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Incapacity to work

Reintegration in everyday work life

The main task of BEM is the reintegration of employees after a prolonged phase of illness or a period of incapacity. Within this process, the employees will attend counseling sessions which will gradually be decreased as they slowly have more working hours at the university. The overview of the reintegration phases is as follows:

Continued remuneration: In the event of incapacity to work, the Continuation of Remuneration Act applies (source). This regulates the payment of remuneration to 6 weeks after the start of work incapacity.

For further information on company integration management, see the PDF.

Have a talk about returning to work

Reintegration into working life

Regardless of how long the sickness absence was, the Human Resources Department recommends having a talk about returning to work. By doing that, you are aware of the responsibility and fiduciary duties. You also take out the “fear” of conversation, and the talks would be a part of the normal work routine. Employees who were long absent due to illness and plan on reintegrating back to their work will be facilitated through such talks. Furthermore, an opportunity will be given to match the needs of both sides. In this way employees can discuss tasks which they are confident they can achieve, for example. It makes sense to gradually increase the workload after a prolonged illness. Here, a manager should make sure that he/she is not being overprotective. It is important that an interaction based on trust is the basis of joint work so that reintegration is not delayed. Above all, at all costs the supervisor should avoid making remarks such as “Well the disease was not that bad now, was it?” or “There have been others who worked with such a condition.” The talks are primarily about motivation and confidence building, not about hidden control.

Topics for a supervisor during a motivational interview after a prolonged illness of an employee

  • Prepare the concept of the interview, no interruptions (telephone)
  • Create a trusting relationship. Statement: “We have missed you and are happy that you are back.”
  • Plan enough time so that the employee feels safe and opens up to you.
  • Make it casual as to not build or put pressure on them.
  • People: employee, line manager
  • In a closed room
  • Have the interview if possible on the first day of work or at least the first week after their return to the office, not just in passing.
  • Ask them about their physical well-being.
  • Let him tell you in detail because then you can see the level of the current workload and also their attitude towards reentering the workplace.
  • Inform them about the development that has been made during their absence and wish them a pleasant start.
  • Conclude the result of the interview.
  • The interview results are aimed to increase the motivation of the employees. 

Working barrier-free

Support for employees with disabilities

People with disabilities or severe health problems can find it difficult to work during their work day, at home as well as in commuting. They often require a lot of strength, energy and motivation for activities that are not seen as hard for a person without disabilities. TU Ilmenau therefore pursues the task of supporting employees with disabilities or severe health problems in their work. For this purpose, conditions have been created to facilitiate access to jobs or make jobs flexible. A step in this direction is the integrated agreement framework regarding the employment of severely disabled or equivalent people with disabilities, which was adopted in 2002 by the Thuringian Ministry of Education.

The TU Ilmenau has integrated the following (contents of the agreement):

  • There are special regulations for application and recruitment processes.
  • Jobs are accessible for handicapped people. In other cases, an integration team will be commisioned.
  • Free parking spaces for the disabled are provided.
  • Severely disable people are supported particularly with regards to their professional skills development.
  • Certain restrictions due to their disabilities are made when it comes to assessing their work.
  • Employees can organize their working schedule freely so that it suits their health needs, for example by teleworking.
  • In the event of problems arising from the employment itself, representatives of the severely handicapped and staff council will advise in order to find a solution as early as possible.
  • Female contact persons for female employees take part in special training.

 The detailed framework integration agreement can be found here.

Opening hours of Integration Service

The Integration Service (IFD) offers office hours for severely disabled people, their families and local employers.

The duties of IFD include counselling, monitoring and securing the employment of people with severe disabilities and offers advice on funding opportunities.

Those who are interested are invited on the following dates:

The office hours are given on a Thursday in the month from 2 pm to 5 pm at Frauen- und Familienzentrum in the “Old Forestry” in Ilmenau, August-Bebel-Straße 2 (right at the bus stop “Wetzlarer Plat” and close to the main train station in Ilmenau).


  • 9th October 2014
  • 13th November 2014
  • 11th December 2014
  • 8th January 2015
  • 12th February 2015
  • 12th March 2015

To register in advance, call 03681/457713.

The counselling is subject to confidentiality and free of charge.

More programs and information can be found here. Link