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Waiting Period

The waiting period is a legally determined period, in which certain employee rights do not yet take effect. Depending on the context, the definition of a waiting period results from different legal sources, including various laws, the employment contract, and the collective agreement.

Some relevant examples for student assistants are:

  • Six-month waiting period till entitlement to full legally mandated minimum vacation days (§ 4 Bundesurlaubsgesetz [BurlG])
  • Six-month waiting period to take advantage of educational leave (§ 3 Bildungsurlaubsgesetz des Landes Berlin [BiUrlG Berlin])
  • Four-week uninterrupted waiting period till entitlement to paid sick leave (§ 3 Entgeltfortzahlungsgesetz [EntgFG])

After these periods have expired, the corresponding claim under labor law shall become effective in full.

-> See also: Educational Leave, Collective Agreement, Vacation

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Work Exemption

-> Paid Leave

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Working Hours (Section 5 TV Stud III, Circular from Human Resources)

The average monthly working hours are stated in the employment contract. They may not be less than 40 nor exceed 80 hours per month. Working hours are formally distributed across a 6-day week (only from 6 to 13:00 on Saturday). They can be distributed across fewer days if there are set work days or work is not conducted on a Saturday.

Pursuant to Section 3 of the Working Hours Act, daily working hours may not exceed eight hours. In exceptional cases, a ten-hour work day is permitted, as long as an average of 8 hours per day are worked within a period lasting 6 calendar months or 24 weeks.

The average daily working hours in the month is determined on the basis of the number of working days to be worked in the month. The basic formula used to calculate this is “number of hours to be worked per month / number of working days in the month”. Calendars often show the number of working days on the basis of a 5-day week. For a 6-day week, the number of Sundays must be calculated and subtracted from the number of days in the month. In case of doubt, simply counting the days helps.

Time spent preparing for and following up on teaching activities is included in the working hours of student assistants with teaching responsibilities. The minute notes of Section 5 TV Stud III detail what exactly is included in teaching responsibilities. You can request the collective wage agreement from us.

Sometimes it can be useful to calculate the working hours across multiple days, even if this does not reflect the actual situation and is not legal. To do so, first calculate the number of working days in the year. Taking leap years into account, each year has an average of 365.25 days and every month 30.44 days. 30.44 days/month divided by 7 days equals 4.35 weeks/month.

Depending on the number of hours in the contract (40, 41, 60, or 80 hours per month), this comes out to 480, 492, 720, or 960 hours respectively per year.

A 5-day work week results in (if e.g. Saturdays are always an off day):

104 days (52 Saturdays and 52 Sundays) are subtracted from 365.25 calendar days: 365.25 days - 104 days = 261.25 working days

These average working hours per day are distributed across the 5-day week:

  • 40-hour contract: 480/261.25 = 1.84 hrs. (110 min.) per day = 9.20 hrs. per week
  • 41-hour contract: 492/261.25 = 1.88 hrs. (113 min.) per day = 9.42 hrs. per week
  • 60-hour contract: 720/261.25 = 2.76 hrs. (166 min.) per day = 13.78 hrs. per week
  • 80-hour contract: 960/261.25 = 3.67 hrs. (220 min.) per day = 18.37 hrs. per week

This is the foundation for recalculating the annual vacation leave of 30 working days as working hours:

  • For 40-hour contracts: 30 vacation days x 1.84 working hours/day = 55.20 vacation hours
  • For 41-hour contracts: 30 vacation days x 1.88 working hours/day = 56.40 vacation hours
  • For 60-hour contracts: 30 vacation days x 2.76 working hours/day = 82.80 vacation hours
  • For 80-hour contracts: 30 vacation days x 3.67 working hours/day = 110.10 vacation hours

A 6-day week results in:

365.25 days - 52 Sundays = 313.25 working days (Monday - Saturday). These are distributed across the working days:

  • 40-hour contract: 480/313.25 = 1.53 hrs. (92 min.) per day = 9.20 hrs. per week
  • 41-hour contract: 492/313.25 = 1.57 hrs. (94 min.) per day = 9.43 hrs. per week
  • 60-hour contract: 720/313.25 = 2.30 hrs. (138 min.) per day = 13.80 hrs. per week
  • 80-hour contract: 960 hrs./313.25 days = 3.07 hrs. (184 min.) per day = 18.40 hrs. per week

Using these base values as a foundation, annual vacation leave of 36 days for a 6-day week translates to:

  • 40-hour contracts: 36 vacation days x 1.53 working hours/day = 55.08 vacation hours
  • 41-hour contracts: 36 vacation days x 1.57 working hours/day = 56.52 vacation hours
  • 60-hour contracts: 36 vacation days x 2.30 working hours/day = 82.80 vacation hours
  • 80-hour contracts: 36 vacation days x 3.07 working hours/day = 110.52 vacation hours

We recommend, however, the calculation of the daily working hours using the working days per month (monthly working hours/actual working days in this month = average daily working hours).

Thus, it is worth precisely noting how many hours you work to avoid any unpaid overtime. The most important thing is that you complete the monthly working hours; how you distribute these hours is not important.

-> See also: Paid Leave, Vacation, Saturday/Sunday and Night Work

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Workplace Safety

There are numerous workplaces at TU Berlin where employees are subject to particular health strains, such as in the chemistry, mechanical engineering, or computer science departments. Thus, there are a number of ordinances and guidelines which aim to minimize any strain. For example, the “Information Technology” collective wage agreement stipulates that pregnant individuals should not work on monitors and that employees are to be guaranteed a 10-minute break after 50 minutes of monitor work [quick access: 17869]. Accident prevention regulations regulate body protection (gloves, safety glasses, etc.).

Should you notice anything in the workplace or like further information, please contact us. If necessary, we will contact the Medical Service, safety engineers, or environmental protection officers.

-> See also: Break

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