Are exams still taking place? What are the plans for the current semester and the winter semester? What does 'secure on-campus activity' mean? How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted the working conditions of employees, researchers, etc.?
On this page you can find the answers to these and other questions about how the university is dealing with the coronavirus.
Because the situation is a dynamic one, further decisions and measures are possible over the coming days. Please check your emails and the information on this page regularly – making sure to note the date the question was last updated. We ask for your understanding and patience. Given the current crisis situation, it may take a while to answer all of the more detailed questions.
In the meantime, please direct your questions specifically to the individual areas or contact people:
studienberatung (@) haw-hamburg.de
presse (@) haw-hamburg.de
Questions about occupational and health safety:
arbeitsschutz (@) haw-hamburg.de
Questions about building-related and technical issues:
fm-leitung (@) haw-hamburg.de
Employee questions (e.g., about home-office regulations)
HAW-Personalservice (@) haw-hamburg.de
Justitiariat (@) haw-hamburg.de
Individuals who are exhibiting symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, diarrhoea) that could indicate a Covid-19 infection and have not been checked by a doctor are prohibited from entering HAW Hamburg premises. Access to HAW Hamburg buildings is currently limited. As of 4 May 2020, only the following people are permitted entry:
- HAW Hamburg employees whose presence at the university is required.
- External service providers and outside companies who have been contracted by HAW Hamburg.
- Students who are preparing for exams; who are completing supervised written exams; who are taking oral or practical exams; or who are attending practical courses that necessitate the use of special laboratories or work rooms at the university.
- Students who are carrying out work as a student assistant or tutor.
Which rules are in place regarding the use of public areas in HAW Hamburg buildings (foyers, high-traffic areas, elevators, staff kitchens)? (Updated: 4 May 2020)
During secure on-campus teaching activities and when working on-campus at HAW Hamburg, the most important requirements are that individuals maintain an appropriate distance from others (a minimum of 1.5 metres) and adhere to the established hygiene measures (regular handwashing and proper coughing and sneezing etiquette). In order to reduce the risk of infection, the rules listed below must be followed in the public areas of HAW Hamburg buildings:
- All individuals are required to wear a mask or face-covering in the high traffic areas of the university (e.g. foyers, halls, in front of examination rooms and labs). A so-called ‘community mask’ (a handmade mask made of normal fabric), like those required when using public transport, is sufficient.
- Hand disinfectant is available in the entry areas of all buildings.
- All individuals must observe the signs and floor markers indicating the required distance from others.
- Elevators can only be used by a maximum of two people, provided that both people are wearing a face mask. Additionally, all those present at the university are requested to use the elevators as little as possible in order to keep them available for those people who are completely dependent on them.
- Only one person at a time is permitted to use the staff kitchens, copy rooms and other rooms where it is not possible to maintain the required distance of 1.5 metres from others.
Will special cleaning processes be implemented during the phase of secure on-campus activity? (Updated: 4 May 2020)
- During the phase of secure on-campus activity, the frequency and type of cleaning will be adapted to the situation by Facility Management’s Building Service Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) in consultation with the faculties.
- It will also be ensured that the toilet facilities are always adequately supplied with soap and paper towels.
If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed coronavirus infection, you must contact the responsible ministry of health (Gesundheitsamt) immediately. Employees must also contact their supervisor or department head. Students must contact their instructor and their Faculty Service Office. Please inform the university about the instructions you have received from the ministry of health.
Remain at home and follow the instructions of the ministry of health staff. Do not go to a doctor’s office without calling in advance.
Studies and teaching
Students who are experiencing particularly acute financial need due to the corona pandemic can receive temporary assistance. What does that mean? (Updated: 15 June 2020)
Students who are experiencing particularly acute financial need as a result of the corona pandemic and require immediate assistance can apply through their Studenten- and Studierendenwerk organisations for temporary financial support in the form of a non-repayable grant from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Applications for the grant of up to €500 per month can be submitted online in the months of June, July and August 2020. All German and foreign students enrolled at state and state-accredited universities in Germany are eligible to apply, regardless of age or the number of semesters completed.
The grants will be paid out by the Studenten- and Studierendenwerk organisations. The application tool will be available as of 12 pm on 16 June 2020. Because the official federal portal for processing the applications will still be under development and will be made available to the Studentenwerk and Studierendenwerk organisations at the same time, the first payments probably will not be made until 25 June 2020.
Students can access the application form and obtain additional information about the conditions, deadlines and documents required via the portal .
As of 4 May 2020, the university is open for exams and certain small-group courses. What measures do participants need to take? (Updated: 4 May 2020)
The first step in the gradual reopening of HAW Hamburg, leading up to a phase of secure on-campus activity, will begin on 4 May 2020 and will only impact those students and teaching formats where the students are in the final stage of their studies and are completing their final theses or exams.
The following preventative and hygiene-related measures must be observed:
- Upon entering seminar/examination rooms and lecture halls, individuals must maintain the required distance and wear a face mask. This can be removed during the lesson/exam.
- Student workplaces must be set up in such a way that the distance between students is at least 1.5 metres. Entryways, exits and escape routes must be kept clear.
- In lecture halls (with built-in furniture), instructors must ensure that at least three seats are kept free between students and that only every third row is used.
- Examinations should be held in large rooms wherever possible. Following consultation with Studierendenwerk Hamburg, the cafeterias at the Berliner Tor, Bergedorf and Finkenau campuses are available for this purpose. The assembly hall at Alexanderstraße 1 and the auditorium in the Berliner Tor 21 building can also continue to be used. Bookings can be made centrally through Facility Management’s Room Management Team (email@example.com).
- An adequate supply of fresh air must be ensured during examinations/lessons. If there is no ventilation system, the windows must be opened completely several times per hour.
Which regulations are in place for practical activities in laboratories and workshops? (Updated: 4 May 2020)
- The central rule when carrying out practical activities in laboratories and workshops is the maintenance of a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from others.
- Where it is not possible to avoid compromising this minimum distance – even briefly – participants are obligated to wear a face mask. Students can use community masks like those required when using public transport.
- Employees who are required to wear a face mask in a lab or workshop will be provided with high-quality, washable and reusable fabric masks (two masks per person). The first set of masks will be provided centrally by the university administration. Any subsequent purchases are the responsibility of the faculties.
- The maximum number of workspaces in the HAW Hamburg laboratories and workshops will be determined by the head of the respective laboratory/workshop (where necessary with the support of the occupational safety staff from the Occupational Safety/Conflict and Environmental Management Unit).
- Tools and materials that are used by more than one person must be cleaned following use. However, according to the Hamburg Occupational Health and Safety Service (AMD), disinfection is not necessary. Likewise, it is not necessary to disinfect work surfaces and other surfaces.
- Student instruction should integrate guidance on following the hygiene-related measures and how to wear a face mask properly in accordance with the recommendations of the Federal Centre for Health Education (in German only).
- Where necessary, a risk assessment can be carried out to determine whether additional preventative measures are needed. The occupational safety staff from the Occupational Safety/Conflict and Environmental Management Unit (arbeitsschutz (@) haw-hamburg.de) can provide support if required.
On 18 May 2020, a phase of secure on-campus activity will begin. What does this mean? (Updated: 20 April 2020)
The faculties and departments will determine the minimum length of time that this secure on-campus phase should last. Models involving a length of either six or, alternatively, eight weeks have been developed. In those cases where this is not sufficient, the faculties can schedule another phase of secure on-campus teaching to take place after 8 August 2020 (where necessary as block courses), taking into account the examination dates.
The lecture period should be concluded by 10 July 2020 to ensure that families are able to take holidays together. The faculties and departments can plan flexible block courses or other secure on-site phases for the time following this holiday period.
- In summer semester 2020, lectures will take place online only.
- In summer semester 2020, seminar-based teaching will take place online only.
- On-campus teaching activities in summer semester 2020 that are absolutely necessary, such as small-group sessions, practical exercises and laboratory courses as well as final projects/theses, should be scheduled as a high priority during the secure on-campus phase beginning 18 May 2020, provided that the necessary hygiene and protective measures can be implemented. An earlier start date at the request of the department leadership is only possible with the agreement of the dean and provided that hygiene and preventative measures can be upheld.
- Field trips will not take place in the summer semester because it would be difficult to adhere to the necessary physical distancing rules in such situations.
- In summer semester 2020, exams should be scheduled as a high priority during the secure on-campus phase beginning on 4 May 2020.
- The registration of final theses and their supervision should continue to be possible. The secure on-campus phase can also be used to supervise final theses/projects. In consultation with their supervisor/s, students will be granted temporary access to the university.
- The examination formats stipulated in the examination regulations and module descriptions will be opened up and made flexible with reference to the time limits and exceptions. This will make the regulations regarding accreditation more flexible in terms of time – meaning, for example, that even partial modules can be examined and that other examination formats beyond those stipulated in the module catalogues are possible. The president took this decision in an exceptional substitute capacity on 17 April 2020.
It must be ensured that the number of participants is very small and that the regulations regarding hygiene and distance can be adhered to.
The instructors are requested to assess the situation appropriately and conservatively, with a view to the need to restrict transmission. Consultations between instructors and students are permitted only by telephone or online.
Due to events surrounding the coronavirus, the HAW libraries are currently offering reduced opening hours and access is restricted to a specific group of users. Only those people permitted to enter HAW Hamburg buildings are authorised to enter the libraries. You can find more information under the 'General regulations' listed above.
As of 1 July 2020, library workspaces will be available to HAW Hamburg students who are preparing for exams. This service is intended only for those students authorised to enter HAW Hamburg buildings. This means those students who are preparing for exams, who are completing supervised written exams, who are completing oral and practical exams, who are taking part in practical courses that necessitate the use of special labs and workrooms at the university, or who are working as student assistants and tutors.
A limited number of individual workspaces are available in the various HAW Hamburg libraries and can be booked from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm:
- TWI 2 (Berliner Tor 7) – 30 workspaces
- S&P (Alexanderstr. 1) – 13 workspaces
- DMI (Finkenau 35) – 13 workspaces
- LS (Ulmenliet 20) – 13 workspaces
A reservation gives authorised students a workspace for three hours. A maximum of one reservation can be made per person each day. Reservations can be made via a brief written request to the specific library using the library's contact form.
The Hamburg Senate's current prevention decree continues to require strict adherence to the physical distancing rules, which means the HAW Hamburg libraries can only make a small share of their total workspaces available. Because group work is not permitted under the current regulations, only individual workspaces are being offered.
HAW Hamburg's own hygiene regulations must also be followed. Access to the libraries is only permitted with a face mask, and a physical distance of 2 metres from others must be maintained. Upon arrival, users will be required to fill out a form with their personal information so that they can be notified in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak.
- On 3 April 2020, the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (Kultusminister Konferenz) decided that the lecture period for winter semester 2020/21 will begin on 1 November 2020 at all universities. We have agreed on the following procedure with the Hamburg Ministry of Science: Due to the delayed awarding of Abitur certificates this year as a result of the corona crisis, courses for first-semester students cannot start until 2 November 2020. These courses, including the exams, will run until 26 February 2021.
- Because students in their second or later semesters, as well as MA students, are not impacted by this delay in admission, we can proceed differently here. Our goal is to schedule joint examination periods at the end of the semester, which will conclude on 26 February 2021. This means that BA students in their second or later semesters and MA students will start the semester on 12 October 2020.
- Due to the content-related and organisational integration of the academic courses and practical units in the cooperative degree programmes, most of these programmes will begin on 14 September 2020 and run, including the exams, until 29 January 2021. As the cooperative degree programmes in the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science are closely linked with the normal Bachelor’s degree courses, the cooperative degree courses in this faculty won’t begin until 12 October 2020.
What changes have been made to the application process for winter semester 2020/21? (Updated: 1 June 2020)
For most Bachelor's degree courses, the application period begins on 1 July 2020 and ends on 20 August 2020. You can find more information on the Applications page.
- The general conditions for summer semester 2012 are oriented on those in the preceding winter semester. The final exams for the winter semester will conclude on 26 February 2021, which will result in a slightly delayed start to on-site teaching in summer semester 2021. The following arrangements have been agreed with the Ministry of Science and within the university: The lecture period for cooperative degree programmes, with the exception of those in the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, will begin on 15 March 2021 and run, with examinations, until 16 July 2021.
- The lecture period for all other degree courses is scheduled to begin on 22 March 2021 and run, with exams, until 16 July 2021. We will supplement the lecture period, which will be reduced to 17 weeks (including exams), with digital teaching in order to adhere to the accreditation regulations.
Lectures and seminar-based teaching in summer semester will only take place online. How will that work? (Updated: 20 April 2020)
During the recent weeks of the corona pandemic, HAW Hamburg has shifted the bulk of its on-campus teaching to online formats. Students must still be able to achieve learning outcomes and successfully complete modules and exams in summer semester 2020. It is therefore necessary and obligatory (not just in the cooperative degree programmes) that we quickly adapt teaching to the current situation and switch to digital formats (both synchronous and asynchronous). Because this involves numerous practical issues, we ask for your patience as we attempt to resolve them.
In the Public Management and Nursing cooperative degree programmes, as well as the cooperative degree programmes in the Engineering and Computer Science Faculty and the Life Sciences Faculty, agreements are in place with the cooperation partners and state and federal regulations apply. For this reason, online teaching should be used to replace on-campus teaching in these cases.
We would like to remind you that copyright laws also apply to online teaching and learning materials. This means that the materials can only be used in accordance with the licensing agreement. A document or a video, or any other item, can only be shared or copied outside the teaching and learning room when it is covered by a CC licence. This is intended to protect the individual rights of students and instructors and is an important basis for mutual trust between them.
We are committed to providing flexible solutions to meet the current challenges. Instructors can visit the EMIL room ‘Digitales Lehren und Lernen’ (Digital teaching and learning), which the Office for Degree Courses and Teaching (Arbeitsstelle Studium und Didaktik, ASD) has created to facilitate joint discussion. There they can chat with colleagues and the experts from the ASD about their experiences with online teaching, ask questions (including those about copyright) and share good practices.
How can I get my HVV semester ticket or my chip card in the current situation? (Updated: 15 May 2020)
- The validation station in the foyer of Berliner Tor 5 is the only station still accessible to students. We ask that you only use this station as an absolute exception and that you follow the rules regarding physical distance if you do use it. The following points describe how you can manage without using the station.
- For students whose chip card has recently been lost or stolen, the process listed under Point 1 applies: current certificate of enrolment and personal ID, as well as report of theft where applicable. You do not need to appear in person at the Chip Card Services Office.
- Students who did not require a ticket in the previous semester and have not yet managed to print the current ticket on their chip card can send their card to the Stiftstraße Chip Card Services Office or drop it into the Student Center mailbox in front of the building, with a note requesting validation and providing the return address.
- Deletions of tickets due to exemptions from Studierendenwerk Hamburg are also being processed normally. The chip card and the notice of exemption must be sent to HAW Hamburg before the deadline given. The chip card will then be sent by mail to the return address provided.
- Chip Card Services Office staff are continuing to work on-site and will continue to complete all tasks that don’t require students to appear in person. Chip card validation, ticket deletion or reinstatement, the returning of found cards, etc. can all be completed by mail. The generation of TAN lists for exam registration on myHAW will be done by sending two emergency TANs which can be used to generate a new list using myHAW.
- Passwords will be reset upon submission of a clearly recognisable photo of your student card (or the paper copy of your semester ticket, where applicable) and of your personal ID – to enable comparison. Resets usually involve entering a mobile phone number for the mobile TAN procedure or resetting the password to the original initial password.
Student Counselling Office
- The Student Counselling Office has extended its telephone office hours: Mon and Tues, 10:00 am–1:00 pm; Thurs, 1:00–5:00 pm; psychological counselling, Tues, 2:00–3:00 pm Tel.: +49 1522 4744063
- If you would like an individual advising session via telephone or video, please send a mail with your phone number to studienberatung (@) haw-hamburg.de. The advisers will contact you as quickly as possible to make an appointment.
- Outside our office hours, you can call the student services line at +49.40.42875-9898 (Mon–Fri, 8:00 am–5:00 pm) or send us a mail at the above address.
- You can find further information on sources of support that are available outside our consultation hours and useful links with advice on coping with this extraordinary situation on our website: Counselling and Mental Health and Student Counselling and Coaching.
- The Family Office provides advising services for students who are currently working in home office and have childcare/caregiving responsibilities. You can contact the familienbuero (@) haw-hamburg.de for more information or see the list of additional support services (in German only).
Equal Opportunities Commissioner
- The counsellors for victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault provide support in cases of harassment and assault, including those incidents that take place in private learning environments: Stefanie Kieback, stefanie.kieback (@) haw-hamburg.de, Andrea Bettels andrea.bettels (@) haw-hamburg.de, Sabine Stövesand sabine.stoevesand (@) haw-hamburg.de, Peter Hambrinker peter.hambrinker (@) haw-hamburg.de
Studying with a disability or chronic illness
- If you are having difficulties with your (digital) studies because of health-related limitations or chronic illness and require support, please contact the representative for disabled and chronically ill students (Prof. Dr. Röh: dieter.roeh (@) haw-hamburg.de) or the advisor and project coordinator for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses (Meike Butenob: meike.butenob (@) haw-hamburg.de).
- The staff at Studierendenwerk Hamburg’s Advising Centre for Student Financing (BeSt) can also answer your questions about finances and the possibility of receiving financial support.
Student Admissions and Registration Office
- You can contact the Student Admissions and Registration Office by phone: Mon and Tues, 9:00–10:00 am and 11:00 am–1:00 pm; Thurs, 9:00–11:00 am and 2:00–5:00 pm. You can find the numbers of the individual staff members on the
- Outside our office hours, you can call the student services line at +49.40.42875-9898 (Mon–Fri, 8:00 am–5:00 pm).
Individualised measures must be adopted for students who have a pre-existing health condition or disability (certified by a doctor) that puts them at risk of experiencing severe illness and complications from a Covid-19 infection.
Where necessary, compensation for disadvantages should be granted if a student is not able to take part in on-campus activities (e.g. exams, laboratory exercises) due to their personal situation. Students can apply to the chair of their department’s Examination Board to receive such compensation:
In addition, the additional challenges that online teaching poses for these students – e.g. with respect to self-organisation, the quantity of material to be learned or barrier-free technical infrastructure – must be taken into account and addressed.
Instructors or students who have questions related to these issues or require advice can contact the representative for disabled and chronically ill students, Prof. Dr. Dieter Röh, or Meike Butenob, advisor and project coordinator for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
Where possible, tutoring contracts should be continued via home office. Tutors and student assistants should clarify the details of these arrangements – for example, how to prove hours worked – directly with the contracting individual or supervisor.
As of 4 May 2020, student tutors are also permitted to work at the university again with the approval of the contracting individual or direct supervisor. They must observe the same rules regarding physical distance and hygiene as all HAW Hamburg employees.
Because the closure of the libraries from 14 March to 20 April 2020 will make it difficult for students to complete term papers, Bachelor’s theses and Master’s theses, the HAW Hamburg Executive Board, in consultation with the faculty deans, decided on the following measures on 26 March 2020:
1. Deadlines that fall between 14 March and 20 April will automatically be extended by the number of days between 14 March and the original deadline. This extension will be calculated from the date on which the university and the libraries reopen (currently planned for 20 April 2020). As an example, an essay was originally supposed to be submitted on 18 March. The deadline is thus extended for four days (the difference between 14 March and 18 March) and the essay must be handed in on 24 April (20 April plus four days). This procedure applies to both term papers and final theses.
2. Deadlines that fall after 20 April will automatically be extended by the number of days the libraries were closed (currently 14 March–20 April 2020 = 38 days).
The cooperative degree programmes are excluded from these beneficial regulations because the cooperation agreements with the partners, as well as state and national regulations, must be observed. The Executive Board recommends that faculties and departments review the possibility of differentiated decisions for the cooperative degree programmes and to adopt these in accordance with the legal framework and the cooperation partners’ regulations where necessary.
The Studierendenwerk cafeterias are closed. The cafes on the HAW Hamburg campus are open. The menu offerings are to-go only and cannot be eaten at the cafes. You can find the opening hours here.
The Campus Food Truck moves between various locations and is open daily from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. You can see the exact locations and opening hours here . Plans to open other food-service facilities are underway. More information will follow soon.
What impact will the suspension of teaching activities have on the practical phases of the cooperative degree programmes and on internships in external companies and organisations?
The organisation and implementation of the practical phases that are part of the cooperative degree programmes is the responsibility of the partner companies and organisations, which also have to adhere to the decisions made by the City of Hamburg.
Internships are also the responsibility of the partner companies and organisations, which also have to follow the decisions made by the City of Hamburg. Internships should only be continued when it is clear the regulations regarding hygiene and distance can be upheld.
The university’s research activities can be continued, provided that the regulations regarding hygiene and distance can be upheld.
Experiments and tests undertaken as part of research projects should be prepared in such a way that they can be quickly suspended or phased out. If this is not possible – for example, because work is being carried out with microorganisms that need to be tended or equipment that must be kept operational – agreements regarding emergency operations must be made with the faculty management (in consultation with the department management). Attention must be given to individual security and regular monitoring in order to minimize risks.
In the event that the university is closed, the ordering of hazardous materials and cell cultures is prohibited. Other orders should also be avoided. The faculties must ensure that items that have already been ordered are properly received and stored. In addition, they must ensure that laboratories’ service operations are put on hold for the duration of the closure – if this has not already occurred. New contracts can only be processed following the reopening of the laboratories.
The postponement of upcoming research and practice semesters due to the corona pandemic, and the interruption of research and practice semesters that are currently underway, is generally possible. However, this requires clarification of how the teaching requirements for the current semester will be fulfilled and how the courses that will not be taught during the replacement research or practice semester can still be offered. Applications should be submitted to the Executive Board via the faculties.
HAW Hamburg is currently consulting with the Hamburg Ministry of Science, Research and Equality (BWFG) about the possibility of extending projects funded with state research funds and LoM funding in response to the corona crisis. The aim is to extend current projects and also to secure coverage for additional costs resulting from the corona crisis. HAW Hamburg has also requested that the BWFG work to secure a similar arrangement at the level of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) for projects supported by other funders (e.g. other Hamburg ministries, the German Research Foundation [DFG], federal ministries and the EU).
The submission deadline for applications for Hamburg state research funding with the funding line ‘Expansion of international research cooperation’ has been extended to 15 May 2020 due to current events.
How are projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) being impacted by the corona crisis? (Updated: 6 April 2020)
In response to the corona crisis, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has made temporary adjustments to the funding and selection criteria for its Research at Technical Universities programme.
What do I do if my work towards a particular academic qualification within a paid position is temporarily not possible due to the coronavirus situation? (Updated: 9 June 2020)
The German federal government has made corona-related extensions to fixed-term contracts under the academic fixed-term labour contract act (WissZeitVG) possible. Employment relationships for the purpose of academic qualification (at HAW Hamburg these are generally for PhD projects) that take effect between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 can be extended for an additional six months. Should the impacts of the pandemic persist, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will subsequently review the possibility of an additional six-month extension.
Such an extension is only possible, however, if the necessary funds are available. The first point of contact regarding the financing of such an extension is the supervising professor. Additional information can be obtained from the relevant department or faculty or the funder of the particular qualification project.
As communicated in the European Commission’s special notice of 17 March, the submission deadlines for Horizon 2020 calls for proposals, which were supposed to run until 15 April 2020, will be extended – with the exception of the IMI call. Detailed information will be made available on the specific call pages of the Funding & Tenders portal. In its FAQs, the European Information has published information about the occurrence of force majeur and the necessary responses.
The Research Executive Agency (REA) has published an informational page about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Horizon 2020 proposal submissions, proposal reviews and grant management.
The staff of the BMBF’s EU office and the NKS Network can assist you if you have questions.
If you have questions about EU funding, please contact: eu-forschung (@) haw-hamburg.de
Given the current circumstances, we ask that the heads of externally funded research projects review their project’s duration and workplan. In the case of contracted research, project leaders should contact the funder promptly if adjustments to the workplan are necessary.
Regulations for HAW Hamburg employees
What impact does the current situation have on my position at HAW Hamburg (i.e. can I work from home)? (Updated: 4 May 2020)
To reduce interpersonal contact as much as possible, office-based work should continue to be carried out from home wherever possible. If this is not possible, the presence of several people in an office must be avoided. Where necessary, alternating shifts or separate teams should be implemented.
Supervisors will prioritise the tasks to be completed and make agreements for their employees to work from home in those cases where the appropriate technical infrastructure is in place. Where the technical infrastructure is not in place, employees should discuss with their supervisors whether this can be arranged or if alternative tasks can be completed from home. Please also consider whether it is possible to use your own equipment at home.
The arrangements for working from home as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus must be agreed directly between the employee and his or her supervisor (in writing – via email). Any questions that arise must also be clarified between these parties. If it is not possible for supervisors and employees to reach an agreement, they can request that the Personnel Department (at HAW-Personalservice@haw-hamburg.de) review the case.
Employees working from home must be available at least during the times agreed upon by the supervisor and the employee. Employees who exhibit clear symptoms of a flu-like illness will be instructed to remain at home. Supervisors are called upon to meticulously uphold their duty of care to their employees.
Effective immediately, the core working hours are suspended. This is intended to provide employees with greater flexibility – for example, to more easily address childcare difficulties.
Professors are requested to agree upon appropriate measures with their department head.
Where possible, tutoring contracts should be continued via home office.
What preventative measures are being taken for workplaces with public traffic (e.g. libraries, Faculty Service Offices, ITSC Chip Card Services Office)? (Updated: 4 May 2020)
In areas with public traffic (e.g. libraries, Faculty Service Offices, mailroom), transparent dividers will be installed to protect employees. The question of whether additional measures are needed can be determined via a risk assessment where necessary. The occupational safety staff from the Occupational Safety/Conflict and Environmental Management Unit (arbeitsschutz (@) haw-hamburg.de) can provide support if required.
What work arrangements are currently in place for employees with pre-existing health conditions or disabilities? (Updated: 4 May 2020)
Employees with pre-existing health conditions (e.g. conditions impacting the lungs, circulatory system, liver or kidneys; diabetes mellitus; or oncological illnesses) that put them at risk of developing severe complications from a COVID-19 infection should work primarily from home. If the work cannot be performed from home, standby duty should be organised where necessary.
The same applies to individuals with disabilities whose condition poses a risk of serious illness and complications.
An agreement regarding home office or on-call duty is to be made between the employee and their supervisor following presentation of a medical certificate (Attest). The medical condition does not need to be specified on the certificate.
The majority of HAW Hamburg employees are currently working from home. The Occupational Health Management team has compiled information for HAW Hamburg staff about the challenges and stresses of working from home.
You can find concrete tips for staying healthy and taking care of yourself and one another in this unusual time on the Beschäftigtenportal under 'Gesundes Home-Office' (in German only).
Occupational health and safety consultation for employees
The Hamburg Occupational Health and Safety Service (AMD) has implemented telephone office hours in accordance with the BMAS’s SARS-CoV-2 occupational health and safety standards. Particularly those HAW Hamburg employees with a pre-existing health conditions can use this service. It is currently operating daily from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and can be reached at 040-42841-1414. The form that additional occupational health and safety preventative measures will take is still being clarified.
Family, children and caregiving
For tips and advising services related to child-rearing and caregiving while working at home, please contact the Family Office at familienbuero (@) haw-hamburg.de and see the information on our links page (in German only).
Equal opportunities and anti-discrimination
In the event of discrimination or if you have questions related to equal opportunities issues, please contact the central equal opportunities representatives:
- Hanna.Klimpe (@) haw-hamburg.de (academic staff)
- meike.rissiek (@) haw.hamburg.de (technical and administrative staff)
You can also contact the team at the Equal Opportunities Office.
The HAW Hamburg Personalrat (Workers‘ Council) provides advice on the following topics:
- Workplace requirements in teaching and administration
- Home office
- Working hours
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 42875-9120.
Health and support services
- People with health-related limitations can obtain information from the representative for individuals with disabilities and chronic illnesses: maike.messerschmidt (@) haw-hamburg.de and barbara.eckelmann (@) haw-hamburg.de
- If you have questions about staying healthy and about the stresses of working from home, please contact bgm (@) haw-hamburg.de and see the information on the Gesundes Home-Office page on the Intranet.
- In the event of conflicts between employees, you can contact the conflict moderation team: konfliktlotsen (@) haw-hamburg.de
- In the event of conflicts between students and university staff, you can contact the advisors in the Vertrauensstelle (confidential advising office).
- Because of the current increase in domestic violence, we would like to especially direct your attention to the support staff for victims of sexual harassment and violence:
If you are currently working from home, you can temporarily suspend your HVV-ProfiTicket. To do so, please send a mail to hvv-abo (@) haw-hamburg.de with the subject: ‘Pausieren des ProfiTicket ab xxxx’ (enter the date when you started working from home).
- A ProfiTicket can only be suspended in the event of preventative measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus – e.g. home office, short-term layoffs.
- The suspension of the ProfiTicket is only possible during the period from 1 April to 31 August 2020. You can inform the ProfiTicket contact person at HAW Hamburg at the beginning of the month in which you want to suspend the ticket. Except for the month of April, it is not possible to suspend the ticket retroactively.
- If you have not used your ticket since 16 March as a result of home office, etc., you should inform the contact person at HAW Hamburg.
- If you wish to end the suspension of your ticket, please inform the contact person at HAW Hamburg by the end of the month in question at the latest.
- You are not required to pay for the ticket during the time it is suspended.
- The suspension ends automatically on 31 August 2020. Any changes regarding this date will be announced well in advance.
The HVV-ProfiTicket does not need to be returned while it is suspended. However, it is not active and cannot be used to travel in the HVV area. You are therefore required to purchase individual tickets. The allowances for travelling with other passengers and other benefits of the HVV ProfiTicket are also inactive while the ticket is suspended.
The Federal Foreign Office continues to warn (as of 1 July 2020) against non-essential tourist travel abroad.
Travel to the following countries is currently excluded from the travel warning:
- the European Union member states (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Greece, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus)
- Schengen-associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland)
- the United Kingdom, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City
This warning will initially remain in effect until 31 August 2020.
You are required to obtain information, both before and after travel to another country, about whether you are obligated to quarantine at home upon your return – where necessary by consulting with the responsible health authority.
In general, people who have spent time in a high-risk area abroad at any point in time during the 14 days prior to entering Germany or the City of Hamburg are obligated to quarantine at home. Exceptions to this rule are listed in section 36 of the Hamburg regulations for the containment of SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2-Eindämmungsverordnung).
A high-risk area is a country or region outside the Federal Republic of Germany in which there is an increased risk of coronavirus infection at the time of entry into the Federal Republic of Germany. A list of high-risk areas is published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The decisive factor is whether an area where the employee has spent time within the 14 days before entering Germany is designated by the RKI as high-risk at the time he or she returns to Germany.
The following applies to travellers returning from abroad as of 1 July 2020:
Individuals who embarked on travel abroad up to and including 30 June 2020 and who return after 1 July 2020 are required to contact the responsible health authority upon their return and obtain information about the quarantine rules that apply where they reside. If they are required to quarantine at home, they must contact their supervisor immediately to determine the further course of action.
The following applies to travellers leaving to go abroad as of 1 July 2020:
Individuals who embarked on travel abroad as of 1 July 2020 to a country designated by RKI as a high-risk area on the day of entry must allow for a post-travel quarantine period when planning their travel and holiday. The following points apply:
- The length of the stay abroad is irrelevant.
- If an individual travels to more than one country, each of them must be assessed with regard to whether they are listed by the RKI as high-risk countries.
- In these cases, employees are not entitled to paid leave.
- The decision about whether an employee may be excluded from the quarantine requirement – i.e. an exception pursuant to section 36 paragraph 4 of the Hamburg regulations for containment – will be made by the responsible health authority at the request of the employee (upon their return).
- Employees must apply for sufficient holiday time (for both the travel abroad and the quarantine period).
- If an employee is not able to return to work on time due to the quarantine and has not applied for sufficient holidays, this will be considered an unexcused absence from work and the corresponding labour-law and employer measures will be taken. This will not be the case if a solution can be mutually agreed – e.g. approval of additional holiday time; approval of flex days, potentially with the accumulation of ‘minus hours’; or a home-office arrangement.
- Any holiday or flex days planned for a quarantine period can be cancelled if the quarantine turns out not to be necessary. Whether the quarantine requirement can be lifted must be determined by the responsible health authority. If this is the case, the employee must inform his or her supervisor.
Individuals travelling to a country not classified by the RKI as a high-risk area on the day of entry do not have to plan to quarantine at home upon their return. In the event that the country or one of the countries visited are classified as high-risk before an individual returns to Germany, meaning that a quarantine period at home is necessary, the following points apply:
- The employee may work from home or, where appropriate, take holiday or flex days.
- In general, no labour-law or employer disciplinary measures will be taken.
The above points apply only to individuals entering or returning to Germany from abroad. They do not apply to domestic travel. This does not exclude the possibility that HAW Hamburg will implement special rules for employees returning from domestic regions with an increased rate of infection (e.g. preventative home office).
Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, the employer is permitted to ask employees whether they visited a high-risk area (abroad) or a domestic area with a high rate of infection during their holidays. Employees are obligated to answer this question.
The quarantine measures for travellers entering and leaving Germany contained in the Hamburg regulations for the containment of SARS-CoV-2 (in German only) will remain in force until 31 August 2020.
The precise quarantine regulations for travellers entering and re-entering Germany from abroad are contained in the letter from the City of Hamburg's Human Resources Agency (in German only).
How should I apply for sick leave if I have only mild upper respiratory symptoms? (Updated: 3 June 2020)
The temporary rule that a doctor's note for sick leave (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung) could be obtained via telephone has not been extended (as of 1 June 2020). This means that you must go to your doctor's office to obtain a sick note.
The Executive Board has decided that the following graduated procedure will apply to business travel within Germany as of 20 May 2020:
In a first step, employees should determine whether a phone or video conference will suffice in place of business travel or an in-person meeting.
If this is not possible for technical, organisational or content-related reasons, employees should assess, in a second step, whether the business travel or event is absolutely essential or can be postponed.
If it is absolutely essential and cannot be postponed, the necessary protective measures must be implemented (adequate physical distancing, proper airing of rooms, etc.). Supervisors can approve absolutely necessary business travel on the basis of the above criteria. The reasons why the business travel is absolutely essential must be noted on a separate piece of paper accompanying the application for business travel.
Business travel outside of Germany continues to be prohibited.
What should I do if I am a supervisor or instructor and I notice that someone is exhibiting symptoms of a flu-like illness?
You should instruct the person to leave the university and contact their general physician or the emergency medical service (phone number: 116117) to determine whether there are grounds to suspect a coronavirus infection.
How do I obtain proof that my position is necessary to the maintenance of the university’s operations so that I am eligible for the emergency childcare service at my children’s daycare? (Updated: 28 May 2020)
Employees can submit such a request in writing to the Personnel Department via their supervisor (in the faculties this request can also be made through the head of the faculty’s administration). The Personnel Department will then issue an individualised letter confirming that the employee’s work is necessary to maintaining important university infrastructure in accordance with the City of Hamburg’s SARS-CoV-2 containment ordinance (HmbSARS-CoV-2-EindämmungsVO).