Coronavirus - Important Information for Staff

On this page, all employees of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences will find a summary of the most important information about coronavirus.

 

Current ordinances and frameworks 

Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of North-Rhine Westfalia:

 

Rhine-Waal-University of Applied Sciences:

 

Covid-19 rapid antigen tests available at both campus locations (25 March 2022)

Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences offers employees at its campuses Corona self-testing under supervision. According to the current legal situation, there is a reduced employer testing obligation. For this reason, testing is possible as follows from Monday, 28 March 2022:

Testing in Kleve, main lecture hall (foyer): Mondays: 07:00 - 10:00
Testing in Kamp-Lintfort, building 4 (bistro): Mondays: 07:00 - 10:00

Test results are available after approx. 20 minutes and confirmed in writing. Waiting times will vary.

For questions, please contact the Occupational Safety team at arbeitssicherheit@hochschule-rhein-waal.de.

 

3G status of employees (24 November 2021)

On 18 November 2021, the Bundestag amended the Infection Prevention Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz) to include a wide range of new provisions that apply to all German states. The new law, which enters into force today, 24 November 2021, introduces a catalogue of measures intended to fight the coronavirus pandemic with immediate effect.

One significant change concerns the 3G/GGG rule (vaccinated, recovered, tested). Employers are now obligated by law to verify the 3G status of employees. If employees refuse to provide 3G proof, they must expect consequences under labor law.

Additionally, employers are obligated once again to offer office employees (or those with comparable work) work-from-home options. In particular, employers must offer the option to work from home to all employees who do not have an “essential, work-related reason” for being in the workplace. In the context of HSRW, this applies to all office employees without service obligations on campus. The Executive Board has decided that, in cases of doubt, line managers will decide whether a particular employee qualifies for an exception to this rule.

3G verification concept of the Rhine-Waal-University of Applied Sciences (24 November 2021)
Coronavirus protection ordinance (Coronaschutzverordnung, in German, 24 November 2021)

 

Information for employees returning from holiday (updated 8 July 2021)

The Ministry of Health has introduced new guidelines for employees returning from holidays in response to the sharp increase in travel (local, regional and international) in summer months. As holiday travelers generally come into contact with more people and from a wider area than usual, all employees returning from holiday travel will be required to do a coronavirus test before returning to the workplace. This testing requirement (generally) does not apply to work-related travel and employees otherwise working from home.

Refer to the following info sheet (in German) for more information: LINK.

 

The importance of self-care during the coronavirus pandemic

In our current situation in particular, many of us must learn how to deal with our own fears and anxiety. Stressful situations can cause stress reactions in our body, for example elevated heart rates, restlessness or insomnia. Taking care of yourself and your health is more important than ever. This includes respecting your own inner feelings and striving for a healthy lifestyle.

We have gathered a few thoughts for you below that will hopefully help you better manage the mental stresses caused by the coronavirus crisis. You can find the document here

 

Core staffing measures

Emergency measures were implemented at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences early into the coronavirus outbreak in Germany in order to protect the health and safety students and staff. For staff, this also meant a shift to a flexible range of telework options. This decision was made by the Executive Board on 17 March 2020 and was valid through 19 April 2020.

From 20 April onwards Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences will begin a careful shift from emergency staffing measures to core staffing measures. However, on-campus presence should still be kept to a minimum. Nevertheless, we must begin to enable greater access to office spaces, laboratories and university equipment in order to implement new distance learning concepts, for research and in order to ensure a successful semester. All university-related events and gatherings of people, whether external or internal, indoors or outdoors and regardless of the number of participants, remain cancelled until further notice. Recommended hygiene precautions should continue to be followed as well.

The heads of the faculties, departments, staff units and central facilities should re-organise their staff and areas in ways that ensure that tasks and duties can be performed largely through telework and that services remain available as best they can.

Staff members are only permitted to remain on campus if their presence is essential for maintaining operations. At the same time, all university-related events or gatherings, whether external or internal, regardless of the number of participants or whether they occur indoors or outdoors, are hereby cancelled. Please continue to follow the recommended hygiene precautions of the Robert Koch Institute and World Health Organization.

 

Staffing Measures

Emergency staffing measures will be instituted on Thursday.

The heads of the faculties, departments, staff units and central facilities are asked to re-organise their staff and activities such that all tasks and duties can be performed and as many services offered as possible through telework.

The president and chancellor, together with the staff councils, have decided to expand official work times to 06:00 - 21:00 (for civil servants from 06:30) until 19 April 2020.

All staff members have until 19 March 2020 to visit their offices and gather the materials they will need for telework.

Staff members, student assistants and apprentices who in positions not suited to telework will be released from their duties at full pay for a period of up to 6 weeks. The German government is currently in talks to determine how to best deal with the ongoing situation in general and beyond this 6 week period. Later measures and decisions will naturally apply to the aforementioned staff groups as appropriate.

The personnel department will remain available from Thursday onwards via this email address:
personalservice@hochschule-rhein-waal.de as well as via post.

 

How to make telecommuting work

Many HSRW employees are currently working remotely, or telecommuting. For many, this is a new and challenging experience.

With just a few simple steps, however, you can make your telecommuting experience more effective. Start with a dedicated office space and stick to a daily routine. You should try to simulate a “normal day at the office” as best as possible. Start working at your usual time and create a daily plan for how you want to manage your tasks for the day. Take regular breaks, making sure to stand up and move around, and think up an “evening ritual” to clock out, wind down and disconnect your thoughts from work for the rest of the day.

These tips are easy to implement and will really help you work more effectively from home. Read on for additional tips and ideas for telecommuters! You can also read the exciting interview with psychologist Pia Weigelt-Lindemann on the subject of how to make telecommuting work and self-care. 

General tips for healthy telecommuting:

1. Stand up when you use the telephone.

2. Move about frequently.

3. Stand up to stretch multiple times a day. Stand behind your chair and stretch your arms up to
    the ceiling, then down to the ground.

4. Open the windows and let in plenty of fresh air, even when it’s cold out.

5. Drink plenty of water, at least 1.5-2 L a day.

6. Use your lunch break to stand up and move around.

Workspace ergonomics:

An ergonomic workspace promotes good health and creates a workspace you enjoy spending time in. You can ensure a healthy, ergonomic workspace by rearranging your desk, computer and chair in certain ways. Good workspace conditions are always important, but often an afterthought when working from home. For more information, please see this pdf

Nutrition:

Telecommuting can also bring nutritional challenges for employees as well. Our health management team (BGM) would like to pass on a few tips on eating healthy while working from home with this helpful pdf

Exercise:

With just a few simple exercises each day you can stay fit while working from home and feel better, too. In fact, regular exercise is absolutely vital to a healthy body. Exercise not only improves your cardiovascular and circulatory systems, but is also proven to help reduce blood sugar levels, relax strained and cramped muscles, and promotes weight loss. Look for opportunities to move around and be active during the day. Try using your bicycle to run errands instead of your car, for example. There are countless ways to be active while working from home if you consciously think about it throughout the day.

But we’re here to help, too. HSRW’s own Aktive Pause for employees is currently available in video form. You’ll also find a new yoga video each week at this link as well.

Medical advice:

Our occupational medical service offered through PIMA Health Group has set up a medical hotline for all questions related to the coronavirus pandemic which puts you in touch with a doctor directly. The number is +49-6134-5006-200 and is available to all employees of Rhine-Waal University during these hours:

Mondays to Thursdays, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Other helpful links (in German only):

Information on accident insurance while working from home from the German Social Accident Insurance Association (DGUV)

Tips for telecommuting parents from the DGUV

Healthy working tips for telecommuters from the DGUV