Uni-Tübingen

Corona virus: Information for employees

Detailed information on work organization can be found in the University's hygiene concept.

Organizing your work

Working from home

In many cases, the University of Tübingen has already been offering its employees the option of working from home since December 2020, thus following requirements of the state of Baden-Württemberg. With the amendment to the infection protection law, the federal government now obligates employers, on the one hand, to offer those employees who do office work or comparable activities to perform these in their homes, if there are no compelling operational reasons to the contrary. On the other hand, employees are obliged to accept these offers from the employer. However, employees may refuse the offer to work from home if they are prevented from doing so due to, for example, a lack of space, interference from third parties or inadequate technical equipment. A simple notification to supervisors that working from home is not possible is sufficient in these cases.

Please continue to submit requests to work from home on a case-by-case basis to your supervisors using the familiar form. Employees must address the respective requests (always for up to four weeks, in accordance with our service agreement) to their supervisors using the form provided and coordinate with their supervisor; the form must then be forwarded to Human Resources for documentation. This can be done by mail or electronically, the latter case by scanning or photographing the signed form and sending it to supervisors and from there to Human Resources. The application form can be found in the Human Resource Division's download section (login required) under T for "Telearbeit".

Employees who notice symptoms of a possible Covid-19 infection (see above) in themselves or in a person in their own household have the option of working from home at short notice and until the symptoms are resolved (see agreement on tele-commuting – case-by-case work from home). In these cases, patients are requested to contact a doctor by telephone as soon as possible or to call 116117 for medical advice outside office hours. In emergencies, such as acute shortness of breath, you should call the emergency number 112.

Employees who work in areas where flexitime applies have the option to log in to the electronic time recording system online when working at home or teleworking and record their hours worked there directly. This requires a VPN connection to the university network from home, which all employees can set up themselves. For instructions, please refer to the IT center’s webpage.

The University’s health and safety offices have developed and implemented a comprehensive hygiene concept which is regularly updated. In all cases where the concept's provisions cannot be met due to the physical limitations of the space, employees and their superiors are asked to work together on the spot to find practical solutions without compromising safety.  In difficult cases, the Occupational Health and Safety and University Medical Services are available to provide advice.

Compulsory wearing of medical masks and aerosol protection barriers

Compulsory wearing of medical face masks

The wearing of a medical face mask ("surgical mask") or mask with a higher protection standard is now mandatory for all those present at the university due to the state's Coronavirus ordinance. As before, the face mask can be removed at the workplace, provided that a distance of at least 3 meters from other employees can be safely maintained, ventilation measures are ensured in accordance with the hygiene concept and at least 10m2 per person is available in rooms with several people. Individuals with regular customer contact must wear the medical face mask at all times. The University will provide medical masks in sufficient quantity to all employees currently working in University buildings. Employees who currently work at home are, of course, exempt from the requirement to wear the masks.

University management strongly requests that the use of FFP2 and FFP3 masks be reserved for employees who require higher standards of protection as determined by the University’s health and safety authority. I ask supervisors to order medical face masks for their employees from the purchasing office (Einkauf). Information on how to order 

Aerosol protection barriers

The central wood workshop offers support in the current situation. Facilities of the university with frequent public contact, such as advisory services, information or dispatch counters, can order aerosol protection barriers ("spit protection") from the wood workshop.

The standard model consists of two wooden stands with a depth of 30 cm and a plexiglas panel with a total height of approx. 70 cm and widths of 75, 100 or 150 cm. Individual sizes are also possible. Delivery time is about two weeks from the time of order. 

You can download the respective order form by the link below. Please fill out the form completely and send it by in-house mail or as a scan by e-mail to the central wood workshop. 

Workshop order for the central wood workshop - Download

Contact:
Central wood workshop
Andreas Lang (master carpenter)
andreas.langspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de  
Auf der Morgenstelle 8, 72076 Tübingen
 Phone 07071-29 73002 (office, A building)
 Phone 07071-29 76185 (workshop)

Safety distance and regular airing of rooms

If possible with regard to work organization, at present, a workplace should not be used by more than one employee. If this is not possible, e.g. in the case of work in shifts or in a rotating system or in cars, commercial vehicles or control stands, the surfaces of jointly used workplaces are to be cleaned with standard household cleaners after use by the employees (to be obtained from Division VII, Purchasing). In particular, this includes surfaces with which employees have come into contact (droplets from speaking), e.g. tabletop, desk chair and armrests, cupboard and door handles, IT equipment such as mouse and keyboard, telephone receivers, steering wheels, gear levers and frequently used tools and equipment.

Members of the university must keep a sufficient distance (at least 1.5 m) from other people. In situations where strong aerosol formation is to be expected (e.g. longer speeches), we ask you to increase the distance to at least 3 meters. If this is not possible, the person speaking should put on a medical face mask. Where it is not possible to keep a minimum distance in the office or in meetings or if there are less than 10m2 available per person in rooms with several people, which ensures a 3 meter distance to other people, you must wear a medical face mask or alternative protective measures must be taken by superiors (e.g. different workplace). Please refer to the hygiene concept for details.

In facilities with frequent public contact, especially if the minimum distances cannot be maintained, partitions (aerosol protection barriers) must be installed.

Note for superiors: For office workplaces, the room capacities of the facilities must be fully used and work must be organized in such a way that occupancy of rooms by more than one employee can be avoided or sufficient protective distance is provided.

Rooms must be aired regularly:

  • Individual offices must be aired at least every 60 minutes.
  • Rooms used by several persons and common rooms must be thoroughly aired at least every 20 minutes or should have a continuous flow of air.
  • Classes/lectures: If a corona case occurs and airing times have not been exactly observed, it must be assumed that all participants of a class/lecture must be quarantined.
  • In buildings and rooms with ventilation, building management controls the ventilation systems to ensure that a maximum of fresh air is supplied.
  • The use of decentralized cooling units in multi-person workrooms contradicts the above mentioned ventilation requirements. Ventilation has priority over cooling. In this case the cooling must be switched off.
  • If several persons are present in a room, fans contradict the safety effect of the minimum distances. Fans must not be operated if more than one person is present.
  • There are safety concerns about mobile air filters and other approaches(e.g. UV rays, ozone) as Health & Safety and the university medical service have not approved them. At present the best data indicates that airing is the only measure to be recommended

For further information please refer to the University's hygiene concept.

Shutdown of institutions - Continued payment of wages

I would like to point out that the shutdown of individual university facilities, too, may be ordered exclusively by the university management or the Baden-Württemberg state government. Should there be an instruction for a partial shutdown of individual institutions or for the shutdown of the University as a whole, the civil servants and those employed under collective wage agreements will be released from work without any loss of income.

Balancing work and family life: care for children and other family members

Due to the closure of schools and daycare centers, many employees are faced with the problem of a lack of childcare. However, some municipalities, including the city of Tübingen, offer working parents the option of emergency childcare. Applications for it must be submitted to the respective provider of the facility.

Employees responsible for caring for children or other family members continue to have various options available to them. They still have the option to work from home. Please refer to the existing agreements for case-by-case work from home and alternating work from home. Employees must address the respective requests (always for up to four weeks, in accordance with our service agreement) to their supervisors using the form provided and coordinate with their supervisor; the form must then be forwarded to Human Resources for documentation. This can be done by mail or electronically, the latter case by scanning or photographing the signed form and sending it to supervisors and from there to Human Resources.

In addition, employees can use up overtime or take vacation. The state government also provides the option of taking special leave. Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements who "must necessarily care for their children themselves and suffer a loss of earnings as a result have a statutory claim to compensation in accordance with Section 56 (1a) IfSG. This compensation currently amounts to 67% of the loss of earnings incurred, up to a maximum of €2,016 per month for a maximum of 6 weeks to date. Before the compensation claim may be asserted, overtime and vacation days from 2019 and earlier must be used up. No compensation is provided by law for the period in which schools or childcare facilities are closed anyway (regular school or daycare vacations)." This regulation does not apply to “Beamte” civil servants.

Employees who do not have overtime credits may also be granted special leave with continued payment of remuneration or, in cases of particular hardship, leave with continued payment of remuneration in individual cases. An example of this would be a single parent without care facilities for children or relatives in need of care. In the case of such applications, paid leave is not given for days on which schools and daycare centers would be regularly closed, i.e. for the holidays. Employees who need to make use of this hardship provision should contact their Human Resources administrator.

What's new: The German government has significantly extended the period of entitlement to pay for employees caring for a sick child, as covered by collective agreements in the statutory health insurance system for 2021. Children's sick days and children's sick pay can be claimed by this group of employees if their own child is at home due to illness and needs to be looked after. Due to the pandemic, children's sick days and children's sick pay can currently also be claimed due to a lack of childcare. Parents can apply for children's sick pay from their statutory health insurance fund. The employer will stop paying wages for the duration of the children's sick days. Accordingly, please inform your superiors and the HR department informally by email if you apply for children's sick days and children's sick pay.

In 2021, parents who are insured with a statutory health insurance fund can claim 20 instead of 10 working days of children's sick pay for each child covered by statutory health insurance. If there are several children, each parent is entitled to a maximum of 45 working days in total. For single parents, the entitlement increases by 20 to 40 working days per child. If there are several children, single parents are entitled to a maximum of 90 working days. For those with private health insurance, there is the possibility of compensation for loss of earnings in accordance with § 56 Infektionsschutzgesetz.

Further information on the federal Health Ministry website: https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/2021/1-quartal/anspruch-auf-kinderkrankengeld/faqs-kinderkrankengeld.html 

Public contacts, meetings, events and trips

Meetings, events and conferences - Use online tools

Please hold meetings, events and conferences online as far as possible. Even though the state Coronavirus directive allows for gatherings necessary for official purposes, university management asks you all for reasons of infection control to refrain from holding in-person meetings if possible. 

All employees now have the option of applying for their own zoom license from the IT Center (ZDV). This makes it possible to quickly, easily and reliably set up video conferences. Teaching staff can obtain a license that allows for courses with more than 300 participants. The ZDV will also offer BigBlueButton for the winter semester 2020/21. This system is operated via the ZDV’s own servers and can thus also be used for examinations. All data is stored exclusively on servers of the university. This service is also directly integrated into the learning platforms Ilias and Moodle. All information on these tools can be found at https://uni-tuebingen.de/en/174405.

If a meeting urgently requires the personal presence of the participants, please ensure that it is as short as possible and that a minimum distance of 1.5 meters is maintained between the participants. In situations where strong aerosol formation is to be expected (e.g. longer speeches), we ask you to increase or the distance to at least 3 meters. If this is not possible, the person speaking should put on a medical face mask. Where it is not possible to keep a minimum distance in the office or in meetings, you must wear a medical face mask.

Trips

Please note the recommendations for travelling and excursions.

Notes on private travel:

Please refrain from private travel, overnight accomodation for touristic purposes is forbidden in all of Germany. For travel abroad, please see the Foreign Ministry's travel warnings (in German) and the list of risk areas compiled by the Robert Koch Institute as well as the ordinance on entry and quarantine (in German) by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Please note: Employees who have to go into quarantine are obliged to do their work from home according to the regulations of the Baden-Württemberg state government, as far as this is technically and organizationally possible. Those affected should contact their superiors as soon as possible.

Advice from the public health authority

Those returning from abroad can obtain advice on medical questions from the Tübingen Health Authority. https://www.kreis-tuebingen.de/corona.html 

In case of symptoms contact your family doctor

If typical cold or flu symptoms occur, people returning from abroad should first consult their family doctor after making an appointment by telephone and referring to the previous trip. Alternatively, you can also contact the nationwide medical on-call service ( phone 116117).  

Advice from the university medical service

The university medical service is also available for consultation, +49 7071 29-87092, daily 8.30-13.30 hours.

Health

Employees in higher-risk categories

According to current findings, diverse groups of persons have an increased risk of a severe course of a COVID-19 infection. Employees for whom, based on a medical certificate, the treatment of a COVID-19 infection is not possible or only possible to a limited extent due to personal conditions, or employees who run an increased risk of a severe course of disease, must not be assigned to activities with frequent contact with other people, or activities in which the distance of 1.5 meters to other persons cannot be maintained. This cannot be overridden by wearing higher-standard medical masks (e.g. FFP2 or FFP3).

Beyond this ban on specific activies described above, there are a variety of options for organizing work for employees who have an increased risk of a severe course of a COVID 19 infection. Employees and supervisors can obtain advice on this from the university medical service ( phone: 07071 29-87092). For employees, the medical service will issue a certificate on the result of the risk consultation on request - while maintaining medical confidentiality.

Pregnant employees

It can be assumed that there is a generally increased risk for pregnant women in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic. Currently, there is no data on the question of whether pregnant women are generally at increased risk of infection. However, due to physiological adaptations and immunological changes during pregnancy, increased susceptibility to an infection with SARS-CoV-2 cannot be ruled out. In addition, based on current findings, there is increasing evidence that pregnant women may experience a more severe course of COVID-19 and an increased risk of premature birth due to an infection. In addition, the options for treatment in the event of a severe course in pregnant women are limited compared to the general population. 

Pregnant women may therefore only be assigned to activities away from people and in compliance with the minimum distances (at least 1.5m from all other employees / persons / patients). This cannot be overridden by the pregnant woman wearing higher-standard medical masks (e.g. FFP2 or FFP3).

According to the assessment of the Stuttgart Regional Council (Regierungspräsidium), it is generally not possible to assign pregnant employees to classroom teaching - unless the employer can guarantee sufficient measures of protection against infection. this depends on the type and frequency of contact with other persons and on the measures implemented in the individual cases (in particular, maintaining the minimum distance of 1.5 meters, sufficient ventilation, and, if necessary, the short-term wearing of higher-standard respiratory protection or a medical mask). 

Pregnant women must not engage in activities that require them to wear protective equipment if wearing it is considered a strain on them. Therefore, pregnant women can wear both tight-fitting protection masks (e.g. FFP2 or FFP3) and medical masks only occasionally and for short periods of time, as this would otherwise be a burden for them. This applies at the latest when the maximum wearing time of 30 minutes in total per day is significantly exceeded.

Within a risk assessment in accordance with the Maternity Protection Act, sufficient technical and organizational protective measures for pregnant employees must therefore be defined in order to be able to rule out any irresponsible risk to the pregnant woman in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Coronavirus rapid tests

University employees can undergo a free Coronavirus quick test since Monday, April 19. For this purpose, test stations have been set up in the Clubhaus (Wilhelmstr. 30) and in the foyer of Hörsaalzentrum Morgenstelle (until May 14) or in the Mensa Morgenstelle canteen (from May 17). The test stations are open from Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm. You do not need to register for it. Employees may go to a testing stations during their work hours; supervisors should be informed appropriately about respective absences, unless electronic time recording ("Dienstgang") is possible. 

The first and last names of all persons taking part in a rapid test are recorded before the test. This is done exclusively for documentation and billing purposes. There is no electronic data processing. Likewise, neither the names nor the test results are passed on to the university. Testing for University employees is not mandatory. Taking the test is voluntary. As an employee of the university, you are neither requested nor obliged to present a negative test result to your superiors.

If the result of the rapid test is positive, a second test is carried out immediately using the PCR method. The sample is taken immediately on site. In addition, those affected will be asked to sign out at the workplace, immediately make their way home without any detour, and self-isolate there as a precaution. As soon as the result of the PCR test is available (usually on the same day), the person concerned is informed by telephone and subsequently again in writing. If the positive result is confirmed, the public health department is informed and decides on the next steps.

Beginning in the week of May 17, the University will also provide up to two self-tests to employees who work on site in university buildings. These tests are also designed to detect a Covid-19 infection and can be carried out at the workplace or at home. Employees who test positive in a self-test should inform their supervisors immediately and go to a Coronavirus test station that offers PCR testing, a Coronavirus priority doctor's office or their family doctor. They are then asked to go home and wait for the result.

A negative test is not a license for careless behavior in the workplace or in public. According to all available data, rapid tests do not provide absolute safety. Therefore, even persons who have a negative test result are obliged to comply with the hygiene rules in force at the university.

Suspected cases of a corona infection

Employees who notice symptoms of a possible Covid-19 infection (see above) in themselves or in a person in their own household have the option of working from home at short notice and until the symptoms are resolved (see agreement on tele-commuting – case-by-case work from home). In these cases, patients are requested to contact a doctor by telephone as soon as possible or to call 116117 for medical advice outside office hours. In emergencies, such as acute shortness of breath, you should call the emergency number 112.

It still applies that if your child gets sick and you have state-sponsored health insurance, one of the parents has the right to ten days of time off work and may receive paid sick leave (Kinderkrankengeld) for that time. If you have private insurance, under collective-bargaining agreements, you have the right to four days paid leave in this situation. For this, you must send a doctor’s certificate to Human Resources.

Further medical information

If you have a corona infection

Employees who test positive for Covid-19 are considered sick even if they exhibit no symptoms. Affected persons must provide a doctor’s certificate. Please send it by post, or via scan attachment in an email to: personalspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de.

If you have a confirmed corona infection and suspect that is has occurred through contact at the workplace or in class, you should submit an electronic accident report to the Baden-Württemberg accident insurance company UKBW: https://www.ukbw.de/informationen-service/coronavirus-information-und-unterstuetzung/ (in German; click on "Versicherungsschutz bei Corona-Infektionen (SARS-CoV-2)" (insurance cover for corona infections) there). Employees can thus claim benefits from the statutory accident insurance. To improve infection protection at the university, it would be helpful if you informed the university medical service about such a report. You can also seek advice from the team there.

If a case of a corona infection occurs in the environment of your university workplace, your can obtain advice from the Tübingen health authority via its hotline:  +49 7071 207-3600, Monday-Friday, 08:30 -16:00. If you do seek advice, please also report this voluntarily only to the university medical service), e-mail ambulanz.arbeitsmedizinspam prevention@med.uni-tuebingen.de.

The health authority alone handles tracking, members of the university are not entitled or obliged to do so.

Further medical information

Vaccination certificates for employees

Under the German government’s current Coronavirus vaccination rules, all persons working at institutions of higher education have a “raised priority” for the allocation of vaccination appointments (prioritization group 3). The state government of Baden-Württemberg has announced that this prioritization is expected to take effect in mid-May. As soon as the state government gives a specific date for this, you as an employee will be eligible for vaccination as of that date. As with other prioritized population groups, such as the over-60s, registration and appointments are handled by state-administered vaccination centers or by family doctors.

If you are assigned an appointment by a vaccination center or by your doctor, the vaccination center or doctor may request a certificate stating that you belong to a prioritized group. You need to present this certificate when you go to your first immunization appointment. The Human Resources Division issues these certificates to all persons working at the University of Tübingen upon request. This includes civil servants working at the university, employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, student assistants and research assistants, and lecturers.

For details on how to obtain a certificate, see the President's circular of May 11, 2021.

Disinfection of the workplace in case of illness

If an employee is sent home with symptoms of illness such as cough, cold or fever, the University Medical Service recommends immediate surface disinfection of the workplace of the person affected. For reasons of prevention, these measures should also be applied to workplaces where the person concerned has been regularly present up to 48 hours before the start of the illness.

It can sometimes take a long time before it is clear whether a person is infected with corona viruses. Not all affected people are tested. For reasons of care, surface disinfection is therefore urgently required. The respective superiors are requested to contact us by e-mail at reinigungspam prevention@zv.uni-tuebingen.de so that appropriate measures can be taken.

Psychological counseling in stressful situations in the corona crisis

In stressful situations and conflicts in the corona crisis, the Psychosocial Counseling Service for employees can offer advice. Until further notice, this service is provided by telephone or by video conferencing on DFN.conf. You can reach the counseling service Mon to Fri from 9:00-12:00, Tel. 07071-2977563. In addition, you can make appointments at any time via the counseling service's e-mail address: karla.polen-beerspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de.

Information for researchers, e.g. on third-party funding