12.05.2020 | KPMG Law Insights

Compulsory attendance for civil servant teachers

VG Frankfurt a. M.: Presence obligation for civil servant teachers even in the case of less comprehensive hygiene or occupational safety measures – what applies to university teaching?

According to a decision of the Administrative Court of Frankfurt a.M. of May 5, 2020 (Case No. 9 L 1127/20.F), teachers with civil servant status must fulfill their obligation to be present even if no comprehensive hygiene and occupational safety measures are yet available from the authorities. The decision is not yet final at the time of writing.
The complaint was filed by a primary school teacher in Hesse. With its application for summary proceedings, the company wanted to avoid having to comply with its obligation to be present until the hygiene plan and occupational health and safety measures had reached a higher level.
The administrative court did not comply with the request. The employer had a margin of discretion with regard to the design of the contraceptive measures at issue. With the “Corona Hygiene Plan” of April 22, 2020 for the schools in Hesse, the employer had used its discretionary powers with regard to the resumption of school operations. This was not objectionable in view of the current development of the pandemic. Teachers could not expect “zero risk.”
This applies a fortiori with particular regard to the general duty of loyalty under civil service law (cf. Sec. 33 BeamtStG), which is incumbent upon them. In this respect, school operation is part of the provision of public services, so that civil servant teachers have to share the responsibility of the schools towards the students and families.
In addition, the 9th Chamber decided that there was no particular urgency. This is because it cannot be assumed that normal operations with corresponding early care obligations will be resumed by the summer vacations.
With its emergency decision, the administrative court at least set the school attendance obligations of civil servant teachers in times of crisis broadly. These considerations can also be applied to the university teaching sector, at least to some extent. This is because university teachers, at least those who are civil servants, are also subject to the duties of loyalty from the BeamtStG already mentioned in the school context. In the research and teaching sector, however, the academic freedom of university teachers must be considered as a restriction, which already weakens a rigid obligation to be present per se. For the academic (teaching) freedom of the university teacher under Art. 5 para. 3 S. 1 GG also includes the free choice of the content and the (methodical) procedure of his course.
Absolute limit of school and university attendance duties is set also in times of Corona in the provision contained in Art. 33 par. 5 GG (in conjunction with § 45 BeamtStG for state civil servants). In particular, within the framework of the protection of legal interests, the employer must ensure that the civil servant does not incur any special risks to life and health from the performance of his official duties. In other words, even if a claim to “zero-risk” activity is to be rejected, the employer must at least create the basic conditions to avert damage to the civil servants. However, in the opinion of the Administrative Court of Frankfurt a.M., the State of Hesse has sufficiently complied with these basic obligations in the individual case described above.

Explore #more

08.12.2023 | PR Publications

Payout can be risky

In the current issue of Personalwirtschaft from 30.11.2023, there is a guest article by Stefan Middendorf and Gracjan Modrzyk. Some companies are once again…

07.12.2023 | PR Publications

Institutional Money – It’s all in the mix

Institutional Money 04/2023 discusses the opportunities offered by the Neighborhood Fund. The fund is ideal for real estate investors, as it is not limited to

01.12.2023 | PR Publications

WiWo: Best of Legal Awards – Philipp Glock Leader of the Year

On Thursday evening, WirtschaftsWoche honored outstanding projects and minds from consulting firms and law firms in Düsseldorf and celebrated the second Best of Professional Night…

29.11.2023 | KPMG Law Insights

Energy transition also opens up business opportunities

The energy industry’s complex, capital-intensive transformation process offers investors and banks a great deal of potential By Lars Christian Mahler and Marc Goldberg for Börsen-Zeitung,…

29.11.2023 | KPMG Law Insights

Guest article in ZURe – AI and the legal department of tomorrow

The current issue of ZURe (p. 48 ff.) contains a guest article by KPMG Partner Sina Steidel-Küster (Regional Director Southwest, Head of Stuttgart office) and…

29.11.2023 | KPMG Law Insights, KPMG Law Insights

Key Facts about the new draft of the “Data Act

On February 23, 2022, the EU Commission presented the new draft of the so-called Data Act, the “Regulation on harmonized rules for fair access to…

21.11.2023 |

Guest article in ZURe on the implementation of CSRD reporting in SMEs

The current issue of ZURe (p. 34 ff.) contains a guest article by Lena Plato (Director Legal & Compliance, FLABEG Automotive Group GmbH), KPMG Law…

20.11.2023 | Press releases

Statement by KPMG Law experts in Handelsblatt on the topic of sustainability cooperation in antitrust law

In the Handelsblatt, KPMG Law expert Jonas Brueckner is quoted in detail on the subject of cooperation in terms of sustainability. Until this summer, there…

15.11.2023 |

Legal 500 – Country Comparative Guide Germany

Gerrit Rixen and Jonas Brueckner provide an overview of the relevant legal regulations in the area of Competition & Litigation in a practical guide on…

14.11.2023 | Press releases

Tax and Law at a glance – New issue of the digital magazine “Talk

“Talk” stands for Tax and Law Compass, because that’s what the digital magazine wants to be: a navigation aid to the legal and tax aspects…


Julia Hornbostel

Senior Associate

Fuhlentwiete 5
20355 Hamburg

tel: +49 40 3609945162

© 2023 KPMG Law Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, associated with KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, a public limited company under German law and a member of the global KPMG organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a Private English Company Limited by Guarantee. All rights reserved. For more details on the structure of KPMG’s global organisation, please visit

 KPMG International does not provide services to clients. No member firm is authorised to bind or contract KPMG International or any other member firm to any third party, just as KPMG International is not authorised to bind or contract any other member firm.