CORONAVIRUS TEST CENTER for this purpose. Information on how to arrange a test is provided in Circular 17/2021.

(Updated 01/14)  University building opening hours

The parts of the main building and AVZ III relevant to students are open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The main building can only be entered through the Arkadenhof gate, entrance to the procurement office, entrance to the cafeteria hall and the Etscheidhof entrance with access to lecture hall 1. The required opening hours for buildings that are not centrally administered are set by the managing directors or persons responsible for the buildings.

(Updated 16/09) Parking facilities

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, parking administration had been put on hold in recent months. This meant free parking for all users. To ensure and return to regular parking administration on all properties of the University of Bonn, as of October 01, 2020, the operating agreement and the general terms of use become effective again. As of next month, we therefore ask all users to ensure that their vehicles parked on university property in the municipal area of Bonn display a valid parking permit. The checking of parking space and permits will resume in October.

Business abroad

Employees of the University who are currently abroad can contact the Welcome Center of the University of Bonn in the International Office for further questions, especially regarding whether, when and how to return to Germany. Please contact [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.].

 

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