The reopening of the schools affects your working time
On April 7th 2020, when the Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, presented a gradual reopening of the schools and cancelled this year's final exams, the teachers’ working time was also put on the agenda.
So, what should happen after Easter?
The independent boarding schools have an agreement
For the teachers at the independent boarding schools (efterskoler), basically nothing has changed. The teachers should continue to perform emergency education of the pupils in their homes and should, as far as possible, make sure that the pupils complete the individual subjects. However, it is expected that at some point the tasks for some teachers will change, as the pupils should not take the planned tests and exams. Previously, the Teachers' Union for Danish Independent Schools has – together with the association of independent boarding schools (Efterskoleforeningen) and the leaders of the independent schools – announced a number of common recommendations for possible local agreements about the working time. These recommendations will be discussed again in the light of the new situation.
A new situation for the primary and lower secondary schools
However, for teachers and leaders of preschool classes at the primary and lower secondary schools, the situation is quite different after the press conference on Wednesday and the announcement of a gradual reopening. Now the pupils in preschool classes and all grades up to and including fifth grade should no longer receive emergency education, but should receive education at the school – if the school complies with the health instructions.
This new situation means that the schools must figure out how they can provide education at the school for the youngest pupils and at the same time provide online emergency education for the older pupils. With good reason, the teachers and leaders of preschool classes cannot perform both types of education at the same time.
Thus, it is expected that the primary and lower secondary schools will change their total education plan to make all the plans come together. The central health instructions may also affect the planning. For instance, if the instructions state that the classes should be split up into smaller units, this will have a large impact on the schools’ planning.
The result may be that you as a teacher and leader of preschool classes will be teaching subjects and classes that you normally would not teach. The result may also be that you will be working on a different time schedule.
The schools are allowed to make such changes to the plans. But the changes must, of course, take place in a dialogue with you and your colleagues. This is prescribed by Law 409 and the rules about working hours: All large changes must take place in dialogue with the employees.
At the moment, it is especially important that you register your working hours. The collective agreement still applies. And if it turns out that you have worked more than normal working time at the end of the school year, the extra hours should be paid with a 50% supplement.
Please note that
- The collective agreement still applies.
- You must register your working time – it is even more important now.
- The school can change the planned working time. However, only in a dialogue with you.
- The result of the changes to your working time may be that you will get overtime at the end of the year. Overtime must be paid. However, for that to happen, you must be able to document your working time.
- If you have any questions, please contact your union representative or the Teachers' Union for Danish Independent Schools.