Instruction in relation to the corona virus safety and hygiene regulations and the 2020 summer semester
In addition to standard online teaching, it will also be permitted to hold a certain number of face-to-face events at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg as of the 4th of May 2020, provided that the relevant hygiene regulations are complied with. In compliance with specific hygiene requirements, these prerequisites will be set out in decrees by the relevant ministry as well as in internal university regulations for laboratory training, practical sports classes, colloquia, examinations, etc. A supplementary instruction for the implementation of events requiring student attendance will be available by the 30th of April 2020.
The concept of a digital semester does not mean that university staff will only create online content and deliver it remotely. The aim, therefore, is to increase the number of staff in attendance in all areas of the university throughout the coming weeks. According to the criteria listed below, the 4th of May 2020 is viewed as a cut-off date as of which a reassessment of the concept of off-site work is expected. During the current semester, studies will largely be characterised by digital teaching formats.
Compliance with certain minimum standards, such as the COVID-19 occupational health and safety standard of the 16th of April 2020 (German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs), will be mandatory to enable a return to a minimum-contact university environment. With regard to presence at work and home-office working rights, both the staff instruction of the 17th of March 2020 as well as the guideline for minimum-contact basic operations as of the 23rd of March 2020 will be amended as follows.
1. Workplace presence requirements
1.1. The following rule applies to all staff with their own personal offices:
- all activities must primarily be carried out from within the office.
1.2. The following rule applies to all staff who work in shared offices, workshops or laboratories:
- maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 m from other people is a mandatory requirement. If necessary, compliance must be ensured by floor markings.
- To avoid prolonged stays in shared work areas, working hours must be staggered to ensure that all employees can work their contractually agreed hours. As a guideline, working hours should be scheduled between 06.00 to 18.00.
- Separating devices, such as Plexiglas panes, may have to be installed or furniture may need to be rearranged to avoid direct contact.
- Breaks will be taken at different times and must be spent outside the workplace to equalise attendance times.
- Wherever the minimum social-distancing rule has to be disregarded due to the nature of a given activity and where separation through the use protective screens is not possible or reasonable, the face masks provided by the OVGU will be used.
Within the framework of the 40-hour week and flexible working hours as well as the relevant flexibility regulations pertaining to part-time employment contracts at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (excluding MED), the working hours service agreement shall apply in full, in particular with regard to the recording of working time. Core hours shall be omitted if services are transferred.
2. Home office or mobile working requirements
Permission to work from home or for mobile working can only be granted if this is appropriate for the respective activity, which means that:
- all or a substantial part of the work in question can be done remotely,
- and, unless employees are carrying out independent scientific research, supervisors (deans, heads of organisational units, etc.) are responsible for drawing up a work plan for them, and
- it must be possible to reach employees by e-mail and telephone
- employees are obligated to check e-mails and the website several times a day. Call routing or voice messaging responses need to be put in place,
- no personal presence is required (e.g., due to a lack of regular customer contacts),
- data protection regulations shall be complied with.
Combining family care and home working tasks continues to be possible. Paid leave of up to 30 days (also split) can still be taken if children under the age of 12 or severely disabled children need to be cared for, provided that time is still available. The trust-based working time system is still in place for home working, which will be recorded by the employees themselves.
All provisions of the teleworking and home working service agreement apply in full; only the application procedure has been suspended. Rather than an amendment to the contract, a notification to the Department of Human Resources, in which the non-scientific staff are reported by name, shall be deemed sufficient.
3. Protecting people at risk of serious complications from COVID-19 (e.g., due to underlying diseases)
Anyone unable to work at their regular workplace due to a serious pre-existing illness and also unable to work from home must provide a note from their GP stating that they are unable to work.
4. Ensuring additional hygiene measures
We are going to agree on shorter cleaning intervals for jointly used premises, especially in customer service areas, with our service provider, Gegenbauer. Disinfectants and detergents will be provided in reasonable quantities by the employer to enable ad-hoc surface cleansing. All rooms must be adequately ventilated several times a day.
5. Protecting staff, students and other groups
People with recognisable symptoms (including a slight fever, cold symptoms and/or breathing difficulties) must leave the workplace or stay at home until such times as a doctor has verified whether or not they have contracted Covid-19. In this context, all employees have a responsibility to monitor their own health before starting work to avoid putting others at risk.
6. Health issue support from the occupational physician and safety specialists
Both the occupational physician and safety specialists (K 43) advise the President’s office and the supervisors on the implementation of the SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety standard and provide training support. OVGU also offers its employees a voluntary, exclusively telephone-based occupational health care service. The occupational physician also provides individual advice on work-related health risks. Previous illnesses and anxieties can also be discussed in this context.