Information on teaching and campus life

How is the 3G rule implemented in in-person teaching and in-person examinations?

(updated on 11.08.2021)

In accordance with the regulations in the state pandemic coronavirus regulations, only individuals who get tested twice a week for the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) by means of an approved test may participate in in-person teaching activities at higher education institutions. Alternatively, you can provide proof that you are fully vaccinated or proof that you have recovered from a past COVID-19 infection.

At Saarland University, your COVID-19 status (i.e. proof of whether you have been tested, vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19) needs to be tracked via the Staysio app. Every member of the university ('Mitglieder' and 'Angehörige') are obliged to provide truthful information. The personal data collected will be viewed only if required and will be erased after four weeks. Data protection and privacy rules are being observed. Teaching staff are asked to inform students of the obligation to register via the Staysio app, but are not responsible for checking that students fulfil the obligation to provide proof of their COVID-19 status. If, in individual cases, a student does not register via the Staysio app, the teachers will record the student's contact details and his/her COVID-19 status and ensure that this information is stored and erased after a period of four weeks in accordance with data protection and privacy rules. Please note that if someone who participated in an in-person activity tests positive for COVID-19, the competent authorities may request the contact details of all the participants at short notice. Their complete contact information (name and contact details such as telephone number) should therefore already be available to the university. If you would like to add a room (e.g. classrooms) to the Staysio app, please refer to the FAQ 'What is the Staysio app?'.

The obligation to get tested applies to all who wish to participate in in-person teaching activities, but not to those participating in in-person examinations. However, students who wish to participate in in-person examinations are strongly urged to get tested in order to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Students will not be excluded from an examination if they cannot provide the required test result or proof, but they can be separated from other students. For in-person examinations, those responsible are advised to keep some Corona rapid tests on hand to allow testing at short notice. These can be obtained here. You are required to comply with the physical distancing and hygiene rules before, during and after examinations; you may remove your face mask when seated in the examination room. Once you are seated, you will only need to wear a face mask if the physical distancing rules cannot be observed. The university teaching staff has the right to asks persons showing any common COVID-19 symptoms to leave the campus immediately.

Where must a medical face mask be worn at university?

(Update: 12.07.21)

It is compulsory to wear medical face masks when moving around within buildings - except when a justified medical certificate is presented. In outdoor areas, the wearing of a medical face masks also strongly recommended, especially when entering and leaving the buildings as well as in waiting areas and if the distance cannot be maintained. The hygiene and distance regulations continue to apply unchanged. You are not required to wear a face mask once you have reached your workplace/seat, as long as you comply with the physical distancing rules. If it is not possible to ensure that the minimum distance of one and a half metres is maintained, medical face masks must be worn for the entire duration of the attendance time or event.

For the correct way to wear a face mask, please refer to this handout from the Occupational Health and Safety Department. 

The mandatory requirement to wear a medical face mask also applies to the university buildings at the Homburg campus. In addition, the guidance issued by the Saarland University Medical Center must also be complied with.

What hygiene rules must be observed during the pandemic?

“Coughing and sneezing etiquette”: Sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm or into a disposable paper tissue held in front of your nose and mouth. Dispose of used tissue and wash your hands thoroughly with soap.

Room ventilation: Rooms with mechanical ventilation systems will be supplied with fresh air only. Rooms where only natural ventilation is possible should be kept as well ventilated as possible without creating a health risk for users (see guidance on   office use and on events with in-person attendance .

Washing hands: Wash your hands regularly with soap for 20–30 seconds. If you have to leave your desk or workplace, wash you hands before returning.

Wherever possible, please use the stairs. Lifts should only be used if the building is too high for you to walk up or down via the stairs, or if you are physically incapacitated or are transporting a heavy load. Lifts should be occupied by no more than one person at a time. Ensure that you maintain the minimum physical distance to others when entering or exiting the lift.

Which distance regulations apply during face-to-face events?

According to the current Corona Ordinance of the state, there is still a requirement to ensure compliance with the required minimum distance of one and a half metres in the context of presence events. This requirement can be waived if the seating is arranged according to the chequered pattern and a medical face mask is worn for the entire duration of the event.

 

What is Staysio app?

The Staysio app can be downloaded free of charge on any smartphone and offers contact tracking via QR code. In many of the university's buildings, QR codes have already been installed in the meeting and lecture rooms, which only need to be scanned in the app when attending an event in the rooms.

Would you like to equip more rooms for your meetings and events with QR codes from the Staysio app? Feel free to contact the Crisis Management Team with the following information, and they will arrange for the codes to be created and installed in collaboration with the Occupational Safety and Health Staff Office:

  • Location (which campus)
  • exact building and room number
  • Contact person with telephone number
  • Maximum number of participants in the room (if you do not know this information, please contact the Occupational Safety and Health Office).

Please note that adding more rooms can be time-consuming; for time-sensitive events, you can still use other types of contact tracking, subject to privacy regulations.

What’s happening about classes, courses and examinations in winter semester 2021?

The Education and Quality Assurance Unit has set up a webpage containing information on the teaching activities and examination arrangements for the winter semester 2021/22  as well as  frequently asked questions (FAQs) for students

Which library services are available during the pandemic? What are the current opening hours?

Particular safety measures are in place for the use of service areas in the libraries on the Saarbrücken and Homburg campuses.  In addition, we have compiled detailed information for library users in the guidance on library services and accessibility , including information on opening hours as well as on available work spaces and photocopiers.

What do I have to take into account for events that are not teaching or study-related activities?

Update: 05.07.21

All meetings and in-person events with 20 or more participants, including application and professorial appointment procedures, are to be conducted online. If in exceptional cases, a meeting must take place on-site with the participants physically present, the crisis manage-ment team must be notified using one of the following online forms. The crisis management team must be notified about all in-person events that are not teaching or study-related activities.

Also, an app shall be used to track contact information for event formats in attendance outside of teaching and learning, all information can be found on the provider's website (https://staysio.de/#/).

As of 1 July 2021, social events on official occasions can be held in accordance with Item 8 of the Hospitality Guidelines (Rundschreiben Nr. C1/2013/01). Here, attention must be paid to the conditions according to the Guidelines and to compliance with hygiene measures for presence events. It is also permissible to use the opportunities for face-to-face meetings specifically for networking meetings with students. This can also take the form of community events under the following general conditions: only while observing the distance and hygiene rules according to the state ordinance, keeping a list of participants, obligation to provide proof: tested, fully vaccinated or recovered, registration of the event with the crisis team via the online form. Further information can also be found there.

The organization of Christmas or end-of-year parties or other social events via video conferencing tools is nevertheless possible and is also allowed during working hours. However, please note that any costs that are incurred cannot be claimed and reimbursed from university budget or third-party funds. It is not necessary to apply in advance for joint videoconferencing events for which costs may not be reimbursed.

Where can I find information and tips about the e-learning tools ?

The Digital Learning project webpage offers instruction on how to create short videos of PowerPoint presentations, how to digitally record conventional ‘chalk and talk’ presentations and how to use more advanced tools for online lectures.

Where can international students get help if they have problems or questions regarding the coronavirus crisis? Are persons who are not members of the university currently allowed to access university sites?

Access to university premises and university sites by persons who are not members of the university must be kept to a minimum. Wherever possible, visits should be replaced by telephone and video conference calls or the visit should be postponed. Furthermore, the number of external visitors present at any one time should be kept as low as possible. The external persons must be registered with the crisis team via the following online form  before entering the campus. They must also be made aware of applicable infection protection measures of Saarland University. You can find more information about this on the online form webpage.

How many people may be present in a lecture hall or seminar room at any one time?

The Occupational Safety Unit (Stabsstelle Arbeitsschutz) has set out rules on how many people may be present in the individual lecture halls and seminar rooms at any one time. To access the current list of rooms available on Saarbrücken and Homburg Campus, please click here.

 

What are the regulations governing the use of laboratories?

(update: 31.03.21)

Please register attendance events and internships in the laboratories via the following online form.

Information on the use of laboratories can be found in this Handreichung zum eingeschränkten Betrieb in Laboratorien

In addition, the Occupational Safety Unit (Stabsstelle Arbeitsschutz) has provided guidance hguidance on running practical-skills classes  and on safe laboratory procedures in the Faculties M and NT.

What are the rules on work in offices on campus?

Work in offices is subject to the rules set out in the guidance document on office use.

How to properly ventilate a room - Fresh air is healthy and helps to avoid catching a virus

If good ventilation can help prevent the transmission of SARS-SCoV-2 is a subject that is being discussed repeatedly. So far, it is unclear to what extent fresh air actually contributes to infection prevention. However, we should consider that proper ventilation might have positive effects.

Therefore, we have compiled five tips for ventilation:

You should air the rooms with the windows entirely open for a couple of minutes to allow an efficient air exchange. There are no universal time limits for this, the amount of time necessary to ventilate a room depends on the following aspects:

- the size of the rooms.

- the temperature gradient between the air outside and inside, which has an impact on how well the outside and inside air mix or on how well the air exchange works. If the difference in temperature is significant (cold outside, warm inside), the air exchange happens more quickly.

- on how big the window in the respective room is.

- if you create draught (open windows and/or doors on opposite sides), this additionally accelerates the air exchange.

These are all physical variables indicating that the amount of time necessary to thoroughly ventilate a room varies from day to day as well as from room to room. There is a very simple general rule to determine when you need to air the room and for how long: When you feel it getting colder in the room, the fresh air has logically filled the room. You should close the window before you start to feel cold. Usually, a few minutes are enough.

These are the most common mistakes:

  • Keeping the window tilted open for a longer period of time
  • Airing until you freeze
  • Not airing frequently enough

Ideally, you should open a window entirely

  • when you leave your room for a short amount of time, e.g. to use the bathroom, to go to the post office or to use the coffee machine
  • shortly before and after a meeting

 

Rules on vaccinations, testing and infection cases

Where can university members in Saarland get vaccinated?

(update: 21.09.21)

Due to the geographical proximity to the universities, you can get vaccinated at the vaccination centre in Saarbrücken (Am Schanzenberg). For this purpose, students can get vaccinated in the vaccination centre until mid-october. All of the important information for students in Saarland is contained in the the Ministry of Health's information flyer.

Students and all university members can also get vaccinated by a mobile vaccination team who will be on Saarbrücken campus from 11 to 22 October (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) More information: www.uni-saarland.de/impfen

You can get vaccinated at the vaccination centre in Saarbrücken if you are a student at one of the following higher education institutions: Saarland University, htw saar (University of Applied Sciences), hfm Saar (Universities of Music Saar), HBKsaar (University of Art and Design Saar) , Fachhochschule für Verwaltung (FHSV), Deutsche Hochschule für Prävention und Gesundheitsmanagement (DHfPG) or one of the cooperative education institutions (Berufsakademien) in Saarland.

More information: www.impfen-saarland.de

 

In addition, vaccination appointments can also be made with general practitioners and specialists (Fachärzte).

Where can university members get tested for Covid-19?

(updated on 07/23/21)

As decided by the university management and Saarland state government, university members who wish to do a screening test should do so at one of test centres set up for citizens in the districts, or pharmacies and doctors' surgeries. These tests are free of charge. For more information, please go to: https://www.saarland.de/DE/portale/corona/impfungtest/testzentrum/testmoeglichkeiten/schnelltestskommunen.html

Particularly quickly accessible to university members is the test center for citizens on the Saarbrücken campus, which can be used by all citizens. An appointment must be booked in advance on the website.

According to the current state regulation for the fight against the corona pandemic, only persons who are tested twice a week for an infection with the corona virus SARS-CoV-2 by means of a recognized test may participate in the classroom training. The citizen test center on the Saarbrücken campus is now available for this purpose. Please use the following link: test-saarland.de/uds_buerger

Furthermore, the university fulfills its obligation to test its employees. For this purpose, please use the link to the university's own test center as before. The university currently has to bear the test costs itself. Please use the following link: test-saarland.de/uds

Testing facility on Saarbrücken campus

The test centre is located in the Künstleratelier in the Aula (Building A3 3), follow the signs.

Opening hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For testing as part of a testing opportunity offered to all citizens, including classroom situations for students and teaching staff, please register on this website.

For employees of the university, please register on this website.

Testing facility in Homburg

The testing facility for members of Saarland University will be administered by the Homburg Test Centre, Am Stadtbad 66424 Homburg.

Please register online: https://www.testzentrum-homburg.de/. You can come to the test centre either by foot, on a bicycle or by car as the test centre is organized as a "drive through".

Please use the evening hours to get tested if you are planning on participating in an in-person meeting/event the following day. In the event of increased demand, one test line will be reserved for Saarland University members from 6p.m. to 8 p.m in consultation with the provider. The rapid test option for Saarland University members in the test centre administered by Saarland University Medical Center (UKS) is still being examined, but is currently not feasible due to the increased need in the patient areas.

Testing:

When tested in the Saarland University test centre, the test result is available after 30 minutes. If you are planning to participate in an in-person meeting/event please schedule your test appointment accordingly. The test result is valid for 24 hours. The university has the right to determine who may access university premises. Therefore, if your rapid test result is positive, you are obliged to leave university premises immediately.

According to Section 4b of the Coronavirus Test Ordinance (TestV3), the following applies: Obligation to carry out confirmatory diagnostic and variant-specific PCR testing. This includes notifying the competent health authority of positive test results. It is possible to have a PCR test carried out at the Saarland University test centre on Saarbrücken campus. In Homburg, the PCR test cannot be carried out at the test centre.

Please note: Test obligation at the Saarland University Medical Center (UKS): Currently, there is a rapid test obligation for those visiting the patient areas (external visitors, external service staff or similar). There is no test obligation for university members accessing other areas in hospital buildings (e.g. research laboratories and lecture halls) (Status: 25 march 2021)

How does the university implement the amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance on the obligation to test?

(updated on 07/23/2)

According to the current state regulation for the fight against the corona pandemic, only persons who are tested twice a week for an infection with the corona virus SARS-CoV-2 by means of a recognized test may participate in the classroom training. The citizen test center on the Saarbrücken campus is now available for this purpose. Please use the following link: test-saarland.de/uds_buerger

Furthermore, the university fulfills its obligation to test its employees. For this purpose, please use the link to the university's own test center as before. The university currently has to bear the test costs itself. Please use the following link: test-saarland.de/uds

The time spent testing for COVID-19 cannot be considered working time.

For which attendance situations should university members be tested?

Incident-related diagnostic testing: For participants in in-person events/meetings during which several people are in a room at the university at the same time; these situations include:

  • Instruction sessions (instruction on equipment, of staff, of test persons)
  • Work processes, e.g. in the area of facility management, in which it is necessary for two or more people to stand closer together
  • Practical sports courses, if resumed in the Sport Science Institute (SWI)
  • Where persons need to be present in order to maintain university operations
  • Where persons cannot work remotely from home, which requires them to be present on site although no individual work space is available for them
  • Incident-related diagnostic testing is not available to the following university members and areas: where it is always ensured that the physical distances can be maintained, e.g. if you are working alone in the office, etc.

We strongly advise you to participate in in-person meetings/events with the participants physically present on site only if you have tested negative for the coronavirus (Note: The test result may not be older than 24 hours). An exception to this is participation in face-to-face classes, including (block) seminars and exams, here only people who are tested twice a week should participate. If a person has not been tested, this may not lead to their exclusion from the in-person meeting/event. Testing is subject to Section 5a of the Ordinance on Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic (VO-CP of 7 July 2021). The test result is to be certified by the body carrying out the test.

Who do I report a positive corona test to as a university member?

(Update: 10.11.2020)

University members who have received a positive result of a corona test should please report this immediately at the e-mail address coronafall(at)uni-saarland.de. Please indicate which contacts you had at the university last (e.g. classroom teaching, practical project, etc.) Your report will of course be treated confidentially! The university will then inform your contact persons immediately and anonymously in order to prevent further infections as far as possible.

Further information is available here: Action to be taken if someone becomes infected with COVID-19

 

What happens if a person with an officially registered COVID-19 infection took part in an in-person event or was physically present on campus?

(Update: 10.11.20)

If you are working or studying at Saarland University and have tested positive for COVID-19 or if you have been notified that another member of the university is infected, please refer to this information page  to find out what to do.

The University Board has mandated that all persons who were in the same room as the infected person may no longer enter university premises for the period provided for in the quarantine regulations in force at that time (currently 14 days or five days if a negative test result can be presented). The same applies to persons who had direct contact with the infected person within the last 48 hours. The University Board has the right to determine who may access university premises. Its decision, which aims to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases in humans, facilitate the early detection of infections and prevent their further spread, was reached after examining whether it is proportionate within the meaning of German Protection against Infection Act (IfSG).

What should I do if I have had contact with an infected person?

Please refer to the  guide provided by the Saarland Ministry of Health to find out which steps you are required to take.

If you have been in close contact to a person with an officially registered COVID-19 infection, the following rules have to be observed: All persons who were in the same room as the infected person may no longer enter university premises for the period provided for in the quarantine regulations in force at that time (currently 14 days or five days if a negative test result can be presented). The University Board has the right to determine who may access university premises. Its decision, which aims to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases in humans, facilitate the early detection of infections and prevent their further spread, was reached after examining whether it is proportionate within the meaning of German Protection against Infection Act (IfSG).

For university employees, as for all employees, there is an obligation to inform the employer if he/she has had contact with a person infected with the coronavirus. Contact your supervisor or the Personnel Department by phone or email (Personnel Department )

Here you find the Abwesenheitsanzeige aufgrund von häuslicher Quarantäne, Infektionsfall im Umfeld oder grippeähnlicher Symptome

The health authorities in Saarbrücken provide information on how to identify who has been in contact with an infected person. Further information is available here:https://www.regionalverband-saarbruecken.de/corona/kontaktpersonen/

 

What do I have to do if the Coronavirus warning app displays an ‘increased risk’ warning?

If you have installed the Coronavirus warning app provided by the German government on your smartphone and it displays an “increased risk” warning, you will receive the following information:

The ‘increased risk’ warning informs a user that, during the preceding 14 days, they have been in contact with at least one person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. This means that the risk of the user being infected is increased.

The user is asked to, if possible, return home immediately or stay at home, and to contact their doctor, the medical assistance hotline (tel.: 116 117) or the local health authorities who will decide on the steps to be taken.
(Source: Coronavirus warning app)

As a precautionary measure, please log out of the university with the following  notification of absence.

As a precautionary measure, please complete the   absence notification form and submit it to the Personnel Department via your supervisor or line manager.


Do I need to notify my employer if I am or have been in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus?

Yes! As an employee you are contractually obliged to report the fact that you have had contact with a person infected with the coronavirus. Contact your supervisor or line manager or the Personnel Department either by phone or by email.
(Personnel Department).

This diagram  of the Saarland Ministry of Health provides further information.

A case of an infection with COVID-19 has been reported. Who will have access to my personal data?

(Update: 10.11.20)

The local health authority will decide on the steps to be taken. The health authorities in Saarbrücken provide information on how to identify who has been in contact with an infected person.

Only if a public health authority explicitly requests the University's crisis management team to do so will the registration lists of participants in in-person events be passed on to the authorities. In this case, the participants will also be informed that they have been in close contact with an infected person. If the infected person attended a course in person, the course registration list will be generated via the course registration function in the HIS-LSF portal. For all other on-campus activities, e. g. personal meetings, lists of attended must be kept and sent to the crisis management team.

The university is currently examining whether to introduce a contact tracing app for in-person events that are not teaching- or study-related, which will be subject to data protection regulations. The health authorities request that contacts should be traced; all data will only be disclosed to the respective local health authority. Your data will not be disclosed to any other third parties and will be erased after 30 days. A data processing agreement will be concluded between the University and the provider company.

You can find more information on this page: Reporting corona infection cases.

Who is authorized to impose quarantine restrictions?

The local health authority will impose home quarantine (self-isolation) for the maximum incubation period (14 days) on any employee who has been in contact with the virus. Furthermore, the university can, in its role as employer, order an employee to stay away from their workplace without the will or consent of the employee. This supposes that the employer has grounds for assuming that the employee is unable to work due to illness or that the employee poses a health hazard for other employees or members of the university. It is sufficient that the employee poses a plausible risk of infecting others with the coronavirus. Additional grounds supporting the order to exclude the employee from the workplace may be asserted if the employee spent time in a higher-risk area or in a location with a significantly increased risk of infection.

The University Board has mandated that all persons who were in the same room as the infected person may no longer enter university premises for the period provided for in the quarantine regulations in force at that time (currently 14 days or five days if a negative test result can be presented). The University Board has the right to determine who may access university premises. Its decision, which aims to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases in humans, facilitate the early detection of infections and prevent their further spread, was reached after examining whether it is proportionate within the meaning of German Protection against Infection Act (IfSG).

The health authorities in Saarbrücken provide detailed information for individuals who have been in direct contact with a person with an infected person: https://www.regionalverband-saarbruecken.de/corona/kontaktpersonen/

 

Do university employees have to work from home if they have been quarantined?

Yes, you will be expected to work unless you are on sick leave (i.e. you have a medical certificate from a doctor). Essentially, employees are required to work from home if they have the means to do so. This requirement stems from the duty of employees to act in good faith towards their employer.

What do I have to consider if I have flu-like symptoms?

In light of the current infection rates in Saarland, persons who have not recently come into contact with someone with a known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection and who are showing only mild signs of illness (e.g. a runny nose and feeling only mildly incapacitated) may visit Saarland University sites. The same applies to people who have a known history of exhibiting similar symptoms due to a pre-existing condition, such as hay fever or a pollen allergy. Please refer to the check list for flu-like symptoms

If, however, a person is feeling seriously unwell, particularly if they are displaying respiratory and/or flu symptoms or other symptoms relevant to COVID-19, they must stay at home and, when necessary, consult a doctor (initially by phone).

If a doctor is consulted, the doctor will decide whether the patient may continue to visit Saarland University premises or whether a SARS-CoV-2 test is required. If the symptoms occur in persons who are present on Saarland University premises, the affected persons must leave the premises and contact a doctor (initially by phone).

Employees who leave because they are showing symptoms, must complete the absence notification form (Reporting an illness) and submit it to the Personnel Department via their supervisor or line manager.

 

Labour law aspects concerning the restricted operational phase

What are the rules applying to working remotely from home?

(updated on 22.10.20)

The current regulations on working remotely from home are set out in the Pandemic Response Plan (accessible only from within the university network) (p. 4).

What about time tracking during the restricted operational phase?

(updated on 26.10.20)

In level 2 of the restricted operational phase in winter semester 2020/21 the following regulations for time tracking apply. If you work on site is on site and usually record working hours electronically, please use the time recording devices for time tracking. When working from home, the time tracking data will be updated according to the contractually stipulated working hours by the employee responsible for time tracking (‘Zeiterfassungsbeauftragte’). You do not need to document when you started and finished working. If an employee works more hours than contractually agreed or fewer hours than contractually agreed, this must be reported to the responsible supervisor or line manager who will inform the employee responsible for time tracking. Please also inform your supervisor / line manager of your work schedule: which days of the week will you spend working remotely from home? Employees who do not record working hours electronically but have to track their hours in a different way are required do so to the same extent as before the pandemic and regardless of whether the activities were carried out at the office on campus or remotely from home.

Holiday leave that has already been approved will remain approved. If you no longer wish to travel, you are permitted to cancel your approved holiday leave. Applications for annual leave, requests to have time off in lieu and medical certificates (doctor's notes) should still be submitted to the Personnel Department. If you are working from home but are unable to print and/or scan an application for annual leave, you can submit your application by email to your supervisor or line manager who will then forward it to the Personnel Department.

If you are unable to work because you become ill during this period, you are still required to submit a medical certificate (doctor's note). This can be done electronically by sending an email to personal(at)uni-saarland.de. You must also notify your supervisor or line manager that you are unwell. The same applies if a child that you care for becomes ill.

Which childcare support services does the university offer?

We are aware that the combination of home office work and childcare poses a significant challenge to many employees at Saarland University while nurseries and schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the services of the online babysitting database are made available again to UdS students and employees. Please note that the database can only be accessed from campus or via VPN. Since not all babysitters listed in the database are currently offering their services, parents are asked to direct their requests to the „family-friendly office" (‘audit familiengerechte hochschule’): (familie(at)uni-saarland.de).

If my child is sick, may I stay at home on paid sick leave to care for him/her?

If their child is sick, parents may stay at home and care for him/her. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the number of days that a parent may stay at home on paid sick leave to care for their children was initially only increased for the year 2020. Each parent now receives 15 days of paid sick days (instead of ten days). For single parents, this regulation was increased from ten to 20 days.

 

Can I be released from my university duties if the school or kindergarten that my child usually attends has been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic?

The university understands that employees with children are particularly affected when a school or kindergarten offering integrated child-care services (for children under twelve or those with special needs) has been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. In these cases, individual arrangements will be agreed with the Personnel Department regarding the type and scope of work to be carried out by the employee under these conditions. If a school or child-care facility has to close, the employee’s supervisor or line manager must notify the Personnel Department and the employee must submit the relevant documentation (copy of the child’s home quarantine order and the absence notification form). 

This applies in corresponding fashion to employees who are able to demonstrate that they have had to take on care responsibilities as a result of the closure of a care facility.

How to deal with risk groups among employees?

Information on dealing with risk groups among employees can be found in the pandemic response plan (accessible only from within the university network) (p. 10)

What do I need to know if I am due to go on a business trip?

(updated on 17.05.21)

Essential business trips may now be undertaken. The applicant must provide a clear explanation on the business travel request form as to why the business trip is essential.

For business trips abroad, the travel information published by the Federal Foreign Office (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/coronavirus) must be observed. You should also be aware that the countries on your travel itinerary may also have imposed their own travel restrictions.

The location-specific physical distancing and hygiene rules must be observed for the entire duration of the business trip.

Members of Saarland University who undertake a business trip are required to check on a daily basis the information on high-risk areas issued by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and to enter this information accurately on the business travel request forms.

This also applies to business travel requests that have already been approved.

When returning from abroad, the regulations of the current entry regulation apply to both official and private travel. The regulations are described in detail here: https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/coronavirus/current-information-for-travellers.html

Depending on the country from which you are returning and in which classification according to the RKI it falls, you must go into quarantine. It is mandatory to truthfully complete the quarantine absence notification provided by Human Resources upon return from a high incidence area or area of variant of concern. The classification in risk area, high incidence area, and areas of variant of concern may change on a daily basis. Entry into area of variant of concern is strongly discouraged; we ask that you weigh the benefits of travel against the risks. Please take all factors into consideration in your planning and decide carefully.

Specific exceptions apply, e.g. for cross-border commuters; please refer to the regulation for detailed information.

What do I need to know about personal (i.e. not work-related) travel or private activities?

(updated on 17.05.21)

When returning from abroad, the regulations of the current entry regulation apply to both official and private travel. The regulations are described in detail here: https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/coronavirus/current-information-for-travellers.html

Depending on the country from which you are returning and in which classification according to the RKI it falls, you must go into quarantine. It is mandatory to truthfully complete the quarantine absence notification provided by Human Resources upon return from a high incidence area or area of variant of concern. The classification in risk area, high incidence area, and areas of variant of concern may change on a daily basis. Entry into area of variant of concern is strongly discouraged; we ask that you weigh the benefits of travel against the risks. Please take all factors into consideration in your planning and decide carefully.

Specific exceptions apply, e.g. for cross-border commuters; please refer to the regulation for detailed information.

What are the rules about holiday leave during the health crisis?

(Update: 13.10.20)

Holiday leave that has already been approved will remain approved. Please observe the updated information contained in the annual  leave application forms about travelling to high-risk areas. Members of Saarland University are obliged to check on a daily basis the information on high-risk areas issued by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and to enter this information accurately on the relevant forms. This requirement also applies to annual leave applications that have already been approved.

If you no longer wish to travel, you are permitted to cancel your approved holiday leave. Applications for annual leave, requests to have time off in lieu and medical certificates (doctor's notes) must be submitted to the Personnel Department. Anyone taking annual leave is not required to perform work duties nor to be reachable during this time.

 

What do I need to know about (digital) university recruitment and professorial appointment procedures?

Update: 02.02.21

All meetings and in-person events with three or more participants, including application and professorial appointment procedures, are to be conducted online. If in exceptional cases, a meeting must take place on-site with the participants physically present, the crisis manage-ment team must be notified using the respective form . For data protection reasons, these interviews as a video conference may only be conducted using the video conferencing platform Microsoft Teams. Candidates do not need to sign a data protection consent form. Note that the recording of video interviews is not allowed. Here you find further information about such interviews.

If interviews have to be carried out with the participants physically present, the physical distancing and hygiene rules and the rules governing access to university sites by external visitors must be complied with. Before they enter a university site, candidates must be briefed on the health safeguarding measures currently in place at Saarland University. Irrespective of whether the interview is conducted remotely or with participants physically present, the interview must be arranged so that all those involved (candidates, staff council representatives, the equal opportunity officer and the representative for employees with disabilities) can meet the technical and scheduling requirements. In some cases, it may be necessary to offer alternative formats, particularly if this would enable or facilitate candidate participation. Please try and ensure that the interviews are conducted under comparable conditions, especially if there are technical issues such as intermittent loss of transmission or poor signal quality or if the candidate is feels inhibited being interviewed in a remote group conference setting.

I have a short-term employment contract that needs to be renewed. What do I do?

Applications to renew or extend temporary (i.e. short-term) employment contracts in both academic and non-academic areas can now be sent unsigned by email to the relevant administrative office, i.e. to the appropriate Dean’s office or administrative unit, or to the Head of Central and Interdepartmental Institutions. Please send your application by email to the following address: personal(at)uni-saarland.de

On 7 May 2020, the German parliament passed an amendment to its legislation on short-term academic contracts (WissZeitVG) in order to prevent scientific and academic staff on such contracts from being disadvantaged because of the safeguarding measures implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This gives Saarland University the opportunity to extend employment contracts beyond the maximum term that previously applied. The WissZeitVG legislation stipulates the maximum period of time that academic personnel, who are working towards an academic qualification, may be employed on fixed-term contracts. As a result of the amendment, this period has now been extended retroactively from 1 March 2020 for a period of six months. This extension option applies to all contracts that are in force between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has also issued a statutory ordinance that permits the qualification phase for academic personnel to be extended by a further six months if such an extension should become necessary because of the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany. If you have any questions, please send them by email to the Personnel Department (personal(at)uni-saarland.de).

For further information please refer to the following webpage:  Personnel Department .

Can I continue to carry out my secondary employment assignments?

Secondary employment activities may only be carried out if they do not increase the risk of infection. According to Section 87 of the Saarland Civil Servants Act (SBG), civil servants (Beamte) are not permitted to take secondary employment if it would compromise the performance of their official duties. This is particularly the case if secondary employment could significantly restrict the ability of the civil servant to execute their official duties in future. All forms of secondary employment that could lead to an increased risk of infection are therefore prohibited.

 

Do I have come to work if trains and buses are not running?

Employees who need to work on site during the restricted operational phase are responsible for organizing how they get to work. Employees must come to work even if public transport services have been cancelled. Every employee is responsible for getting to work on time.

 

Am I allowed to refuse to follow precautionary or safeguarding measures ordered by my employer?

No. Your employer has the right to issue directives and instructions to employees. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, an employer may therefore instruct employees to follow specific instructions, e.g. to wear a face mask and to wash or disinfect their hands regularly. Employers are required to ensure that the risk of injury or the risk of becoming ill at work are kept as low as possible and they must therefore take the necessary steps.

Does the university issue a certificate for the number of days worked in the home office?

No. The number of days worked in the home office may be relevant for the tax return for 2020, among other things. However, human resources department does not issue certificates on the exact number of home office days. According to the current status, the statement of the employed person is sufficient without further proof.

 

Changes to processes during the restricted operational phase

Can I send invoices electronically to the Accounting and Finance Department?

For the duration of the period in which the university’s coronavirus pandemic response plan is in force, members of the university (professorial staff, offices of the deans, secretarial offices, central and interdepartmental institutions, administrative departments) may submit invoices to the Accounting and Finance Department (Dezernat HF) electronically.  However, this option should only be used if the properly prepared invoice cannot be sent by internal mail to the Accounting and Finance Department within one week of receipt. (Note: a properly prepared invoice is one that includes the charge account details, i.e. the cost centre or source of funds to be charged when paying the invoice).

Any invoices sent electronically in advance must be properly prepared in accordance with the following instructions: This is very important, as failure to comply with these instructions may result in accidental duplicate payment of invoices.

If you send an invoice electronically in advance to the Accounting and Finance Department, you must include the charge account details on the invoice (i.e. in the pdf file) and this information must have been verified and signed off (click here for instructions). You must clearly mark the original invoice with the words ‘already sent by email on DD.MM.2020’ and then send the original to Accounting and Finance via the internal mail service. If you are able to submit the properly prepared invoice within one week of it being signed off, please do not send the invoice electronically in advance, but simply sent the original to the Accounting and Finance Department via the university’s internal mail service.

Important: An email may contain only one invoice, which must be attached as a pdf document. Invoices copied into the body of the email will not be processed. If you are applying for the reimbursement of hospitality expenses (meal, entertainment, etc.), you must include with each receipt the reason for the expenditure, details of the programme or schedule and a list of those attending. Please note that we can only process receipts that have been prepared and submitted in the manner described above. Receipts that do not meet the stated requirements will be returned.

The rules on submitting invoices electronically apply only to members of Saarland University,

During the ongoing restricted operational phase, the Accounting and Finance Department is endeavouring to maintain all key services. Please appreciate that in the current situation it may take longer to process invoices, applications for reimbursements, credit notes and health insurance subsidies for civil servants (Beihilfe). Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Which email address will be used to send me the latest updates?

University management and the crisis management team will issue regular news bulletins in the form of bulk emails to university employees. Students will also receive emails but on a more restricted range of topics.

In both cases, the emails will only be sent to the personal, official email inbox that was provided by the University IT Centre (HIZ).

News and updates will not be sent to email addresses associated with specific university functions, to subordinate email addresses operated at faculty level or to email addresses associated with Saarland University Teaching Hospital. No addresses can be added to the existing bulk email distribution lists and any such requests in this regard will not be processed.

Please make absolutely sure that you can access your official university email inbox. You can either access this inbox directly or redirect incoming mails to another email address of your choice.

Information on using the university email system can be found on the following website (see the right-hand column for information on redirecting incoming emails): https://www.hiz-saarland.de/dienste/email

Which of the hygiene products that can be used to contain the spread of the coronavirus can be obtained from the Central Procurement Division ("Chemicals Store")?

(update 09.08.2021)

To implement the hygiene measures prescribed in the pandemic response plan, the following items and personal protective equipment can be obtained from the university’s chemical store (Central Procurement Division - Section: Hazardous Materials and Laboratory Supplies): medical face masks, FFP2-masks, self rapid tests, disinfectants and other Corona protection products.

To enable the practical skills and lab classes run by the faculties M (Medicine) and NT (Natural Science and Technology) to take place, disposal face coverings that meet the relevant standard are available from the Occupational Safety Unit (Stabsstelle Arbeitsschutz). These items are currently held in sufficient quantities and can be ordered either via the webshop or by using the relevant purchase order form.

Due to the continuing, severely limited availability of coronavirus protective equipment and the lengthy or uncertain delivery times, please understand that the Central Purchasing Unit cannot process individual requests for masks and protective equipment. You may wish to make use of the departmental procurement option that permits departments to place orders themselves for goods whose net value does not exceed €1000.

The purchase order forms for goods in stock and the current price list, the opening hours of the chemical store and the latest information about procuring masks, personal protective equipment and disinfectants can all be found at: https://www.zchl.uni-sb.de/leistungen/schutzprodukte

We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please contact the customer service department of the Hazardous Materials and Laboratory Supplies Section:

Service telephone: +49 681 302 70902
Service mail: labor-einkauf(at)univw.univw.uni-saarland.de

 

What services are being provided by the Personnel Department during the restricted operational phase?

In order to ensure that all duties regarding personnel management may be carried out during the restricted operational phase irrespective of whether employees are working from their office on site or remotely from home, please observe the information provided by the Personnel Department.

To access the forms (absence notification form, business travel request form) which have been adapted to the current situation, please click here.

What are the rules governing the purchasing of materials and services needed during the restricted operational phase?

The Central Procurement Unit has issued information and guidance concerning the purchasing of those materials and services needed during the restricted operational phase. The webpage also contains information on how ongoing tender procedures should be managed.

Where can I find the university directive covering the new restricted operational phase that was issued to members of the university?

(updated: 09.10.20)

The amended coronavirus directive covering the university’s restricted operational phase can be accessed at Publications issued by Saarland University management. The measures specified in the directive are mandatory and reflect the updated Regulations on Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic published by the Saarland state government.

Once the pandemic response plan has been approved by the relevant state authorities, the coronavirus directive will be adapted.

How are buildings being cleaned and what disinfection procedures are used?

Buildings are being cleaned according to an agreed cleaning schedule. The rooms within a building can therefore be used by one or more persons in accordance with the university’s pandemic response plan. If the general hygiene rules are complied with (washing hands regularly in accordance with the anti-coronavirus hygiene rules) no further disinfection of the surfaces need to be performed.

In those spaces where larger numbers of people may be expected to be present (service areas for students, libraries, etc.), additional disinfection measures may be appropriate. The necessary disinfectants, cleaning agents and hand sanitizers can be obtained from the Central Purchasing Unit - Section: Hazardous Materials and Laboratory Supplies (https://www.zchl.uni-sb.de/aktuelles/beschaffung-von-masken-schutzausruestung-und-desinfektionsmitteln).

Medical issues and psychological support

Coronavirus telephone hotline for university employees and students

The Institute for Sport Medicine and the occupational medical officer at Saarland University have set up a coronavirus telephone hotline for members of the university. University employees and students can call the hotline if they have coronavirus health questions. Tel. 0681 302-70400, Monday to Thursday 8.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., Friday 8.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

Medical questions can also still be sent by email to: krisenstab(at)uni-saarland.de

 

I am a student or an employee of Saarland University. Who can I contact if I need psychological support?

The "Psychologisch-Psychotherapeutische Beratungsstelle im Studentenwerk" is there for you:

Due to the current situation and in order to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus, we avoid face-to-face-counselling. However, we now offer phone counselling. In order to make an appointment, please contact us by email: ppb(at)studentenwerk-saarland.de

During the phone hours specified below, we are available for phone counselling (phone: 0681 / 302-2515).

The phone counselling allows you to talk to a psychologist without first having to make an appointment. The steps to be taken from there will be discussed individually with you. In case you cannot reach us during our phone hours, you can also write us an email and we will make an individual appointment with you.

Our phone hours are:

Every monday                     12.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.

To find out more about the possible topics that can be discussed in counselling sessions, please refer to the following website:  https://www.studentenwerk-saarland.de/en/Beratung/Einzelgesprache

The PPB also provides tips on how to cope with contact restrictions  during the current corona pandemic.

Current information on the restricted operational phase

For more information on the latest developments, please go to the university’s staff portal: Neuigkeiten für Uni-Beschäftigte (available in German only) or Saarland University‘s coronavirus information webpage.