Further Lockdown Measures: Virtual and Home-Office Offers

January 8th, 2021 | by

Based on recent decisions by the federal and state governments on the extension of the lockdown, the Crisis Management Team and the Rectorate of RWTH have decided on the following measures:

Studying and teaching:

  • All virtual courses and exams will continue as scheduled.
  • Exam reviews and oral exams can still only be held online through January
  • At this time, we expect that individual lab courses, practicals, and in-person written exams that cannot be rescheduled should be able to take place between January 11 and 31, 2021, under the previously approved conditions. Even though the final regulations are not yet available from the state government, we ask students and supervisors to continue to prepare for the scheduled dates. As soon as new information is available, the Crisis Management Team will give an immediate update (including on weekends). We also urge students to pay attention to short-term change notifications issued by their departments.
  • In the case of experimental theses that require attendance, students must discuss available options with their supervisors.

Service operations:

  • The work-from-home obligation for work that can be accomplished from home – even if this results in quality losses – will be extended through January 31, 2021.
  • Exceptions to this rule may only be granted for good reasons, in particular for activities that secure the infrastructure of RWTH or for experiments in the university institutions. The respective managers are responsible for objectively and closely interpreting this regulation and ultimately deciding how to implement it.
  • A valid reason also exists for those employees who could work from home in principle but decide to come to work at RWTH (in an office not shared with others) because working from home is not feasible for them or they cannot reasonably be expected to do so due to home-schooling or other childcare obligations. However, these regulations only apply to justified individual cases. Otherwise, the risk of staff getting infected with COVID at RWTH or on the way to and from work will again be too high.
  • If employees have questions regarding the organization of working hours and childcare, the human resources departments are happy to help. The Family Services Center of the Equal Opportunities Office is also available to provide information and advice on all questions concerning childcare and on balancing work and family. The latest information (e.g., regarding the options of taking so-called additional child sick days – that is, sick leave for childcare – or special leave) for parents at the university can be found here.

Regulations for individuals coming from risk areas:

  • Individuals returning from risk areas can now choose to get cleared to return to work by taking a COVID test or they can stay under home quarantine. If employees who cannot work from home decide to quarantine, they will, however, only be entitled to compensation under the Protection Against Infection Act if they had a valid reason for travel. A vacation trip, for example, is not a valid reason. The human resources departments are happy to assist you with any questions you may have.

The Crisis Management Team and the RWTH Rectorate have taken the above measures based on the following guideline: All measures are intended to substantially reduce the risk of infection (for example, by reducing the need to take transportation to and from work). At the same time, we are committed to helping students progress with their degree programs in the best possible way.

As soon as new information is available, the Crisis Management Team will again pass it on to you.

Comments are closed.