Guidelines for a Management Culture Geared to the Compatibility of Work, Family and Private Life at the University of Göttingen (excluding the University Medical Center)

The guidelines for a compatibility-oriented management culture at the University of Göttingen (excluding the University Medical Center ), which aim at the compatibility of academic studies / research / work with family and private life, reflect part of the philosophy of the University. Based on what has already been achieved, they illustrate the long-term strategic orientation of the University's work-family compatibility policy. In this context, the guidelines are to be understood as both an objective and a commitment. With these guidelines, the University strengthens its orientation towards compatibility in all areas and thus concretises its implementation of the charter "Family Life and Academia".

The University of Göttingen has set itself the goal of supporting the compatibility of academic studies / research / work with family and private life and of organising work and study in such a way that they are compatible with family life. In this context, the University is guided by the concept of a life-phase oriented personnel policy, which is oriented towards the different and changing life situations of its employees, with the aim of promoting employability throughout the entire working life, retaining employees and maintaining and increasing the competitiveness of the University. The basic idea of this concept is used for the design of studies and the promotion of early-career talent. The University thus offers its members a reliable perspective, regardless of their different life situations, and promotes equal opportunities.

The University's compatibility policy refers to a wide range of life situations. These include the care of children and caring for relatives, temporal and local restrictions in connection with different household and family constellations as well as health care and continuing education. A particular focus is on supporting the compatibility of academic studies / research / work with family. Family is understood as a social relationship in which people assume responsibility for one another in the long term.

Management accountability and leadership actions play a central role in the implementation of compatibility. With the objective of establishing a compatibility-oriented organisational and management culture, supervisory staff make full use of all the options offered by the legal framework in shaping the compatibility of academic studies / research / work with family and private life, while also taking into account any work-related requirements.

Goals and Target Groups
These guidelines are addressed to supervisory staff at all levels and in all areas of the university: academic studies and teaching, research, promotion of early-career scientists and scholars, administration, technology and science management.
The guidelines help to support individuals with management and supervision responsibilities by allowing compatibility to be part of the everyday working and studying routine. Supervisory staff who are aware of this responsibility cultivate an open dialogue with the people reporting to them and ensure a balance of interests in their area of work. They act as role models and are supported in achieving their own good work-life balance.
All members and employees of the university as a whole contribute to finding and implementing solutions tailored to the needs of the individual, the team, the institution and thus the University.

The objectives of the guidelines are specified below for central fields of action.

For a long time, the University has been offering various forms of flexible working arrangements to respond to the compatibility-related time needs of its members and employees. It will continue to coordinate and expand the existing offers in the sense of a contemporary, life-phase oriented personnel policy. Employees will be offered the opportunity to switch more flexibly between full-time and part-time work during their respective phases of life. Urgent needs and changes in life situations are taken into account promptly.

Family-friendly working culture | Foto/Layout © Angelika Kehlenbach
Supervisory staff are open to innovative forms of work organisation, and enable teleworking and autonomous work within the scope of the assigned tasks. The University is developing adequate support measures (e.g. a floater pool). Supervisory staff work towards limiting extra work and overtime wherever possible and consider normal times for public or private childcare when setting meeting times. A work structure within the team that is oriented toward compatibility requires the balancing of the changing needs of all team members, taking into account the needs of the job. Supervisory
staff integrate compatibility orientation into their day-to-day management activities and thus contribute to a compatibility-oriented cultural change.

The University already uses various measures to make studies more flexible (e.g. part-time courses, flexible processing and submission times for final theses). Together with the faculties, study and examination regulations have been adjusted in order to make them more compatible. Wherever possible, students with compatibility obligations are supported through innovative teaching and learning formats (especially formats that are independent of time and place).
The University uses developments in the field of study and teaching to implement further possibilities for flexibility and to establish them throughout the university. The University sets periods for classes and examinations taking into account school holidays. Lecture and seminar times are largely based on the standard times for public or private childcare.
Those responsible for the degree programmes work to ensure that those with family obligations are given priority when, for example, seminar and laboratory course places are awarded. Appropriate admission procedures are being developed. Teachers, supervisors and counsellors support students with corresponding obligations to complete their studies quickly and make use of the leeway given in the study and examination regulations.
Postcard to advertise the informationportal for studying parents

Schema of the compatibility-oriented leading culture
In personnel recruitment and development, the University is aware of the importance of research and working conditions being geared to compatibility. It continuously improves the corresponding basic conditions in order to promote equal opportunities regarding access to professional and scientific careers as well as in career development. Job advertisements are phrased in such a way that they encourage qualified applicants with compatibility obligations to apply to the University. Care periods (e.g. for childcare, caring for close relatives) are appropriately taken into account in the selection of personnel. A corresponding calculation basis is being developed. In the academic field, relevant times are taken into account in performance assessment (e.g. extended periods for evaluation of junior professorships, granting of performance bonuses) and in the drafting of contracts (e.g. extension options). In this regard, the University follows the standards of the German Research Foundation (DFG). This applies equally
to the areas of technology, administration and science management (e.g. assessment, upgrading, internal promotion).
Supervisory staff shape the promotion of early-career researchers and scholars as well as the qualification and further development of the persons reporting to them in a compatibility-oriented manner. They ensure that the employees have the opportunity to address their concerns regarding the compatibility of research/work with family and private life and, together with them, they develop options for action that take account of work-related requirements.

The University already supports all its members and employees with family-friendly infrastructures. It offers flexible childcare facilities for emergencies and off-peak times and during business trips as well as places in day-care centres. In addition, parent-child rooms and mobile toy boxes as well as childcare during events and holidays are available.

Playroom in the Learning and Study Building
The University continuously optimises and expands its services in line with changing needs. It maintains a close dialogue with the partner institutions of the Göttingen Campus, the City of Göttingen, the District of Göttingen and the organisations responsible for childcare facilities. It promotes the construction of new childcare facilities and provides additional places. Supervisory staff inform their employees about childcare facilities and support their use. Supervisory staff and teachers allow working and studying parents to bring children to the University in
exceptional cases and in compliance with occupational health and safety regulations. The faculties and institutions supplement the University's central offerings with measures that take into account subject-specific work and study conditions.

The University considers compatibility-oriented design of the framework conditions as a cross-sectional task of all administrative areas. The latter provide support through services (e.g. provision of information) and make use of any creative leeway within the framework of legal possibilities in order to create the best possible conditions.
The Family Service is the central information and advice centre for members and employees of the University on questions of compatibility. It supports supervisory staff and institutions in the implementation and further development of compatibility-oriented study, research and working conditions.
The personnel administration advises supervisory staff on the implementation of a personnel policy that takes account of compatibility requirements, including the drafting of contracts (e.g. extension options) and the continuation of professional activities after maternity leave, parental leave and periods of care for relatives.
Wherever possible, compatibility-oriented requirements are taken into account in the further development of regulations and administrative processes. The administrative areas thus contribute to the establishment of a compatibility-oriented organisational structure and culture.

Legal Note

These guidelines were developed under the auspices of the Committee for Gender Equality and Diversity and with the involvement of all employment status and interest groups at the University of Göttingen. They were approved by the Senate on 23.01.2019 and by the Presidential Board of the University on 12.02.2019.
They are supplemented by further documents (e.g. handouts, working aids) which provide legal information and practical recommendations for action on various topics and for different target groups.

Die Universitätsmedizin Göttingen einschließlich der Medizinischen Fakultät (UMG) ist seit 2015 im Rahmen des Audits „berufundfamilie“ zertifiziert.