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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 11/30) Regulations on entering the state of North Rhine-Westphalia suspended

The Higher Administrative Court of Münster has suspended the Ordinance on entering the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. This means that there is currently no obligation to self-quarantine after entering the state from a risk area. Furthermore, however, you are required to register digitally. Please note that new regulations may reverse this decision and reinstate obligatory self-quarantine and digital registration on short notice. You will find relevant information on the MAGS NRW website.

The following rules generally apply: Please bear in mind that certain legal regulations may apply at the time of planning your private trip, which may require you going into quarantine at home upon your return. The period of time you go into quarantine for does not classify as paid working time. Therefore, please carefully check where you plan to take a private trip to and whether it is necessary at this point in time. The German states have respectively implemented regulations requiring quarantining for certain returning travelers, thus knowingly going on private travel to a country subject to a travel warning constitutes a culpable breach of employee sick pay regulations. Such conduct results in a temporary inability to perform work in accordance with § 616 of German Civil Code (BGB), for which the employee would be culpably at fault. Accordingly, the employee forfeits entitlement to sick pay in such case pursuant to § 616 BGB. If work cannot be performed from home, the absence time must either be made up for by forfeiting vacation leave or accrued overtime or unpaid leave must be taken for the period of absence, subject to approval.

(Updated 19/11) Official trips

With infections still at an alarming level, official trips within Germany will, effective immediately, only be authorized where these are absolutely necessary and the underlying goal cannot be accomplished online. Employees planning an official trip must first consult with their supervisor, taking all risks and currently applicable hygiene regulations into account.

If, after careful consideration, the official trip is deemed absolutely necessary, applicable travel information as well as the situation at the travel destination must be monitored. It is your own responsibility to identify restrictions regarding arrival, the destination itself, return or accommodation. Official trips to non-EU countries and to EU risk areas will only be authorized in duly substantiated exceptional cases. Requests are to be submitted along with a respective statement via the responsible dean's office.

(Updated 11/11) Working from home/On-site operations

After running minimal operations during spring, the University has gradually resumed safe operations mode. In the past months, the University has developed and implemented hygiene and protection concepts for all areas, thus enabling a return to working on site in research, teaching and the administration. University buildings must be opened to allow for hybrid courses to be conducted and study and work spaces in libraries to be used in the winter semester.

Especially in view of the increased number of infections, we ask each organizational unit to implement an operative mode that, based on currently applicable hygiene and protection measures, allows staff to carry out tasks in their respective area of responsibility from home and in safe on-site operations mode. Needs of at-risks persons are to be taken into account (see Circular 39/2020, item 3). Working from home shall be an option for those with care responsibilities, where closure of care facilities results in lack of childcare and care for family members in need.

(New 11/11) Business events

Necessary business events such as job interviews or team/project meetings may go ahead as long as approved hygiene and protection concepts applicable at the University of Bonn are adhered to. Online formats should be first choice.

(New 11/11) Legally required committee meetings which cannot be held online

In-person committee meetings may take place with up to 20 participants if hygiene and protective measures applicable at the University of Bonn are adhered to. Committee meetings between 21 and 250 participants require prior approval from the responsible regulatory authority in Bonn (Ordnungsamt). To seek approval, please send an email to the University of Bonn’s Occupational and Environmental Safety Unit.

(Updated 11/11) Mouth and nose covers

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.

(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.

(Updated 15/09) Exemption in case of quarantine

Human Resources must be notified if an employee is unable to work from home who is not infected with Covid 19 but subject to quarantine by order of the public health administration, in line with the Infection Prevention Act. The employee in question is then placed on paid leave of absence and released from work obligations for the duration of the mandatory quarantine period.

(Updated 03/07) Business trips

Please note the regulations in Circular 53/2020 regarding business trips. Effective immediately, traveling for business within Germany and Europe is permissible again as long as no travel warnings were issued for or restrictions imposed on the target countries by the Foreign Office and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). As the current situation may change at short notice, we ask you to please check with the Foreign Office and with the RKI, both prior to booking and starting the trip whether travel warnings/restrictions apply to the relevant country. Business trips to risk areas or countries that are subject to restrictions are only approved in substantiated exceptional circumstances.

Care of children and relatives in need of care

If childcare should become absolutely necessary due to the closure of schools and other institutions, in consultation with their supervisors employees can work from home or apply flexible working hours (e.g. working in the early evening). If these options are not available, time compensation can be provided in the form of flexible working time/flexible working hours or overtime reduction, or remaining vacation days for the years 2018/2019 can be taken. The same applies in the event that relatives in need of care have to be looked after.
 
If this is not sufficient, employees can stay away from their workplace for a period of 5 working days without loss of salary in accordance with § 616 BGB. This only applies if there are no alternative childcare options (e.g. by spouse, neighbourhood). Care by grandparents should be avoided, as older people are considerably endangered by the virus and their health should be particularly protected. We would like to point out that you can apply for special leave or leave of absence from work without continued payment of remuneration. Such applications should be submitted in electronic form to the relevant human resource departments. Supervisors must be informed in advance.
 
It is also possible to apply for a paid leave of absence for childcare via your statutory health insurance companies in accordance with § 45 Para. 2 SGB V upon presentation of an appropriate medical certificate. According to these provisions, employees are entitled to sick pay if, according to a medical certificate, it is necessary for them to be absent from work to supervise, care for or nurse their sick and injured child (under the age of 12 or disabled and dependent on assistance), and if no other person living in their household can supervise, care for or nurse the child. 
 
In each calendar year, entitlement exists for each child for a maximum of 10 working days, and for single parents for a maximum of 20 working days.
 
For civil servants, the above regulations apply accordingly. 

Persons with previous illnesses

The Robert Koch Institute confirms that persons with pre-existing health conditions are at a higher risk of a severe course of the disease when infected with SARS-CoV-2. Among these are the following:
  • diseases of the heart (e.g. coronary heart disease)  
  • the lungs (e.g. asthma, chronic bronchitis)  
  • the liver (chronic liver diseases) 
  • diabetes mellitus (diabetes disease) 
  • cancer
  • diseases of the immune system (e.g. due to a disease associated with an immune deficiency or due to taking drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cortisone).
This particularly vulnerable group of people should be actively offered the option to work from home by their supervisors if possible. Such applications by employees are to be approved as a matter of principle.
 
If working from home is not possible, person-to-person contact is to be minimised by flexible working hours (e.g. working in the early evening).
 
If this option does not exist either, time compensation can be provided in the form of flexible working hours/flexible working hours or overtime reduction, or any remaining leave for the years 2018/2019 can be taken.
 
If all options are exhausted, the University will grant permission to the responsible supervisors to grant leave of absence for an initial period of 14 working days for reasons of welfare. Any such persons must be reported to the relevant human resource division.
 

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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