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. Please check your emails and the information on this page regularly – making sure to note the date the question was last updated.
Given the current increase in infections, the following measures are necessary as of Monday, 2 November 2020:
- Students are required to wear masks in all on-campus teaching settings (including when they are in their seats or at their workspaces).
- Masks are also required in the libraries.
Employees and students can also contribute to limiting the coronavirus pandemic by using the Corona-Warn-App and/or documenting where they have spent time at the university and who they have been in contact with (diary of contacts). This will make it easier to trace and inform contact people in the event of a corona infection. Thank you.
Questions from students:
studienberatung (@) haw-hamburg.de
presse (@) haw-hamburg.de
Questions about occupational health and safety:
arbeitsschutz (@) haw-hamburg.de
Questions about building-related and technical issues:
fm-leitung (@) haw-hamburg.de
Questions from employees (e.g. regarding home-office rules)
HAW-Personalservice (@) haw-hamburg.de
Justitiariat (@) haw-hamburg.de
If you are diagnosed with a corona infection, please contact the 'corona single point of contact' (corona SPOC) in your faculty or in the central university administration. These SPOCs will coordinate the information and communciation chains:
Central University Administration
Corona-SPOC-Beschaeftige (@) haw-hamburg.de
Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science
Corona-SPOC-TI (@) haw-hamburg.de
Faculty of Life Sciences
Corona-SPOC-LS (@) haw-hamburg.de
Faculty of Business and Social Sciences
Corona-SPOC-WS (@) haw-hamburg.de
Faculty of Design, Media and Information
Corona-Spoc-DMI (@) haw-hamburg.de
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we ask that you limit the time you spend in the HAW Hamburg buildings to what is absolutely necessary. All individuals (students, guests, employees of external service providers, etc.) are requested to leave the university buildings directly after their event or appointment has ended.
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 organised in such a way that those individuals present are able to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from others (physical-distancing requirement) in the space available. Floor markings are in place in suitable locations to ensure this.
Posters at the building entrances indicate the physical-distancing requirement, the requirement to wear a face-covering and the prohibition on entry for people with symptoms of a respiratory illness.
We are reducing the number of people on campus through the reduced number of on-campus events. The group size for on-campus courses and teaching sessions will remain smaller than usual. The room capacity for seminar and study rooms has been determined on the basis of the physical-distancing requirement. The resulting maximum capacity is indicated on a poster in each room and cannot be exceeded.
If you have questions about the capacity of specific rooms at the university, please contact the Building Services team: peggy.scheiba (@) haw-hamburg.de
Which rules are in place regarding the use of public areas in HAW Hamburg buildings (foyers, high-traffic areas, elevators, staff kitchens)? (Updated: 1 September 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 mouth and nose 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.
All individuals are required to wear a mouth and nose covering in the high-traffic public areas of HAW Hamburg premises (e.g. foyers, hallways in front of examination rooms or laboratories) and in the libraries. Students are also required to wear their masks in all on-campus teaching sessions, including when they are in their seats or at their workspaces. This is required in other areas as well if the minimum physical distance of 1.5 metres cannot be consistently maintained (please see the FAQs about accessing the buildings and the use of public areas).
Students are required to wear 'community masks' (mouth and nose coverings made of normal fabric) like those required on public transport. In labs, disposable masks will be provided where necessary.
Please observe the guidelines contained in the HAW Hamburg Framework Hygiene Plan on the use and cleaning of face masks (section 13.2).
Students and employees who are not able to wear a mouth and nose covering due to a health issue or a disability are excluded from this requirement. Those individuals who are unable to wear a mouth and nose covering must provide suitable proof that this is the case (e.g. a doctor's note, an allergy pass, or a disability ID card). Employees and students who are hard of hearing and rely (additionally) on lip reading, can also remove their masks for short conversations. In both cases it is necessary that the individuals who are not wearing masks consistently maintain the required physical distance so that they don't endanger others.
Are on-campus discussions, meetings and events that are not directly related to teaching permitted? (Updated: 28 September 2020)
Wherever possible, discussions, meetings and events should be carried out online. If this is not possible, the organiser should critically evaluate whether the event in question is absolutely essential. If this is the case, such discussions, meetings and events can only take place on campus when they are directly related to the university's responsibilities pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of the Hamburg Higher Education Act.
In the planning and execution of the discussion/meeting/event, the following requirements must be fulfilled:
- Adherence to the maximum room capacity noted at the entry so that the minimum distance of 1.5 metres between participants can be maintained.
- Collection of participants' contact information and deletion of this information after four weeks.
- Briefing of participants on the rules outlined in the university's Hygiene Plan.
- Wearing of a mouth-and-nose covering when entering and leaving the room. This can be removed during the event, as long as the minimum distance can be maintained.
- If there is not a technical ventilation system, regular airing of the room.
Whether or not other preventative measures are required should be determined, where appropriate, via a supplementary risk assessment. The Risk assessment form for events (in German only) can be used for this purpose.
The staff of the Occupational Safety Unit can provide assistance and support where necessary (arbeitsschutz (@) haw-hamburg.de).
In order to reduce the risk of infection through the inhalation of air containing the virus (including the aerosols contained in it), it is important to ensure regular ventilation.
You can find information about our ventilation measures in section 5.2 'Ventilation and airing' of the HAW Hamburg Framework Hygiene Plan.
What should I do if I have tested positive for coronavirus or have been exposed to someone infected with the coronavirus?
If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed coronavirus infection or have tested positive for coronavirus, you must contact the responsible health authority (Gesundheitsamt) immediately.
Please also contact the appropriate 'corona single point of contact' in your faculty or the university administration. This is where the information and communication flows will be coordinated:
Central University Administration
Corona-SPOC-Beschaeftige (@) haw-hamburg.de
Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science
Corona-SPOC-TI (@) haw-hamburg.de
Faculty of Life Sciences
Corona-SPOC-LS (@) haw-hamburg.de
Studies and teaching
What programmes and services are available to help students get started with their studies? (Updated: 1 September 2020)
Starting a course of study in these times of coronavirus is a particular challenge. This is why the Student Center is providing answers to all the important questions about starting your studies.
Has the standard period of study been changed due to the corona pandemic? (Updated: 5 November 2020)
The individual standard period of study will be extended by one semester for all students who were enrolled and not on leave in summer semester 2020. This is especially important for those students receiving BAföG support, as well as for all those who want to complete their studies within the standard period.
This extension of the standard period of study will initially be noted on the BAföG certificates, de-registration certificates and old-age pension insurance certificates. The basis for this change is the Law to Overcome the Impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the University Sector, which was passed by the state parliament of Hamburg on 2 September 2020.
Is interim financial aid still available for students who are experiencing particularly acute financial need? (Updated: 23 November 2020)
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is again providing non-repayable grants to those students experiencing acute financial need as a result of the corona pandemic. The monthly grants will be available from November 2020 to March 2021 and will be awarded through Studierendenwerk. Students can apply (online only) for the interim financial aid as of 20 November 2020.
Depending on the level of need, grants of €100 to €500 per month are available.
Students at Hamburg universities who are experiencing acute and demonstrable financial need as a result of the corona pandemic can once again apply for an interest-free loan of €400 per month, just in time for the start of winter semester 2020. Applications can be submitted to Studierendenwerk Hamburg for the months of October, November and December. The Hamburg Assistance Fund provides students with quick and unbureaucratic support and is intended to contribute to covering their basic needs.
Applications for the loan, which must be paid back in full, can be submitted as of 28 October 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.
- Participants are required 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.
Due to the current coronavirus situation, the HAW libraries are currently offering reduced opening hours (Mon–Thurs, 9:00 am–4:00 pm; and as of 12 October 2020, Fridays, 9:00 am–2:00 pm) and are only open to HAW Hamburg instructors, employees and students. Unfortunately, students and employees of private universities cannot use the libraries at this time. The Business, Engineering and Computer Science Library (TWI 1, at Berliner Tor 5) is unfortunately still closed. Please use the pick-up service for print media from this library. On the HAW Hamburg libraries start page you can find all the necessary updates and information about our current services and access (e.g. e-media services, limited borrowing, library workspaces for studying).
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 for work and study are being offered.
HAW Hamburg's own hygiene regulations must also be followed. A face mask must be worn at all times, 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.
You can find more information on the Applications pages.
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.
In winter semester 2020/21 it will still be necessary to observe the existing hygiene and physical distancing measures, which means that a return to full-capacity on-campus teaching will not be possible.
In an expanded phase of secure on-campus activity, synchronous digital teaching formats and on-campus teaching will be coordinated with one another. A particular focus will be placed on on-campus teaching in special small groups for students in their first and second semesters. Laboratory and workshop teaching units, as well as exams, will continue to be held on campus, in compliance with the hygiene and physical distancing measures.
In accordance with the different requirements of the respective course and examination regulations, the faculties and departments will organise the individual formats for the expanded phase of secure on-campus teaching and inform students how these will be implemented.
The general conditions for summer semester 2021 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-campus 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.
I have applied for a study place in winter semester 2020/21. When does my semester ticket take effect? (Updated: 16 September 2020)
If your lectures start before 2 November 2020, your semester ticket is valid from 1 September 2020. If your lectures start on 2 November 2020, your semester ticket is valid from 1 October 2020. In the latter case you will be charged a reduced semester contribution, which will be noted in your letter of admission.
Regardless of when your lectures begin, you will be enrolled as of 1 September 2020, the beginning of the semester.
- The Chip Card Services Office at Stiftstr. 69 has now reopened for students. You can find the current opening hours on the chip card page. Please observe the floor markings in front of the entry to the office as well as the traffic light over the door, which is intended to regulate access to the office. Unfortunately, the Chip Card Services Office in Bergedorf remains closed for the time being.
- First-semester students can pick up their HAW Hamburg chip card without an appointment at the Chip Card Services office during the normal opening hours.
- The validation stations in the foyer of Berliner Tor 5 and in front of the Chip Card Services Office at Stiftstr. 69 are freely accessible.
- Cases of chip card loss, damage or theft are processed by the Chip Card Services Office.
- Deletions of tickets due to exemptions from Studierendenwerk Hamburg are also processed on-site at the Chip Card Services Office or by mail. The chip card and the notice of exemption must be submitted to HAW Hamburg before the deadline given. Chip cards sent by mail will then be returned by mail to the address provided.
- Passwords will generally only be reset at the Chip Card Services Office.
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.
Current opening hours
Mensa Finkenau: 9:00 am–3:30 pm (incl. cafe menu)
Mensa Bergedorf: 8:00 am–3:30 pm (incl. cafe menu)
Mensa Berliner Tor: 8:00 am–3:30 pm
Café "Blueberry": 7:30 am–5:00 pm (Fridays until 4:00 pm)
Café Alexanderstraße: 7:45 am–3:00 pm
You can find additional information from Studierendenwerk Hamburg here.
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?
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?
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
In order to compensate for corona-related delays and stoppages in research projects, the following graduated procedure is recommended.
- Please first assess whether it is possible to restructure the project process in order to at least partly compensate for delays and stoppages. Ideally this can be done without a noteworthy reduction in the planned project scope. This measure should generally be agreed with the project funder, and the Finance and Accounting Department should be involved where necessary.
- Additionally, a cost-neutral extension together with savings in the project could be a possible way of compensating. This should therefore be negotiated and agreed with the project funder in a timely manner before the project completion date. Please also involve the External Funding Team from Finance and Accounting at an early stage.
- If cost-increasing measures are ultimately the only way to compensate for the remaining corona-related delays and stoppages, this should be communicated to the project funder in a timely manner. Where possible, an application should be made to the funder for additional funding to cover these measures. You will likely need to present the additional costs in a comprehensible and concrete way. You will probably also need to demonstrate that you have already exhausted the two options listed above.
The External Funding Team from Finance and Accounting is available to advise you on these options. Unfortunately, HAW Hamburg does not have any central funds to compensate for increased expenditures in the research projects. HAW Hamburg is therefore in discussion with the BWFGB and the relevant funders.
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: 9 November 2020)
To reduce interpersonal contact as much as possible, office-based work should continue to be carried out from home where possible. The deciding factor for home-office agreements is that it is possible to perform the necessary tasks from home.
Supervisors can arrange with their staff that the latter can work from home if the following conditions are met:
- The appropriate technical infrastructure is in place.
- The tasks are suitable for completion from 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 review the case
Employees working from home must be available at least during the times agreed upon by the supervisor and the employee. The core working hours have been 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.
As an alternative to home office, alternating shifts or separate teams can be organised to enable the completion of tasks in the particular unit.
<p>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.</p>
<p>You can find concrete tips for staying healthy and taking care of yourself and one another in this unusual time on the <u>Beschäftigtenportal </u>under 'Gesundes Home-Office' (in German only).</p>
What work arrangements are currently in place for employees with pre-existing health conditions or disabilities? (Updated: 9 November 2020)
The deciding factor for home-office arrangements is that it is possible to carry out the necessary tasks from home. 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 or employees with disabilities whose disability puts them at risk of serious complications should be enabled to work primarily from home if the following conditions are met:
- The appropriate technical infrastructure is in place.
- The tasks are suitable for completion from home.
In these cases, the answer to the question 'What impact does the current situation have on my position at HAW Hamburg (i.e. can I work from home)?' applies.
If the tasks required in the position are not suitable for home-office but the employee still wishes to work from home, alternative tasks can be organised. In these cases the home-office arrangement will be agreed upon by the supervisor and the employee following presentation of a medical certificate (Attest). This certificate should specify that carrying out the tasks of the position on campus is not recommended because the employee belongs to a high-risk group. The medical condition does not need to be indicated on the certificate. Any costs arising from obtaining the medical certificate will not be covered by the employer.
If a position cannot be completed from home and alternative work packages are also not available, a risk assessment must be carried out by the head of the organisational unit in advance of any further decisions. Where necessary, the doctor from Hamburg's occupational health service (Arbeitsmedizinischer Dienst), Frau Dr. Sanders, or the specialists from HAW Hamburg's Occupational Safety Unit (AKU) can provide support
(arbeitsschutz (@) haw-hamburg.de).
As a rule, the use of offices by more than one employee should be avoided. This means that two-person offices should only be used by one person at a time wherever possible. This can be achieved through home office, alternating shifts or the formation of separate teams.
The use of offices by more than one person is only permitted if an area of between 16 and 20 square metres (the usual size of a two-person office) is available for each workspace or this is absolutely necessary due to the work processes/tasks. In this case, the head of the unit is required to complete a risk assessment in advance. The 'Use of office space by more than one employee' risk assessment form (in German only) can be used for this purpose.
The occupational health and safety specialists from the HAW Hamburg Occupational Safety Unit can provide support where necessary (arbeitsschutz (@) haw-hamburg.de).
What preventative measures are being taken for workplaces with public traffic (e.g. libraries, Faculty Service Offices, ITSC Chip Card Services Office)? (Updated: 1 September 2020)
<p>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 (<a class="link-mail" href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>) can provide support if required.</p>
The Federal Foreign Office continues to warn against non-essential tourist travel abroad. Please obtain information about which countries are currently subject to travel warnings.
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). Please be sure to consult this list both before and during travel.
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. The Hamburg regulations for the containment of SARS-COV-2 (HmbSARS-CoV-2-EindämmungsVO) stipulate that travellers who have spent time in a high-risk area abroad at any point in time during the 10 days prior to entering Germany or the city of Hamburg are obligated to quarantine at home directly following their return for a period of 10 days. This quarantine can be ended on the fifth day following entry into Germany, at the earliest, if you receive and present a negative corona test result. The test cannot be carried out before the fifth day following entry into Germany.
The state-level provisions regarding quarantine at home are contained in Part 8, sections 35, 36 and 36a of these regulations (version: 30 October 2020). In the event that you are required to quarantine, you must contact your supervisor immediately to determine the further course of action. (Please see below for more specific information.)
With regard to the issue of who will cover the cost of testing, we refer you to the Federal Ministry of Health website:
'Until 1 December, travellers entering Germany who have spent time in a high-risk area within the previous 14 days are entitled to free testing within the first 10 days following their return.' (updated 16 October 2020)
Until the fifth or, if applicable, tenth day, the following applies, as outlined in the Human Resources Agency letter of 30 June 2020:
- If your travel destination has already been designated a high-risk area by the RKI on the day that you enter that area/country, you are required to take holidays or flex days during the subsequent quarantine at home. You are not entitled to receive paid leave.
- If your travel destination has not been designated a high-risk area by the RKI on the day that you enter it, you are not required to plan for a quarantine at home in preparation for the eventuality that the country is declared a high-risk area during your stay. If the latter does occur, you can work from home or take holidays or flex days upon your return.
In these cases, please contact your supervisor to determine how to proceed. We ask professors to please contact the head of their department and the administrative head of their faculty.
Supervisors and faculty heads are requested to inform the Personnel Department about such cases in an email to haw-personalservice (@) haw-hamburg.de.
The following applies to travel abroad:
Individuals who travel 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 5 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.
- 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. Travel from high-risk areas within Germany continues to be possible. However, the federal and state governments urge people to avoid non-necessary domestic travel to or from areas where the number of new infections per 100,000 residents over the previous seven days has exceeded 50.
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 30 November 2020.
The precise quarantine regulations from the City of Hamburg's Human Resources Agency for travellers entering and re-entering Germany from abroad are contained in the letters of 30 June 2020 and 1 November 2020 from the agency (in German only).
Three corona test centres have been set up in Hamburg for symptom-free individuals returning from outside of Germany and other groups eligible for no-charge testing.
The association of publicly insured doctors in Hamburg has compiled information here (in German) about additional testing locations and the conditions individuals need to meet in order to be tested.
Am I permitted to work in HAW Hamburg buildings if I have symptoms of a cold? (Updated: 9 September 2020)
No, please don't enter HAW Hamburg buildings if you have a cold. Please inform your supervisor that you cannot come to HAW Hamburg and decide together how to proceed.
If you are still able to work despite your symptoms, you can work from home. If you are not able to work, the usual rules regarding a doctor's note apply.
Due to the coronavirus situation, you should discuss what steps you need to take with your doctor. Doctors are responsible for determining whether a corona test is necessary.
You can return to HAW Hamburg without having taken a corona test (please note that different rules apply for employees returning from travel). However, you should be fever-free and feeling well for at least one day before coming back to the university.
Am I permitted to work in HAW Hamburg buildings if someone who lives with me has symptoms of a cold? (Updated: 21 October 2020)
Here a distinction needs to be made between whether a corona infection is suspected or not.
If a corona infection is not suspected, you are permitted to work in HAW Hamburg buildings, provided you do not have cold-like symptoms.
If a corona infection is suspected, please wait for the test result. In this case please inform your supervisor that you cannot come to HAW Hamburg and discuss with them whether you can work from home.
Am I permitted to work in HAW Hamburg buildings if someone I live with is currently in officially prescribed quarantine? (Updated: 21 October 2020)
If a member of your household has been directed to quarantine at home by the health authorities but you have not, you are permitted to continue working in HAW Hamburg buildings. If the health authorities have required the individual in quarantine to be tested, please isolate at home until the test result is available and ask your supervisor if you can work from home.
How should I apply for sick leave if I have only mild upper respiratory symptoms? (Updated: 15 October 2020)
On 15 October 2020, the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) modified the guidlines for obtaining a sick note (Krankschreibung) in the event that employees are unable to work. Doctors across Germany are now permitted to provide sick notes for up to seven days off work by telephone to patients suffering from minor respiratory infections. This regulation is initially effective until 31 December 2020. The doctor is required to personally assess the patient's condition via a detailed telephone interview. One extension of the sick note via telephone for an additional seven days is permitted.
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.
<p>If you have tested positive for Covid-19, you will not necessarily receive a doctor's note (<em>Krankschreibung</em>) excusing you from work. Doctors are only permitted to issue sick notes if the infected individual also has symptoms. In the event that you are ill and unable to work, the <a class="intern" href="https://www.haw-hamburg.de/beschaeftigtenportal/personal/arbeitszeit-urlaub-krankheit/">notes on what to do in cases of illness provided in the employee portal </a>apply. You must also inform HAW Hamburg of your absence/illness if you are required to quarantine by the health authorities.</p>
<p>If you have been required to quarantine but do not have any symptoms, please submit the letter from the health authorities informing you of the need to quarantine to the Personnel Department. As long as you are not unable to work due to illness, your duty to work remains in place. If this is the case, the work can be completed from home. Alternatively, you can use up overtime or take holiday days. It should be noted that – unlike when you have been issued a sick note – previously approved holidays cannot be reversed.</p>
If you have a high degree of in-person contact with employees and/or students as part of your position, it can make sense to keep a diary of your contacts. In the event of an infection, this makes it possible to trace these contacts and to share the necessary details with the health authorities. What is recorded in the diary is for your use only. Colleagues and supervisors are not permitted to access this information. The keeping of a contact diary is voluntary!
Can I obtain a certificate indicating my child's eligibility for an emergency daycare place? (Updated: 9 November 2020)
Section 24 of the current version of the Hamburg regulations for the containment of SARS-CoV-2, which regulates daycare facilities, lists the following provisions:
- (1) The daycare facilities in the city of Hamburg are open and operating with regular hours. All children are entitled to childcare under the Hamburg law on childcare.
- (2) Children with fever or a cough that is not the result of a chronic illness cannot be cared for in daycare facilities. Children required to quarantine by the health authorities are also not permitted to attend daycare facilities.
- (3) Other hygiene regulations remain unaffected.
- (4) Daycare outings involving overnight stays are prohibited.
Based on the provision in Paragraph 1, it can be assumed that daycare facilities will remain open and operating regularly and that all children will receive childcare. As a result, no special provisions regarding emergency care have been finalised. If the number of cases does lead to the closure of daycare facilities, it can be expected that the necessary provisions will be integrated into the containment regulations. As soon as these are made public, we will assess whether universities are entitled to issue certificates for emergency childcare or whether other areas are to be given priority.
In the spring, the provisions in the containment regulations in effect at the time were different. Daycare facilities were temporarily closed (Section 26). Section 27 regulated emergency childcare and required every daycare facility to provide emergency care. The daycare facilities remained open for parents who were absolutely dependent on childcare. This childcare was made available to those parents whose jobs were essential to maintaining key infrastructure or security (e.g. in the police, fire departments or hospitals). The media reported at the time that there were still free places. The Personnel Department issued the necessary certificates.
If your children are in daycare in another state and that state closes its childcare facilities, please contact the Personnel Department at HAW-Personalservice (@) haw-hamburg.de.
How do I postpone my parental leave if my workload is too heavy as a result of the corona pandemic? (Updated: 20 July 2020)
The federal government has legislated that parents can postpone, interrupt or extend already-approved parental leave if an increased workload so requires. Parents can postpone the months in which they were to receive parental-leave benefits if they are working more than planned as a result of the corona pandemic and have thus exceeded the maximum number of hours that can be worked before losing a share of the benefits or entitlement to the partnership bonus. The increased workload due to the corona situation and the resulting request for a change to the parental leave period must be suggested and confirmed by the supervisor. The supervisor and the employee should contact the Personnel Department to implement the postponement. The postponement can be requested for parental-leave months up until 31 December 2020. Payment of benefits for the postponed months must begin by 30 June 2021 at the latest.
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 email@example.com 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:
The possibility to suspend HVV ProfitTickets expired on 31 August 2020.
As of 1 September there will now be a so-called bring-someone-for-free bonus instead.
NEW - from 1 September 2020 to 31 December 2020
You can now take another person with you during the week (Monday–Friday):
From 11 am onwards you can take one adult and up to three children between the ages of 6 and 14 with you for free in the zone where your ProfTicket is valid. Children under 6 can travel free of charge as always.
You can take another person with you on the weekend (Saturday–Sunday):
Your Profiticket is valid in the entire HVV network (rings A–H). You can take one adult and up to three children between the ages of 6 and 14 with you for free using your ProfiTicket.
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. The extra document with the justification must be included not only with the application for business travel but also with the subsequently submitted travel expenses form. The absence of this justification will negatively impact the insurance coverage and the reimbursement of travel costs.
In the case of business travel abroad, it is also necessary to first consider whether an online format can substitute for travel. If this is not possible, the actual necessity of the travel must be critically assessed. If it is indeed deemed essential, the business travel can be approved, as long as the destination country is not designated a high-risk area. Before departure, the employee must ensure that the country has not been designated a high-risk area in the interim. If it has been designated as such, the employee cannot travel. If the country is declared a high-risk area during the employee's stay, he or she must quarantine at home for 14 days upon return. The quarantine requirement can be lifted following a negative corona test (Section 35, Hamburg regulations for the containment of SARS-CoV-2, version: 23 September 2020). HAW Hamburg requests that you complete this test on the fifth day following your return at the earliest, and only come to the university once you have received a negative result. If you are not tested on the fifth day or later, please do not come to the university for 14 days.
As is the case for domestic business travel, the reasons why the foreign business travel is absolutely essential must be noted on a separate piece of paper accompanying the application for business travel. Again, the extra document with the justification must be included not only with the application but also with the subsequently submitted travel expenses form. The absence of this justification will negatively impact the insurance coverage and the reimbursement of travel costs.