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FAQs to assist severely disabled staff

Together with Human Resources and the Office of Staff with Disabilities we have compiled FAQs to assist severely disabled staff. Please contact us if you have any questions.


Additional leave: Does additional leave always have to be granted? What if my tutorials or other important duties are scheduled during this time?

Your legal right to additional leave remains valid and must be granted. Management should plan internal workflows in advance so that they are not disrupted by your absence, e.g. scheduling others to fill in. Tutors are to take additional leave, just as their regular annual leave, during the lecture-free period whenever possible. If this is not possible, please contact the SBV.


Additional leave: If another student employee can fill in for me, can I be required to work extra hours?

Additional leave can be planned. As such, management cannot automatically require you to work extra hours as this is only permitted in the event of unforeseen need. Work must be organized and scheduled appropriately in advance. Speak with your supervisor about how work can be distributed differently.


Who can I contact if I have special needs regarding office equipment or materials? What happens in the meantime before the materials are delivered and I cannot work at my previous desk/office?

Please refer to the question about resources. Your employer is responsible for ensuring your workplace is equipped with ergonomic work materials. You can arrange an appointment with the Medical Service to test equipment, such as office chairs. If you are unable to work, you can, for example, arrange with your manager an alternative solution for the transition period, e.g. reduced working time or assignment of other tasks taking into consideration the unsuitable circumstances.


Who may I/am I required to inform about my severe disability? When do I have to disclose it?

It is illegal for a potential employer to inquire about a severe disability during the hiring process if the disability is not related to the work you are required to do. If this is happens, you are not required to answer truthfully. If, however, there are reasonable grounds for this question, e.g. to determine whether your health permits you to carry out the work, the potential employer may ask and you must answer truthfully.

If you have not disclosed your severe disability, you cannot make use any associated rights later on. At the very latest it may make sense to disclose your disability when signing the contract. If your contract is terminated by your employer, you have three weeks to disclose your severe disability to your employer to take advantage of special termination protection. After the trial period (3 months pursuant to TVStudIII), the employer is permitted to inquire about a severe disability. If you falsely deny the existence of a severe disability, you are unable to later benefit from special termination protection should your contract be terminated. Your personnel team should be notified of your severe disability even if it has not yet been confirmed (official paperwork submitted but not yet processed). Once your severe disability has been disclosed, the Office of Staff with Disabilities can be included, for instance, as early as the selection process. You are not required to inform your direct supervisor of your disability. However, for the benefit of your working relationship, we recommend sharing this information. Most important, however, is that you inform your personnel team.


Which resources can I request/expect for my disability?

Your place of work is required to provide you with an ergonomic work space. If you require other resources, you must independently request these from the Integration Office or pension insurer. The Office of Staff with Disabilities is happy to assist you with this.

The following regulations apply:

For employees with a waiting period of 15 years or who receive a pension due to (partially) reduced earning capacity, the pension insurer is responsible (see Section 16 GSB VI in combination with Section 49 SGB IX). The pension insurer also grants benefits for participation in working life if, without these benefits, a pension due to reduced earning capacity would have to be paid or if they are necessary immediately afterwards to successfully secure medical rehabilitation.

Since one of the aims of pension insurance rehabilitation is to avert or postpone retirement due to reduced earning capacity ("rehabilitation before retirement"), younger insured persons can also receive benefits for participation in working life without fulfilling the 15-year waiting period (Section 11 (2a) SGB VI).

The Integration Office/Inclusion Office as an authority is always secondary to the rehabilitation agencies and only provides services in the case of a recognized severe disability or the equivalent.
Which service provider is responsible ultimately depends on the social laws, the cause of disability (e.g. occupational accident) and the individual insurance periods.

In summary:

  • The pension insurer assumes the cost if you have worked more than 15 years.
  • The employment agency assumes the cost for everyone who has worked less than 15 years.
  • The Integration Office provides the employer with funds to organize an accessible work space for an employee with a severe disability.
  • Statutory accident insurance is responsible if you require aid or resources after an accident or work-related illness.
  • The Social Welfare Office can assume costs if no other office is responsible.


Are there special regulations for severely disabled employees in light of the current coronavirus situation while employees are required to work from home? For instance, if I do not have the necessary resources to work from home?

Current regulations permit you to make arrangements with your supervisor to have your workload reduced or be granted paid leave. Any tasks that can be completed, should be (e.g. if web conferencing is possible, etc.)

For further information please contact us or the Office of Staff with Disabilities.



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