The Corona pandemic brings with it great strains, especially for families. Of course, childcare or the care for family members must therefore be taken into account. Below you will find detailed information on how to reconcile studying, teaching, research and work with family responsibilities.
Below you will find the current regulations in case your child is ill and has to be cared for at home. In addition, you will find regulations in the event that the childcare facility in your district/town continues to be affected by a "closure" or will be affected in the future.
Regulations during operation of the respective kindergarten/school
Since 17.11.2022, the general duty of seclusion for demonstrably infected persons who have tested positive for the coronavirus or who have taken a positive self-test has ceased. However, the following still applies: If you are ill, please stay at home. This applies to COVID-19 and equally to influenza and other contagious diseases, so that infections at school can be reduced or avoided. Persons infected with the coronavirus must wear at least a medical mouth-nose covering for five days, especially outside their own homes indoors. Infected children are not allowed to enter the day-care centre or nursery for five days, as they usually do not wear a mask. A "final" test is not required, but is recommended. Also, no proof has to be presented to the day care centre or day care worker. Non-infected children in the same group can continue to be cared for.
Childcare benefits or exemption from work for childcare
The following applies to employees subject to collective bargaining agreements:
If the child is sick, it is cared for at home. Employees have a certain number of days to use for this, depending on their employment contract. Statutory health insurance for the calendar years 2021 and 2022 exceptionally stipulates 30 days per child and parent, 60 days for single parents. If there are several children, the entitlement increases to a maximum of 65 days or, in the case of single parents, to a maximum of 130 days.
Eligible are legally insured, working parents who are themselves entitled to sickness benefit, with a legally insured child who has not yet reached the age of 12. In the case of children who have a disability, also beyond the age of 12. It is also a prerequisite that there is no other person in the household who can look after the child. The entitlement exists irrespective of whether the work could in principle also be done at home. Sickness benefit is paid for this time.
If the child is ill, the need for care must be proven to the health insurance fund with a certificate from the attending doctor. For this purpose, the "Ärztliche Bescheinigung für den Bezug von Krankengeld bei Erkrankung eines Kindes" (Medical certificate for the receipt of sickness benefit in case of illness of a child) is filled in. The sickness benefit is paid directly by the respective statutory health insurance fund.
Since the employer stops paying the salary for the period during which the sickness benefit is received, the responsible administrative department of the Human Resources Division must be informed immediately of the intended leave of absence to care for the child, as well as the superior. Please send a copy of the medical certificate to the Human Resources Department. The health insurance fund will make a final decision on the entitlement to leave. We recommend that you contact your health insurance fund at the same time so that there are no delays in the payment of sick pay.
The following applies to employees subject to collective bargaining agreements who are not entitled to exemption from work in terms of Section 45 SGB V:
For employees subject to collective bargaining agreements who are not entitled to exemption from work in terms of Section 45 SGB V because they themselves or their child/children are not statutory health insurance members, the regulation in place for civil servants continues to apply, subject to the condition that an exemption from work is granted for an initial period of three working days in accordance with Section 29 (3) TV-L. The exemption from work may be extended for a further three days at a time, provided that the conditions are still met.
The following applies to civil servants:
For civil servants, Section 13 (2) SUVO applies to the care of sick children who have not yet reached the age of 12. In order to avoid personal hardship, additional days of leave may be granted in individual cases to the extent necessary in accordance with Section 20 SUVO in conjunction with Section 13 Paragraph 2 SUVO. § 13 paragraph 2 SUVO may be granted.
In general, the following applies:
As a matter of priority, in consultation with their superior, the employee affected should make use of the possibilities of flexible working hours and in particular the opportunity to work from home. The University Board is aware that due to the often difficult situation associated with this childcare, the full work performance cannot always be delivered, and this additional burden cannot always be fully compensated in the private environment. It will also send this appeal to the superiors with an urgent request to take into account the emergency situation.
In order to arrange a solution that is appropriate for your childcare situation, please contact your responsible staff member in the Human Resources Department – in consultation with your superior – in order to jointly agree on an individual solution for taking into account the (remaining) working hours available to you in work time recording. If the childcare situation is still not manageable despite taking full advantage of all the measures listed above, the conditions for a further leave of absence or exemption from work can also be addressed together during this consultation. However, the newly-created entitlement to extended sick pay for childcare must have been fully utilised beforehand.
There is also the possibility to care for children using annual leave, overtime or flexible working arrangements, provided such arrangements have been agreed with the superior in advance.
Reduction of teaching responsibilities
Unfortunatly, it is not possible to reduce teaching responsibilities because of family responsibilities in accordance with the LVVO.
Work contracts in the qualification phase can be extended
Academic fixed-term contracts for employees in their scientific qualification phase can be extended due to pandemic after a change in current law.
The Act on Academic Fixed-Term Contracts (WissZeitVG) has ,against the background of the pandemic, been amended restrospectively with effect from 01.03.2020 to include a transitional arrangement for a limited period of time, by the addition of Section 7 (3) WissZeitVG. The current wording of the amendment is as follows (translation from the German original):
"(3) The total permitted duration of fixed-term employment in accordance with Section 2 (1) Clause 1 and 2 shall be extended by six months, if an employment relationship exists in accordance with Section 2 (1) between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is hereby authorised to use statutory regulation, with the consent of the Bundesrat, to extend the permitted duration of fixed-term employment for a further period of up to six months, if this appears necessary due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Federal Republic of Germany; the extension shall also apply to employment relationships entered into after 30 September 2020 and prior to the expiry of the extension period referred to in the statutory regulation."
The legislator has thereby created a means of mitigating the additional coronavirus-related burdens on scientists who are in the qualification phase.
The new legal regulation applies to scientific staff who have an employment contract in terms of Section 2 (1) WissZeitVG for their own academic qualification in the period from 01.03.2020 to 30.09.2020. Employment may continue beyond the usual 6-year maximum period during the pandemic-related restrictions. The extension of the maximum period of fixed-term employment was initially limited to a maximum of six months. There is no legal claim to an extension of the employment relationship.
The employment relationship may be extended if the respective institution is able to secure funding, and if continuation of employment is applied for in the usual way via Human Resources. Additional central funding is not available.
The corona-related impairments continued beyond 30.09.2020, so that the Federal Ministry of Education and Research made use of its power to issue an ordinance and extended the permissible fixed-term period for contracts by a further 6 months. This extension by a further six months applies both to employment relationships that existed between 01.03.2020 and 30.09.2020 and to employment relationships that were only newly established between 01.10.2020 and 31.03.2021.
There is no entitlement to an extension of the employment relationship. Continued employment may be granted if the respective institution secures funding and continued employment is requested through the usual channels via the Human Resources Division. Additional central funding is not available.
If you have any questions, please contact your HR staff member. To the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (German)
Pandemic-related changes regarding studies
Kiel University provides information for students regarding the pandemic upon its website and keeps this information up to date. This includes information about compulsory attendance, risk groups and pregnancy and examinations. In addition, there is further information on the website of the faculties and departments.
Disadvantage compensation for students with family responsibilities
It is possible to apply for a disadvantage compensation because of family responsibilities during the Corona-crisis.
- in special circumstances (pregnancy, raising children under 14, caring for relatives)
- with chronic illnesses/disabilities, incl. belonging to a risk group due to a chronic illness/pre-existing condition/disability (with a medical certificate)
have the option to apply for compensation for disadvantages for lectures and examinations in accordance with the Examination Procedure Regulations (PVO).
How does the application work?
Please report your concern in good time (if possible well before the lecture/exam date) to the responsible offices named below and inform yourself about the exact procedure:
- The Examination Office responsible for your degree programme.
- Medicine and Dentistry students should please contact the Dean of Studies at the Faculty of Medicine.
After this, please submit an informal application – also in good time – to the responsible office (see above), in which you describe your restrictions. Please enclose evidence and, if possible, also doctor’s recommendations for suitable compensatory measures. This will help the chairperson of the Examination Board and the lecturer to identify a suitable compensatory measure for the disadvantage.
The responsible office will consider the equivalence to the usual requirement and its feasibility when reviewing whether a suitable compensatory measure for the disadvantage can be offered. This can mean that it may not always be possible to offer a suitable, in particular equivalent, and organisationally feasible measure.
In the case of positive decisions, the organisational details are to be discussed with the lecturer.
The Family Service offers confidential couseling and can be contacted with individual questions. In case of particular questions we will research the topic and let you know our findings. We represent the needs of Kiel University´s families towards the University Board and other facilities within Kiel University.
The Federal Government has decided support measures for employees with care responsibilities (e.g. eldercare). This includes the increase of Pflegeunterstützungsgeld, the prolongation of the possible leave-period to deal with acute care situations and other services.
Whether classes are held regularly in the schools depends on the infection situation in the respective schools. Further information is provided by the respective schools. Current information can be found on the FAQ website of the State of SH on the topic of daycare and family (German only).
Childcare in Kitas and Tagespflege
Whether day care centres are open or closed depends on the infection situation in the respective day care centres. Your day care worker or the responsible provider can give you more detailed information. Further information can be found on the FAQ website of the State of SH on the topic of daycare and family (German only).
Is there an extra childcare provided by Kiel University?
No, current law does not allow an extra childcare.
Will the CAU holiday programme for school children take place?
A holiday programme can take place regularly. Any necessary restrictions or cancellation of the programme will be communicated to the parents of the registered children by circular email. Registration for the holiday programme is possible from 2023. More information about the holiday program on the website of the family service.
Compensation of reduced income due to childcare responsibilities
Compensation due to care requirements under the Infection Protection Act expires on 23.09.2022. Guardians who were temporarily unable to work due to the care of their children until 23.09.2022 are entitled to compensation. More informarion on parental compensation (in German). Apply for compensation online (in German).
The German government has adjusted parental allowance in these special times in order to avert any disadvantages for families because of COVID-19. There are also other family benefits that have been adjusted.
An individual risk assessment must be carried out when the pregnancy becomes known. The pregnant woman shall be offered a discussion on adjustments to the working conditions.
Within the framework of the occasion-related risk assessment pursuant to Section 10 (2) of the Maternity Protection Act (MuSchG), the employer shall immediately determine and implement any necessary protective measures in accordance with the occasion-free risk assessment, also with regard to an increased risk of infection, insofar as this is known to the employer. An increased risk of infection may arise in particular in the case of:
- occupational activities involving close contact with persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 or with persons showing symptoms of an aerogenic infectious disease
- close contact with other people without adequate respiratory protection,
- prolonged stay (>10 min) with several people in inadequately ventilated rooms without wearing adequate respiratory protection
- prolonged exposure (> 10 min) to large crowds without wearing adequate respiratory protection.
- performing or being present at activities on people where larger quantities of aerosols can be generated from the respiratory tract.
Protective measures include, for example, maintaining the minimum distance, wearing masks or hand hygiene.