The spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in Germany is also causing uncertainty among Leipzig University’s staff. Here we provide information about the most important current issues concerning the virus and its impact on University operations. Members of the crisis management team set up under the University’s pandemic plan are liaising on a daily basis.
Current Information for Staff
At the moment, new rules are constantly coming into force and older information is no longer valid. Below you will find the latest information divided by topic as well as all detailed news since we began providing coronavirus updates for staff.
Last updated: 18 February 2021
Please note that the German version of this page may be more up to date. Some information is not yet available in English.
Carrying out professional activities still possible
According to the Saxon Decree for Protection Against Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 (SächsCoronaSchVO) of 27 November 2020, from 1 December 2020 restrictions on movement will apply in coronavirus hotspots (seven-day average incidence of more than 200 per 100,000 inhabitants for five or more consecutive days). It is however still possible to carry out professional activities. You do not require a permit to travel to work. It is sufficient if you can prove your identity, for example by carrying your employee ID card or business card together with your usual identity card or passport. If required, you can also use the sample employer’s certificate from the Department of Human Resources. The certificate should be signed by the head of the institution or (if deemed appropriate) by the employee’s immediate superior. The Head of Administration and Finance, Birgit Dräger, recommends that all superiors keep a list of certificates issued so that proof is available if necessary.
Update 18 February 2021: Mobile working, working hours and emergency childcare
- Employees are still required to work from home if possible (“mobile working”). Working on University premises is only possible for essential official duties, with superiors deciding on the importance of such duties at their discretion.
- While the University continues to keep operations to a minimum, the pandemic-related special arrangements for mobile working will be extended while beyond 28 February until 31 May 2021. If your current mobile working agreement expire before then, you can renew it online using the form available on the intranet.
- The current system for recording the hours worked by flexitime staff, who are working off site either in full or in part, will continue to be used.
- The Free State of Saxony decides who is entitled to free care: Its “essential workers” list shows which workers are entitled to emergency childcare. The Free State of Saxony website also has an FAQ on this subject (in German). If you have any questions about emergency childcare, please contact your HR administrator or use the general email address of the Department of Human Resources.
Correction slips for staff on flexitime
Flexitime staff can now submit correction slips electronically. Until now, it was necessary to use yellow paper slips, which were only processed in paper form.
More information, the new form and an overview of the process are available on the intranet.
Applying for annual leave / leave of absence
Staff can now apply for annual leave and other forms of leave electronically. Please note that leave should be requested and approved either in paper form (as before) or digitally, but not both: paper leave requests submitted in addition to the digital form will not be processed. The PDF form cannot yet be digitally signed. To sign digitally, print the form as a PDF and sign it with your certificate. Alternatively, leave requests will be confirmed by supervisors by email.
- The confirmed (signed) leave request and, if applicable, the approval should be sent by email to personaldezernat(at)zv.uni-leipzig.de for further processing.
- The relevant PDF form (Urlaubsantrag/Antrag auf Freistellung) is available for download on the intranet.
New service agreement on mobile work
On 1 November 2020, a new service agreement on mobile work at Leipzig University (DVMA) will come into effect. This marks the end of the pandemic-related transitional arrangements for working from home. The service agreement will initially be valid for a period of two years for testing purposes and can be viewed via the Department of Human Resources intranet site.
With the DVMA, regulations have been created which allow non-academic staff and, upon request, also the academic staff represented by the Staff Council (e.g. SHK, WHK, WMA), even beyond a pandemic situation, to agree mobile work arrangements with the responsible person in the institution under certain conditions, up to a maximum of 40 per cent of the contractually agreed working time. Mobile work does not require a telecommuting workstation and enables not only working from home. Rather, the employee may carry out their work – as previously agreed in writing with the employer – at any place of work outside Leipzig University. Mobile work can be arranged for a period of up to one year. Extensions are possible.
Please use the application form (DVMA Annex 1) and the model agreement (DVMA Annex 2) to apply for and conclude a mobile work agreement. Please only forward the “individual agreement” to the Department of Human Resources. You will find all forms on the Department of Human Resources intranet website..
Please note that due to the pandemic, the provisions of this service agreement will be modified by the special regulations on mobile work until at least 31 May 2021.
You can find FAQs on mobile work, which are regularly updated, on the Department of Human Resources intranet site. Section 31 Department Head, Dr Alexander Ciesek (tel.: 33003, email) and his colleague Ms Anke Lindner (tel.: 33015, email) are also available at the Department of Human Resources as contact persons for problems involving mobile work.
Rules on working hours
The following applies in the period from 1 November 2020 to 31 May 2021:
Employees with fixed working hours and on flexitime:
Staff may also work until 1pm on Saturdays, subject to approval by their superior (but not on public holidays).
Employees on flexitime:
- Time off in lieu for more than two days per month is possible.
- Up to 80 negative hours at the end of the month are possible (full-time employees). The same principle applies pro rata for part-time employees.
- The core and minimum working hours on site remain open currently suspended.
Further regulations, especially regarding software booking for mobile work and the handling of negative hours at the end of the year, are contained in the staff email sent by the Department of Human Resources to all flexitime employees on 19 October 2020.
- The Deans and heads of departments are generally allowed to send members of staff on business trips within Germany.
- Business trips outside Germany are also permitted in individual cases. In such cases, the Rector still reserves the right to decide on whether to grant an exception.
- Business trips should be carried out responsibly, with due consideration for the circumstances and only if absolutely necessary. Business trips are still not permitted if the official business can be carried out without the person’s physical presence.
Information for state administration employees provided by the Free State of Saxony in its capacity as employer (information from 21 January 2021)
In its capacity as employer, the Free State of Saxony has published new information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. It contains regulations on the following subjects:
- Entering Saxony from abroad (especially “risk areas”)
- Quarantine for employees
- Quarantine for children of employees
- Consequences if the employee’s place of work is closed
- Care situation if day-care centres and schools are closed due to COVID-19
- Quarantine for close relatives in need of care
- Employees who belong to a risk group
- Dealing with business trips.
The “Information About Employee Rights” already published on this page is not affected by this new information. An up-to-date list of international risk areas is published on the Robert Koch Institute website.
Application of fixed-term contracts under Sect. 7(3) of the German Act on Fixed-Term Employment Contracts in Academia (WissZeitVG)
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new clause – Sect. 7(3) – has been added to the German Act on Fixed-Term Employment Contracts in Academia (WissZeitVG). It provides for the possibility of extending the fixed term of certain temporary contracts in academia by six months. The purpose of this regulation is to compensate for any negative impacts that the COVID-19 restrictions at the University may have had on researchers who are currently pursuing a further qualification.
Stays by visiting scholars for the purpose of cooperation in research and teaching are still possible, subject to strict compliance with the applicable coronavirus legislation and with Leipzig University’s Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept. The responsibility for this lies with the respective institution. Visiting scholars arriving from outside Germany are responsible for ensuring that they observe any national entry requirements. According to the Free State of Saxony’s rules on quarantine, guests must self-isolate immediately after arriving in Germany (i.e. before they can enter Leipzig University buildings).
Since the situation is constantly changing, we kindly ask you to keep an eye on the Federal Ministry of Health as well as the latest rules applicable in the Free State of Saxony..
Hygiene and Infectious Disease Conept
The Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety has developed the Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept, which provides guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus situation at our university.
Restriction/suspension of office hours
Organisational units are entitled to restrict or completely suspend office hours at their own discretion. They are required to provide appropriate information about this.
Granting Visiting Scholar Status
It is still possible to grant visiting scholar status at Leipzig University, subject to strict compliance with the applicable coronavirus legislation and with Leipzig University’s Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept. The responsibility for this lies with the respective institution. Visiting scholars arriving from outside Germany are responsible for ensuring that they observe any national entry requirements. According to the Free State of Saxony’s rules on quarantine, guests must self-isolate immediately after arriving in Germany (i.e. before they can enter Leipzig University buildings).
Since the situation is constantly changing, we kindly ask you to keep an eye on the Ministry of Health website as well as the latest rules applicable in Saxony.
- In addition to digital registration (posters with QR codes) in some cases, an analogue version (registration form) must be available for each class or event. The organiser is responsible for this. The organiser is responsible for this in each case.
- Meetings should not take place in personal office rooms if possible. It is recommended to use meeting rooms. At the very least, there should be a list of participants for each meeting, team meeting or other gathering so that contacts can be identified later on if necessary. Meetings should be as brief as possible. The contact details of persons from outside the University must be collected in accordance with the requirements of the SächsCoronaSchVO. This includes their name, telephone number or email address, postal code and the time and duration of the visit. The host is responsible for this in each case.
- Personal visits should be avoided. Use meeting rooms if possible. It is recommended to document each personal visit independently so that contacts can be traced later if necessary. Contact time must be limited. The contact details of visitors must be collected in accordance with the requirements of the SächsCoronaSchVO. This includes their name, telephone number or email address, postal code and the time and duration of the visit.
- The contact details of persons from external companies must be collected in accordance with the requirements of the SächsCoronaSchVO. This includes their name, telephone number or email address, postal code and the time and duration of the visit. This is the responsibility of the person who initiates and supervises the visit.
- It is not necessary to register brief visits, such as parcel deliveries, postal collections, dropping off coursework, etc.
Normal work routines have changed, many of us are working from home, many are worried about their own health and that of their relatives, and there are new challenges in digital teaching or administration...If you would like to talk about your worries, needs and possible solutions in this difficult time, you are welcome to get in touch with our health administration expert Dr Sabine Korek. Please contact her by email or telephone to make an appointment.
Psychiatric outpatient clinic at the University Hospital
Telephone consultations and current information about the pandemic
Protecting you mental health during the crisis
Read our tips on dealing with the crisis in daily life, based on seven points published by the German Depression Foundation.
Risk in Cases of Disability
Does anyone with a disability belong to a risk group?
The Robert Koch Institute has precisely defined which persons belong to the risk groups. Not everyone with a disability automatically belongs to the risk group, but many do. It is always necessary to consider what to do in each individual case, based primarily on medical advice and a doctor’s certificate. It is therefore advisable to consult your doctor or specialist.
What should I do if I belong to a risk group and have a disability?
Whoever belongs to a risk group should seek a personal discussion with their superior in order to find a solution together (individual office or re-assignment to a new role). It is advisable to involve the University’s Disability Officers in such cases.
Restriction of public access in Department 3 (Human Resources)
General office hours are suspended. Appointments (e.g. to sign contracts) are only be possible by prior arrangement by telephone or email.
Please use the letter boxes on the 5th and 6th floor at Goethestraße 6 to submit documents.
Enquiries must be kept to a minimum. Please use only telephone and email for this purpose.
Please maintain the maximum possible distance when dealing with others (e.g. when signing contracts).
Please use your own pens to sign contracts.
Please refrain from requesting an appointment if there are any indications that you might be infected with coronavirus, or if you have been in contact with an infected person or if you suffer from another potentially contagious respiratory disease.
We will start sending out more employment contracts by post in order to avoid the need for the person to be physically present to sign the contract. Given the written form requirement, additional time should be factored in to allow for postal delivery times.
• Since the operation of Department 3 (Human Resources) will be considerably restricted, we particularly request that applications be processed in advance and prioritised appropriately.
Please check this website regularly for more information.
University buildings will remain closed to the public until further notice, although they are still accessible to members of staff who need to perform essential tasks.
- From 11 January 2021, the University Library will open its branches for borrowing and returning items (exception: Deutsches Literaturinstitut).
- They will all be open from Monday to Friday, from 10am until 4pm.
- The automatic renewal of borrowed items (except for recalls) will initially continue until the end of January.
- Please note the separate rules on loans at the Law Library.
It will not be possible to book workstations or spend longer periods in the libraries until further notice. If the incidence rate drops below 50, Leipzig University’s crisis management team will consider reopening the libraries for studying. For more information, please refer to the University Library website.
University Staff Council (information from 26 March 2020)
The University Staff Council is not currently offering consultations in person or by telephone. However, it can be reached by emailing prhsb(at)uni-leipzig.de.
People returning from risk areas
What is a risk area?
The RKI website has an overview of the areas which it currently classifies as COVID-19 risk areas.
What are the rules on entering Saxony from a designated risk area?
Please check the website of the Saxon State Government for information on entering Saxony from risk areas, compulsory testing, and quarantine.
Dealing With COVID-19 Symptoms, Reporting Obligations
This information is currently only available in German.