Information for employees

Information requirements for collecting corona-related contact data

When collecting contact data on the basis of the Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance, please use the template "Corona-VO_kleiner_Datenschutzhinweis_fuer_OE" (see "VIII. Files available for download", German only) in accordance with the GDPR.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Data Privacy and Information Security Management Unit.

Online list of participants for in-person events (academic teaching excluded)

In order to trace infection chains, it is imperative to document the presence of all persons at the university.

For this purpose, we provide an "online list of participants". In this list, you may enter all participants (more than 5 persons) in face-to-face events (academic teaching excluded). Afterwards, you can print the list and attach it to your minutes.

You can find the list here.

Am I still obliged to work while reduced operations (special operations) remain in effect?

Moving your place of work to your home, you are still obliged to work, unless ordered otherwise. It is expected that you can be reached by telephone during your normal working hours and that you are on call to carry out important work at the university. In addition, we ask you to check your e-mails regularly and tend to them if necessary (e.g. via webmail, https://uol.de/webmail). Please also keep yourself informed about current developments on the university's website (https://uol.de/en).

Payroll accounting is maintained at all times.

What about employees who are not allowed to enter the university and who are unable to perform their duties during reduced operations (special operations)?

If you are not designated to work on site at the university and your work cannot be carried out from home, you may be released from your duties after consulting with your superior. Nevertheless, you remain under obligation to be available by telephone during your normal working hours and to be on call to perform important work at the university. You are to inform yourself regularly about current developments at the university and check your e-mails. You may be notified by e-mail and via the website when business as usual resumes.

Payroll accounting is maintained at all times.

Are pregnant and/or nursing individuals permitted to enter university premises?

The Maternity Protection Act, which mandates processes that include the preparation and evaluation of risk assessments as well as the determination of protective measures, continues to apply to this group of individuals. Pregnant and nursing women may only (or continue to) be employed if a current risk assessment based on the situation as of June 10, 2021 has been prepared and the requisite measures have been implemented. Should the work situation change (e.g. allowing for a return to the university workplace), a new risk assessment must be prepared and submitted to the responsible offices. A potential risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 must be taken into account. Please note that this review process must be complete before any changes to the work situation may take effect.

Employment agreement on alternative workplaces during the coronavirus pandemic

Update:

Due to the ongoing restrictions resulting from the corona pandemic, the Presidenial Board and the Staff Council of the University of Oldenburg have extended the "Employment Agreement on Alternative Workplaces during the Corona Crisis" ("Dienstvereinbarung zu Arbeitsplatzalternativen während der Zeit der Coronakrise") until December 31, 2021.

You can find the current version in the the administration portal.


In principle, university workplaces may be used on-site, although the requisite hygiene and protective measures may preclude some workplaces from being staffed in person.

In order for staff to return, the head of an organizational unit must draw up a concept and submit it to the Occupational Safety Unit for review as well as the Presidential Board for approval. On this basis, the head may divide on-site work hours among his or her staff (please note the guidelines on "Special Operations and Discretionary Management" as well as "Discretionary Management and Risk Groups" issued by the Human Resources Department on July 30, 2020).

Mobile work may be ordered by the head of an organizational unit if necessary. Employees who demonstrably (e.g. confirmed by an occupational physician) belong to a risk group require a special assessment and, if necessary, special work options, both involving an occupational physician.

The agreement, including all relevant forms, is available on the administration portal (Personnel Service/Mobile Work).

The Employment Agreement authorizes superiors to permit individual employees to work remotely. In order to maintain the functionality and performance of the University of Oldenburg, superiors are also given the option to order individual employees to work remotely.

However, it is required that the nature of an employee's job allows for mobile work to be carried out and that all necessary work equipment is available. Please coordinate requests for mobile work with your superiors.

Mobile work: Employment Agreement ("Dienstvereinbarung")

The Presidential Chair and the Staff Council have agreed upon the draft of a temporary Employment Agreement on alternative workplaces during the corona crisis. Subject to the approval of the Staff Council, the agreement will be concluded at short notice.

The regulations laid out in the draft become effective immediately.

The agreement, including all relevant forms, is available in the administration portal (Personnel Service/Mobile Work).

The Employment Agreement authorizes superiors to permit individual employees to work remotely. In order to maintain the functionality and performance of the University of Oldenburg, superiors are also given the option to order individual employees to work remotely. However, it is required that the nature of an employee's job allows for mobile work to be carried out and that all necessary work equipment is available. Please coordinate requests for mobile work with your superiors.

Guidance on working from home

Working from home is a special form of mobile work. After consulting with their employer, employees temporarily carry out their work in a private environment.

As a rule, the regulations laid out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act apply. Unlike telecommuting, however, mobile work is not subject to any special provisions (see amendment to the service agreement on telecommuting at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg from 01/01/2006 - Amtliche Mitteilung 26. Jahrgang - 3/2007).

A checklist for working from home can be downloaded here (German only).

Information on printing while working remotely

Staffmail from 10/15/2020:

Dear Sir or Madam,
dear colleagues,

if you access the systems of the University of Oldenburg remotely, you may also use your private printer. Technical restrictions, which have previously applied to some colleagues, have been lifted.

Please note that organizational regulations in your area of responsibility regarding which documents may not be printed out and which documents may not leave the University of Oldenburg still apply.  If in doubt, please contact your superiors.

In addition, however, some points regarding data protection and information security must be observed:

- In principle, documents should only be printed if absolutely necessary.

- Documents with personal data and those classified higher than " VS- Nur für den Dienstgebrauch" may not be printed on private printers.

- If documents have to be printed at home, the documents should be removed from the printer immediately.

- Printouts should be stored securely, i.e. usually locked. 

- Other people in the household should not be able to read the documents.

- Official paper documents containing personal data must not be disposed of in private paper waste. Such sensitive paper waste may be collected, stored under lock and then disposed of at the university (in accordance with data protection regulations, e.g. in the data protection bins provided). Alternatively, it is also possible to dispose of the documents safely, e.g. by using your own paper shredder. 

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact the the Stabsstelle für Datenschutz- und Informationssicherheitsmanagement (Data Protection and Information Security Management Unit, ).

Best regards,

Your Stabsstelle für Datenschutz- und Informationssicherheitsmanagement.

Emergency childcare during closure of kindergartens and schools

Emergency child care is generally subordinate to the aforementioned as well as other internal work arrangements. Needs assessments consist of several steps:

Review process for an employer's certificate supporting an application for emergency child care in kindergartens and schools.

1. Responsibility for issuing the certificate

Considered legally relevant statements, the certificates will be processed by Division 1. They must not be issued by agencies other than those authorized to do so!

Applications must be submitted to the human resources department through official channels, and will be received by the respective HR officers.

Outdated forms based on the criteria applied during the first lockdown may still be submitted. They will be corrected by the HR department.

2. Criteria laid out in current ordinance and decree

  • Information on children: How many, age, regular child care (daycare, nursery, school, what grade).
  • Operationally necessary position in an area of public interest: For now, it is sufficient to state your position and duties without an evaluation. In some cases, a brief clarifying statement by a superior or the head of an organizational unit may be helpful. If additional information is required, you will be notified. Whether the other parent meets the criteria may also be taken into account.
  • Lack of childcare elsewhere: Are there any alternative childcare providers in the family, among friends, etc.? What is the share of mobile work? What about your partner's job situation and capacity to provide care?

NOTE: Contrary to the prevailing opinion in 2020, home office in itself is not the solution! The extent to which you are able to work remotely does not always rule out a need for emergency care. Further clarification is needed here: Is childcare possible and reasonable in the context of mobile work? According to current implementation instructions, this may not be the case, for example, if several children, very young children, children with impairments of any kind, children with school-related problems, etc. are to be cared for.

  • Control question: Emergency care must be limited to what is absolutely necessary. It is subsidiary to other possible solutions. In other words, have all other work-related avenues been exhausted, or may other options offer adequate relief, at least in the short run?
  • Hardship? If the criteria do not apply to you, but the result still seems unacceptable, a hardship option may be considered. Please contact the HR department to explore this scenario.

Excerpt from the Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance of 01/22/2021

§ 12 Child day care facilities

§ 12 Section 1 Sentence 4:
Emergency care shall be limited to what is necessary and epidemiologically justifiable, taking into account existing capacities.

§ 12 Section 1 Sentence 8:
Emergency care shall serve to accommodate children,
1. who have at least one parent or legal guardian that works in an operationally necessary position in an occupation of general public interest,
2. who need assistance, especially language-related support, or
3. who will be required to attend school in the coming school year in accordance with Section 64 (1) sentence 1 of the Lower Saxony School Act.

§ 12 Section 1 Sentence 9:
Care is also permissible in cases of special hardship, such as for children whose care is necessary to ensure the best interests of the child, as well as in cases of imminent dismissal or significant loss of earnings for at least one legal guardian.

§ 13 Section 2 Schools

For the duration of the measure pursuant to subsection 1, emergency care in small groups at schools shall be permitted for children in school kindergartens and for pupils generally in grades 1 to 6 during the period from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. Beyond this period, emergency care at all-day schools may be extended in time.
Emergency care shall be limited to what is necessary and epidemiologically justifiable. The purpose of emergency care is to accommodate children for whom at least one parent or guardian is employed in an operationally necessary position in an occupation of general public interest. Care is also permitted in cases of special hardship, such as for children whose care is necessary to safeguard the best interests of the child as a result of a decision by the Youth Welfare Office, and in cases of imminent dismissal or significant loss of earnings for at least one legal guardian.

Parental leave during closure of kindergartens and schools

What options do I have if I need some time off?

In principle, different regulations apply to those with statutory insurance, private insurance and civil servants.

a) Persons covered by statutory insurance

    a. Children's sick days according to § 45 SGB V
    b. Time off work according to § 29 Section 3TV-L
    c. Claim for compensation according to § 56 IfSG

b) Privately insured persons

    a. Work release according to § 29 Section 3TV-L
    b. Entitlement to compensation according to § 56 IfSG

c) Civil servants

    a. Special leave according to § 9 No. 8 Nds. SUrlVO
    b. Special leave according to § 9 a Section 2a Nds. SUrlVO
    c. Special leave according to § 11 Section 2 Nds. SUrlVO    

What are the rules for children's sick days according to § 45 SGB V?

Parents may take designated sick days for children who have not yet reached the age of 12,

a) if they care for their sick child at home, or
b) if childcare is not available (applies only in 2021).

In 2021, 20 days are now available for this purpose instead of the previous 10 days per child.

Children's sick pay is generally 90 percent of the net pay lost. An application must be filed with the respective health insurance provider.

Parents who (could) work from home but need to care for a sick child instead also have the option of applying for children's sick pay.

Procedure:

  1. An application for time off work (employees subject to collective bargaining) - point 2.2 must be submitted.
  2. You apply for children's sick pay directly with your health insurance provider in the second step.

What are the rules for time off work according to § 29 TV-L?

In principle, the employer can grant leave from work in urgent cases with continued payment of remuneration. This possibility is limited to three working days.

Corona-related closures of schools and daycare centers may be considered urgent cases.

Procedure:

  1. A request for time off from work (employees subject to collective bargaining) - item 1.3 must be submitted.
  2. Your salary will continue to be paid in full by the university.

What are the rules for compensation claims according to § 56 IfSG?

If children's sick days have already been exhausted or if this entitlement does not exist at all - in the case of non-statutorily insured persons - a claim for compensation according to § 56 IfSG may be possible.

The claim for compensation covers 67 percent of the lost earnings, up to a maximum of 2,016 Euros per month, for a period of up to 10 weeks per parent or 20 weeks for single parents.

Prerequisites are:

  1. Closure of a facility
  2. Child has not yet completed 12 years of age
  3. Loss of earnings

Procedure:

  1. A request must be made for time off work (employees subject to collective bargaining) - item 2.2.
  2. The salary will continue to be paid by the university at a reduced rate.

Special leave for civil servants

What are the rules for § 9 No. 8 Nds. SUrlVO?

Special leave with continued payment of salary in urgent cases of up to three working days.

The corona-related closure of schools and daycare centers may be considered an urgent case.

What are rules for § 9 Section 2a Nds. SUrlVO?

The following regulation applies during the year 2021:

Special leave with continued payment shall be granted in the event of serious illness of a child or the corona-related closure of childcare facilities and schools, if the child has not yet reached the age of twelve, or is disabled and dependent on assistance and no other caregiver is available.

As a rule, leave can be granted for up to 10 working days per child - limited to a total of 20 working days if there are three or more children - per year.

Single-parent civil servants may be granted special leave for a total of up to 30 working days per year if they have more than one child.

What are the rules for Section 11, Paragraph 2 of the Nds. SUrlVO?

For extraordinary situations, civil service law offers further possibilities, which may compete with other entitlements. Please seek individual advice if necessary.

I commute to work and rely on public transportation. May I stay at home to minimize the risk of infection?

Currently there are no bans on using public transportation. However, the current hygiene measures of the operators must be observed. Aside from that, employees generally bear the risk of travelling to work and are responsible for reaching their place of employment safely.

I have immunocompromised or chronically ill relatives at home. Can I work from home?

For the protection of your relatives, you should exercise the same caution you would during flu season. Other than that, there is no higher risk of infection in a work environment than in private life. The fear of being infected with the coronavirus at work or on the way to work is understandable, but does not entitle employees to be absent from work, according to current risk assessments.

(09/15/2021)