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.
New arrangements from 11 January 2021
Please note the new arrangements that take effect from 11 January 2021. More information can be found in the latest staff email (after following the link, please scroll down for the English version).
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At the moment, new rules are constantly coming into force and older information is no longer valid.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: 8 January 2020
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 8 January 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.
- The coronavirus-related special regulations on mobile work will apply unchanged until 28 February 2021. If your current mobile work agreement expires before then, you can renew it 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
Until now, flexitime staff have had to use yellow paper slips to correct their hours. It is now possible to submit these correction requests electronically.
More information and a link to the new form are available on the intranet.
Work situation from 1 November 2020 (information from 26 October 2020)
The transitional phase offering more flexibility for working from home, which has been in place since 18 June 2020, will end on 31 October 2020. There will be a seamless transfer to an authorisation practice based on a service agreement on mobile work, with pandemic-related extensions.
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 28 February 2021.
Coronavirus-related special regulations on mobile work in the period from 1 November 2020 to 28 February 2021
The following applies to non-academic staff:
Depending on the current colour of the coronavirus traffic light at Leipzig University, mobile work can also be agreed individually beyond the maximum scope regulated in the service agreement on mobile work and carried out within the above period.
GREEN and YELLOW (7-day incidence up to 34)
- Employees regularly work on site, while mobile working should be the exception. The exceptional situations requiring full or partial mobile work in excess of 40 per cent of the employee’s contractually agreed working hours are:
- Special health requirements, e.g. due to belonging to a risk group according to the RKI
- Difficult care situations for relatives in care, care institutions and schools/after-school care
- Work stations in offices for which the social distancing rules according to the Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept cannot be observed.
- In individual cases, there may be other exceptions that make working on site unfeasible. If in doubt, please contact your superior first. The decision lies with the head of your institution or department. The authority to make decisions can be delegated to a person’s immediate superior.
AMBER (7-day incidence 35–49)
Mobile working of more than 40 per cent of the contractually agreed working time should not only be granted by the superior in exceptional situations. In this case, we recommend arranging mobile work for shorter periods of time so as to be able to respond if the coronavirus traffic light changes to red or back to yellow or green. For this purpose, please use the application form which differs from that of the DVMA and the model agreement available via the Department of Human Resources intranet site (link as above).
RED (seven-day incidence >50)
Mobile working should be granted by the superior, with working on site permitted only in exceptional cases. In this case too, we recommend arranging mobile work for shorter periods of time so as to be able to respond if the coronavirus traffic light changes to red or back to yellow or green. For this purpose, please use the application form which differs from that of the DVMA and the model agreement available via the Department of Human Resources intranet site (link as above).
The following applies to academic staff:
Academic staff have the option of either agreeing to participate in the service agreement on mobile work or, independently of the service agreement, agreeing on mobile work – taking into account the coronavirus traffic light system at Leipzig University. In the latter case, please use the model form for future agreements concerning pandemic-related mobile work for academic staff, which you will also find on the Department of Human Resources intranet site.
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 28 February 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 14 July 2020)
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 Ministry of Health website as well as the latest rules applicable in Saxony.
Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept
The Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety has drawn up a hygiene and infectious disease concept that provides guidelines for dealing with the current coronavirus situation at our university.
Working from home (information from 17 August 2020)
Even in the absence of a blanket rule on working from home, it will now be easier to enter into home office agreements on an individual basis. The current rules will continue to apply until at least 31 October 2020 (transitional period). The decision lies with the respective heads of the institutions, although the authority to make such decisions can be delegated to the person’s immediate superior. Superiors should be generous when deciding on whether to allow members of staff to work from home. Employees who work from home should be given the opportunity to arrange their working hours as flexibly as possible, in order to make it easier for them to combine work and family life. The following aspects must also be taken into account when making decisions, even in the current deregulated phase:
1. Suitability of the activity for working from home
2. Specification of the amount of time to be spent working from home
3. Ensuring proper data protection
4. Availability of a suitable workstation at home
5. Specification of the employee’s availability during home office hours
6. Sufficient contact with the employee’s department
7. Consideration for remaining employees working on site
Working from home must be governed by a written agreement concluded between the employee and his or her superior, which must at least specify the duration and the times when the employee intends to work from home, and which must also confirm that the requirements set out in 1–7 above are met. A copy of the agreement must be forwarded to Department 3.
The supervisor must ensure that the employee completes his or her contractually owed working hours when working from home. In the case of employees who are subject to flexitime, the employee must document the time worked from home in writing and submit a correction slip by the tenth calendar day of the following month.
Please use the sample form for future “working from home agreements” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Working from home agreement (DE) (intranet)
Paid leave of absence for childcare
The staff email of 17 March contained information about the option of being released from work for up to ten working days, pursuant to Section 29 TV-L (the collective bargaining agreement for the public service concluded by the Länder) This entitlement exceeded the provisions of the TV-L, and the Saxon State Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism is now restricting it for the future. The same applies to civil servants. Any days of paid leave for childcare already granted under this arrangement will be deducted from future entitlement.
Paid leave for childcare can only be granted subject to the following conditions:
- Actual closure of schools, nurseries or other care facilities due to the spread of coronavirus.
- Consequent need to care for children under twelve years of age or disabled children requiring help.
- No other form of childcare is available, such as emergency care pursuant to the general decree or care within the family (excluding high-risk family members).
- The member of staff has not been granted permission by their superior to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- For staff on flexitime: If possible, full days of time off in lieu should be used.
- Use of remaining leave from the previous year(s).
- Granted only during school term time (in the case of school-age children requiring care).
- No conflicting official or operational concerns.
From the time of notification by staff email (20 April 2020), these restrictions must be taken into account when considering all applications for paid leave for childcare.
Superiors should be generous when deciding on whether to allow members of staff to work from home. Furthermore, these temporary solutions should focus on flexibility in order to achieve the best possible balance between family obligations and professional duties: Restriction of availability times, free allocation of working hours throughout the day (Monday to Friday between 6am and 9pm); additional option of working on Saturdays (until 1pm) for hours that cannot be worked during the week; combination of working in the office and from home.
Employees who work five days a week can request paid time off for up to ten working days. This entitlement is reduced on a pro rata basis in the case of part-time employees who work fewer days.
Days worked per week ► Maximum number of working days with paid leave:
5 ► 10
4 ► 8
3 ► 6
2 ► 4
1 ► 2
To make a claim for paid leave, please fill in the application form (intranet) and submit it to your direct superior. The immediate superior then forwards the form to Department 3: Human Resources, which will review the application and register it the HR administration database.
- Contact persons at Department 3: Human Resources:
Anke Lindner (phone: 33015, email: anke.lindner(at)zv.uni-leipzig.de)
Dr Alexander Ciesek (phone: 33003, email: alexander.ciesek(at)zv.uni-leipzig.de)
Martin Wißmiller (phone: 33002, email: martin.wissmiller(at)zv.uni-leipzig.de)
Additional possibility of domestic quarantine
The option of a 14-day quarantine without any impact on salary is available not only for persons returning from risk areas and those who have been in contact with infected persons, but also persons who have a slightly increased risk because they have been in contact with a person who has been found to be at risk. This goes beyond the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute, but requires a responsible assessment of the risk situation by the persons affected and their superiors.
Restriction/suspension of office hours
The institutions may decide at their own discretion to limit or suspend consultation hours. The respective institution must provide suitable 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.