On 19 January 2021, the German government and the federal states agreed on further measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which will also directly affect work at Goethe University. With this advance notification, the Executive Board informs you about the resulting, binding new regulations on working from home. However, the exact implementation regulations for the adopted measures will only be determined in the coming days with the amendment of the Corona Contact and Workplace Restriction Ordinance of the State of Hesse and the Coronavirus Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

However, the Executive Board is already calling on all those responsible at Goethe University to specifically check the application of the regulations on working from home in their areas of responsibility in advance and, if necessary, to apply them directly.

For assistance, the announced key points of the resolution on working from home are as follows:

Excerpt from the results of the video conference of the Federal Chancellor with the heads of government of the federal states on 19 January 2021

„In view of the pandemic situation, it is also necessary to further reduce epidemiologically relevant contacts in the work context. To this end, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will issue an ordinance, limited in time until 15 March 2021, according to which employers must allow employees to work in a home office wherever possible, provided their work activities allow it. This will reduce contacts at the workplace as well as on the way to work. The Federal Chancellor and heads of government of the federal states ask workers to take advantage of the offer. Where workplace presence is still required, occupancy of confined space work areas must continue to be reduced as part of the implementation of the COVID19 occupational health and safety standards, or medical masks provided by the employer must be used if sufficient distances cannot be ensured.“

Labour Minister Hubertus Heil is preparing a corresponding Coronavirus Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance, which will initially be limited until 15 March 2021.

Pre-announced key points of the coronavirus regulation:

  • If the incidence value of 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded within seven days, employers must offer employees who carry out office work or comparable activities to conduct these activities from home (home office) unless there are compelling operational reasons to the contrary.
  • If working from home is not possible, strict distance rules should apply.
  • If several people use one office, there must be at least ten square metres of space for each person.
  • If the distance rules or room occupancy requirements cannot be met, the employer is obliged to provide medical face masks – which workers must then wear.