GFZ German research centre for geo sciences

GFZ as an Employer

It's an important concern to the GFZ that its employees find a good balance between their work and their family lives. We believe that ultimately, it must be made possible for each individual to fulfil obligations from both spheres without neglecting either of them.

With this in mind, the GFZ offers its employees flexible working time models and provides places for the children in daycare facilities. In addition, we regularly offer back-to-work positions in the scientific areas.

GFZ employees can structure their working hours flexibly within a specific framework that includes flexitime, teleworking, and various part-time models.

Daily working hours at the GFZ are generally flexible. A working hours framework and core working hours apply. Flexitime allows employees to decide the times they start and finish work themselves to a great extent. A detailed works agreement governs the conditions for working hours.

To facilitate greater flexibility in work and family life employees can make use of mobile working, if the tasks permit this.  With this, the employee is able to work from a mobile work place, e.g. from their desk at home. Further details have been agreed in a works agreement between the Employee Committee and the GFZ.

Along with positions that were originally part-time, all new positions at the GFZ are basically eligible for a part-time option, with few exceptions. Furthermore, the GFZ creates options for employees who already work full-time and who may wish to work part-time. Various part-time models are used for structuring the part-time work in order to be able to take into account the individual wishes of employees.

On "Telegrafenberg" hill, the Geolino daycare facility provides a childcare option for employees of companies in the Albert Einstein Science Park, with places for 44 children from six months up to school age. The GFZ has also procured the option of childcare for 10 of the children of its employees at a daycare facility in Babelsberg, Potsdam.

The provider of both daycare facilities is Hoffbauer gGmbH.

Hier können Sie ein PDF mit dem Flyer zur Kita Geolino herunterladen.

The Hofbauer gGmbH provides information (in German) on their website about the child care facilities Geolino und Hoffkids.

Even scientists sometimes like or need to interrupt their careers with longer family-related breaks (e.g. parental leave). So that they then have the option to return to the science field, the GFZ offers two back-to-work positions annually.

Works Agreement on Returning-to-Work Positions at the GFZ

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum and the Staff Council conclude the following works agreement:

Basic Principle

The GFZ wants to facilitate the return into scientific work for postdoctoral scientists after a family related break (maternity leave, parental leave and periods of caring for a relative normally of at least 12 months, a possible remaining term of less than 6 months on the old contract are disregarded) with a re-entry position of up to 2 years. The return offer is based on a written application process, which takes place once a year. Whether or not a returning-to-work position is granted depends on the quality of the application, the planned scientific programme, and the budgetary situation at the GFZ, as well as the duration of the break.

Application Process

The returning-to-work position will be advertised towards the end of April each year. The applicant and their future line manager can submit their joint application to the human resources department until the 30th June of that year, with the aim that the position can be filled as soon as possible.

The application should contain the following:

  1. A detailed CV including list of publications, certificates and references,
  2. Information on a work schedule for 24 months (3 A4 pages max.),
  3. Information on the weekly working hours,
  4. Statement of the future line manager.

The GFZ equal opportunities officer will be available for advice in advance of the application and will comment on the applications once all have been received.

The chosen candidates are encouraged to support the GFZ actively after the end of the contract and to agree to the appropriate data analysis.

The parent-child office on campus can be made accessible to all GFZ employees who cannot find childcare for the short term or cannot use it due to illness of the child. The office has a fully equipped workspace with a computer and printer, has its own kitchen, a changing room with a shower, a cot and a selection of toys and books for small children up to 3 years of age. The period of use is generally not limited. However, in order to avoid permanent use, only temporary use should be considered as a bridging option until regular childcare has been found or the child is well enough to go back to a daycare facility.

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