You will find extensive information on the occurrence and distribution of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), as well as personal rules of conduct on how to deal with the virus on the information page on COVID-19, set up by the Robert Koch Institute. This site is being updated regularly. Please refer to this website on a regular basis to keep yourself informed.
Based on these guidelines and the current regulations of the State of Brandenburg, please take not of the following information for employees, which will be updated as required:
In case of an infection or a well-founded suspicion of infection with COVID-19, employees are under obligation to inform their employer. Please be sure to inform your supervisor and the Division of Human Resources and Legal Affairs immediately.
Please make sure to call your doctor’s office before a visit if you suspect an infection with the coronavirus (e.g. after a positive rapid test or COVID-19 symptoms) so that you do not come into contact with other sick people when you visit. Until you receive the PCR test results, you will need to immediately quarantine at home and strictly avoid any further contact with other employees.
Employees that are infected with the virus are generally considered as unfit for work/duty. In this regard and especially concerning salaries or remunerations, the coronavirus will not be handled differently from any other illness.
If you are verifiably infected with the coronavirus, please report this to your supervisor first and then to the university using the e-mail address corona-beschaeftigteuuni-potsdampde.
It is important to identify any persons who came into direct contact with the person that is possibly infected. Should the suspicion of infection be confirmed, the names of these contacts will have to be communicated to the health authority.
For information on how to proceed in the event of a suspected case of coronavirus infection among students, please refer to the item "Contact information and obligation to report an infection with coronavirus" on the following page.
Please inform your supervisor of the situation by telephone. In individual cases, a decision must then be made as to whether working from home / other flexible solutions for your place of work are to be mandated, depending on the facts of the case. For more information visit: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Kontaktperson/Management.html#doc13516162bodyText5.
Employees who (regardless of travel) have had personal contact with a person who has tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus according to a laboratory: please report immediately and regardless of symptoms to the health authority responsible for you. You can find your local health authority here.
In addition, immediately call a doctor's office or the medical on-call service at 116 117.
Please also be sure to inform your supervisor so that appropriate measures can be taken to protect any colleagues who may have been contacted.
Affected employees must not come back to work until a possible infection with the coronavirus has been clarified. Please discuss the possibilities of working from home/telework, or other flexible solutions for you place of work with your supervisor. The supervisors are authorized to make appropriate arrangements with you.
If you are not allowed to work at the University of Potsdam due to an official order by the health authorities or your department, the rules of item 3 – Quarantine order – will apply.
Quarantine order at home and abroad / Returning from COVID-19 risk areas
On a case by case basis, the employer will order affected employees to work from home/telework, or find other flexible solutions for you place of work or will grant the employee a leave of absence.
The same applies if you have no opportunity to travel home due to a safety authority order issued abroad.
It should be noted that as of November 1, 2021, employees will no longer receive compensation pursuant to Section 56 (1) sentence 1 and 2 of the Infection Protection Act if the order for quarantine and the associated loss of earnings could have been avoided by taking advantage of a vaccination against COVID-19 or by not undertaking an avoidable trip to a risk area that was already classified as such at the time of departure. A trip is considered avoidable if at the time of departure there were no compelling reasons for the trip that could not be postponed. The same applies to the entitlement to continued payment of remuneration in the event of an infection with COVID-19. The employer is authorized to ask the employees in question whether they have been in a high-risk area or in an area of variants of concern. The affected employee may prove or state, by medical certificate or official declaration, that vaccination was not possible for them due to medical reasons.
Further important information and recommendations for action by the RKI on the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 for travelers can be found here.
Employees are generally obliged to organize childcare in such a way that contractual obligations can be fulfilled or to reduce overtime and compensation days in accordance with the internal agreement on flexitime and to take advantage of flexitime to be released from work duties.
In the current situation, it is often difficult to balance childcare and work commitments. In these cases, you have the possibility, under certain conditions, of taking child sick days (Kinderkrankentage) or being put on leave of absence:
The federal government has decided to significantly increase the number of child sick days again this year in accordance with Section 45 (2a) of the German Social Code Book V due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following another amendment, with retroactive effect from the beginning of 2021, 30 sick days can be taken per child and parent in the future instead of the previous 10 or 20. For multiple children, the maximum is 65 days. For single parents, the entitlement increases to 60 days per child, with a maximum of 130 days for multiple children.
For the 2021 calendar year, this entitlement also exists if childcare facilities, schools, or facilities for people with disabilities are temporarily closed by the competent authority to prevent the spread of infections or communicable diseases on the basis of the Infection Protection Act, or if access to them is prohibited, also due to sequestration, or if school or company vacations are ordered or extended by the competent authority for reasons of infection protection, or if compulsory attendance at a school is suspended, or access to childcare is restricted, or if the child does not attend the facility on the basis of a recommendation by the competent authority.
To request child sick days (beyond a doctor’s certificate), the following procedure is to be followed:
According to the new Section 45 (2b) of the German Social Code, Book V (SGB V), the entitlement to child sickness benefits under the new Section 45 (2a) of the SGB V, has priority over the entitlement to compensation under Section 56 (1a) of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG) and thus also over the leave of absence for child care set out in the paragraphs that follow (no. 2). The latter can therefore be claimed only once all child sick days have been exhausted!
Based on this arrangement, employees who have private health insurance or whose sick children are not covered by family insurance are also granted leave for childcare in accordance with the provisions of Section 45 (2a) of the German Social Code (SGB V). As remuneration continues to be paid in full, the number of days of leave is reduced accordingly.
To make use of this option, an informal application must be submitted to Division 3 via the employee's supervisor with reference to these regulations.
This non-tariff entitlement also has priority over the entitlements for leave of absence regulated below.
a) Caring for children
The following regulations are based on the regulations on loss of earnings according to the Infection Protection Act, Section 56 IfSG. These are linked to the declaration of an epidemic situation of national proportions by the German Bundestag, which was declared on March 28, 2021. The state's options for leave of absence replace a claim for loss of earnings under the Infection Protection Act (10 weeks at 67% of net salary).
If there are no appropriate childcare options, no possibility of working from home and no compensation days or flexitime credits and also no child sick days (see item 1 above for the prerequisites ) available, it has been possible since March 28, 2021 to take a total of 34 working days – based on a five-day week – off work under a non-tariff agreement with continued payment of remuneration and a further 16 working days without continued payment of remuneration – again based on a five-day week. This is irrespective of whether it is possible to work from home or not. It is also possible to take half days off.
For single parents, the entitlement is increased accordingly: up to 67 working days with continued payment of remuneration and a further 33 working days without continued payment of remuneration. The number of working days is based on a 5-day workweek and is reduced accordingly if the weekly working hours are distributed differently.
The entitlement has newly arisen with the declaration of an epidemic situation of national proportions by the German Bundestag as of March 28, 2021. The scope of the options for leave is always based on a maximum of one year of the epidemic situation. Days of leave for childcare already taken on the basis of previous regulations are therefore no longer relevant and are not taken into account. Therefore, a transfer of days from the previous entitlement period is also not possible.
For civil servants, the above applies to the same extent.
b) Caring for relatives in need of care
Irrespective of this, the options for leave in the context of providing the necessary care for relatives in need of care remain unchanged. In this case it is also possible to take 20 working days – based on a five-day week – off from work under a non-tariff agreement, with continued payment of remuneration. In addition to the above-mentioned prerequisites, the relative in need of care must live permanently, or due to the closure of the care facility, in the household of the employee providing care. In exceptional cases of hardship, further leave from work may be granted beyond the limit of 20 working days (based on a 5-day week) with continued payment of remuneration in accordance with Section 21 of the TV L.
The decision on the leave of absence is taken by the Division of Human Resources and Legal Affairs after the respective supervisors have submitted their statements. This is subject to the condition that there are no job-related reasons to the contrary and that there are no other care options available, nor possibilities for working from home/work time compensation.
Until further notice, please use the forms provided on the university’s website. You can find the respective request forms on the University of Potsdam’s Intranet pages or in these PDF files (Request for leave of absence to care for children and Request for leave of absence to care for relatives in need of care).
Until further notice, a written confirmation (including by e-mail) from your supervisor will be sufficient to approve a home office request form. Supervisors must take into account that the respective department must still be able to fulfill its duties, including any necessary arrangements for substitution in case of sick leave.
You can find the current provisions regarding home office arrangements for staff members in the administrative and technical services here: Home Office Key Issues.
You can find the guidelines for academic staff members on the flexibilization of working hours and working locations and a template for a written agreement in that regard between you and your supervisor here (Guidelines and form).
Division 3 is at your disposal for any further questions.
With the exception of business trips to areas of variants of concern, the regulations that applied to business trip applications prior to the pandemic are in effect. The entry requirements and hygiene regulations of the respective countries and areas must be observed. Business trips to high-risk areas and virus variant areas will generally not be approved until further notice. If employees have been in an area of variants of concern or a high-risk area and are returning to the Federal Republic of Germany, the entry modalities available at: https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de must be observed.
Alternative means of communication, such as video and telephone conferences, must continue to be given priority.
If it is unavoidably necessary to go on a business trip, the business trip should be carried out in an official vehicle without additional passengers or in a private car, i.e. all official hygiene instructions must be observed within the scope of reasonable safety measures. Employees with symptoms are not obliged to go on a business trip, employees who belong to a risk group are only obliged to do so in the most exceptional cases. If symptoms of COVID-19 occur during a business trip, immediate quarantine and termination of the business trip is mandatory according to the RKI guidelines. The same applies if symptoms occur after a business trip or if contact to an infected patient has been confirmed.
For financial obligations that arise from bookings made on the basis of existing business trip authorizations, please use any available cancellation options; if this does not succeed, please settle them as you would business trips that took place.
In the event of a further spread of the coronavirus and as a precautionary measure, we are currently considering how, in the event of proven cases of infection, the operation of laboratories that require staff to be present can be maintained. For questions on this matter, please contact Ulf Lepszy at the Division for Construction, Occupational Safety and Organization (BSO) (https://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/verwaltung/bso).
The pandemic plan of the University of Potsdam can be found here as a PDF file.
Hygiene and Safety Regulations for University Operations (Status: 04-04-2022)
The university management and the staff council for academic and artistic staff members have published an “Explanatory Leaflet by the University of Potsdam on the Recognition of Pandemic-Related Burdens on Academic Staff Members.” You can find it here.
In addition, there is "Updated information on the amendment of the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG)" of 12 October 2020 here.
Payment deadlines must be observed in principle even in the current situation.
Copies of invoices as well as payment orders may be submitted to Division 4 after prior consultation, including a justification and reference to Covid-19, if it is not possible to submit original receipts without exceeding the payment deadline due to current home office arrangements. The original documents must be submitted to Division 4 in a timely manner. The original must clearly show that the payment has already been made.
Cash payments can be deposited for the University of Potsdam without an SAP receipt at the “Landeshauptkasse”. The original copy of the acknowledgement of receipt issued by the institution must be submitted to Division 4.
Outgoing cash payments should be requested as early as possible to ensure that they can be made available by Division 4 and the “Landeshauptkasse”.
Due to the reduced staffing situation, payments must be prioritized. In order to prevent damage to the State and to avoid aggravating the economic situation for the suppliers, but also for scholarship holders, the respective payments are processed with the highest priority.
Application advisory services and processing at D1 will take place by telephone and e-mail, preferably by appointment, presumably until April 19, 2020. Please be aware that due to a very high number of applications, longer processing times may be necessary. As usual, you can find our contact details for all questions regarding research funding and your third-party funding applications here: https://www.uni-potsdam.de/de/forschung/forschungsfoerderung/service-und-kontakt
Significant changes/delays and their financial impact on the projects must be reported to the provider of the external funds (obligation to notify).
Written correspondence with the funding provider, such as requests for funds and interim statements, should also be sent out a second time via e-mail by the respective department whenever possible. Due to the current emergency on-site operations, the D4 can only handle such matters in individual cases. Please make arrangements with the responsible staff member in the D4.
The providers of funds are currently still proceeding differently with regard to the handling of the Covid-19 consequences. This concerns, for example, the ability to deduct cancellation costs or the suspension or extension of deadlines, etc. Please review this for each individual case. Especially for projects that will end shortly, you may need to apply for an extension of the runtime (by e-mail and by regular mail) in time.
For travelling and events, it is advisable to check the booking conditions with regard to a possible cancellation and the associated cancellation costs and to arrange them as flexible as possible. This serves the cost-effective use of funds required of us by the funding provider. In addition, special provisions of the funding provider regarding the eligibility for funding or recognition of any cancellation costs must be observed.
Please note that there are currently delays in the processing of enquiries and procurement requests.
Contact with companies may also be delayed, as their capacities and availability may also be limited. Please submit particularly urgent procurements or procurements for the explicit purpose of offsetting the consequences of the coronavirus to Division 4 as soon as possible with a corresponding remark.
Due to limited production and transport capacities, longer delivery times and short-term changes in prices and availability may occur, even after the order has been placed. Please ensure that deliveries are accepted in your departments. An arrival notification for deliveries via telephone can be arranged. The failure to accept deliveries causes considerable difficulties for suppliers, as they have limited storage capacity.
At present, there may also be restrictions in the international movement of goods. Please make suppliers aware (e.g. for orders below 1,000 € net) of the situation here on site and ensure that the transport company is currently delivering to the university. If you want to send items yourself, please check if the selected parcel service delivers to the destination country/region and/or if there are any restrictions (e.g. weight, size).
If an event organized by the University of Potsdam has to be cancelled, Mr. Konow (richard.konowuuni-potsdampde, extension: -113108) will assist you in processing the cancellation.
For the procurement of supplies and services that are absolutely necessary in the current corona situation to ensure the maintenance of healthcare and the ability to work, it is requested that this be clearly emphasized and briefly justified in the procurement application. In such cases, under the given circumstances, faster and more efficient ways of procuring the required items or services are possible.
Due to the current corona situation, events or business meetings have already been or will be cancelled. In this context we would like to point out that necessary additional costs and expenses for travel preparations can of course be reimbursed.
The basis for this is section 10 paragraph 2 BRKG (federal law on travel expenses): “If a business trip is canceled for a reason for which the employee is not responsible, expenses incurred by the preparation and to be covered under this law will be reimbursed.”
In all cases, however, the possibility of cancelation must first be reviewed. According to the relevant administrative regulations, business travellers must "do everything in their power to keep the costs incurred as low as possible immediately after becoming aware of the obstacles for the trip. Any obligations already made must be cancelled as far as possible". (No. 10.2.1 Bbg BRKGVwV)
For railway tickets, an additional goodwill regulation by Deutsche Bahn (https://www.bahn.com/en/view/home/help/corona.shtml?dbkanal_007=L14_S02_D002_KIN0063_INT-_CORONA-Teaser_LZ01) applies in addition to the known cancelation conditions. Before submitting a claim for the aforementioned expenses in the case of railway tickets, please check whether they can be fully or partially refunded in this way.
Please note: In cases where travel vouchers have been issued by Deutsche Bahn for cancelations, please note that the expenses made can be reimbursed in accordance with section 10 paragraph 2 BRKG, but the vouchers must be used for future business trips. Private use of these travel vouchers is not permitted. The conditions for redeeming Deutsche Bahn travel vouchers are available via the following link: https://www.bahn.de/en/view/booking-information/booking/redeeming-cancellation-vouchers.shtml.
Guidelines for travel expense reports
In travel expense reports, receipts that show the respective costs must be marked as expenses for travel preparations (“Auslagen für Reisevorbereitungen”). If necessary, the receipts must be accompanied by an explanation. Please always indicate whether you have reviewed the cancelation options. Once the travel expense report has been approved by the supervisor, the official necessity will be considered as given even for trips that were only being prepared. A separate form for travel expense reports has been created for trips that did not take place. It can be accessed via the following link in the Intranet:
Any departments or units of the UP that are thinking about purchasing an air cleaning device are asked to please contact the HGP (Ventilation Technology Unit/“Lüftungstechnik”) or the Occupational Safety Unit (phone -2912 or -2383) BEFORE making a purchase so as to determine whether or not it makes sense to buy such a device. You can find more about the benefits/effects of mobile air cleaning devices here.
Due to the valid COVID19 safety guidelines and the contacts which have to be reduced to a minimum, the department for personnel and legal affairs prefers to contact us by telephone (0331 977-1811) or e-mail (d3-sekuuni-potsdampde). Personal appointments are to be made exclusively by prior arrangement.