Health and Preventive Care
The task of the Occupational Health Management office is to promote and develop optimal working conditions for employee health. It also develops measures to improve employee motivation and wellbeing for Freie Universität staff. These can include ergonomic improvements to the workplace, physical activity, and healthy working structures.
Some of the key areas where the Occupational Health Management office is active include aging and the workplace, addiction prevention, depression, everyday health, working with colleagues, and annual employee reviews.
You can access more information and find out more about resources (e.g., employer-funded sports courses) available to Freie Universität Berlin employees on the Occupational Health Management website.
+49 (0) 30 838-51273 and -53711
Section 3 of the German Law on Health and Safety at Work (Arbeitsschutzgesetz) defines the tasks of an occupational health service. For Freie Universität Berlin, these tasks are carried out by the Occupational Medicine Center (AMZ) at Charité Berlin. Besides the general tasks that fall under the Occupational Medicine Center’s remit, it is also responsible for advising on questions about occupational health; carrying out workplace inspections and preventive health checks on behalf of employers; prevention and analysis of illnesses and injuries caused by work; organizing and carrying out vaccination programs at the workplace; organizing first aid courses, occupational health training, and other relevant information; participating as an active member of the Health and Safety at Work Committee; working in close collaboration with Occupational Safety officers and experts; carrying out risk assessments and monitoring workplaces; supporting workplaces with phased returns to work or a changed place of employment; staff health checks.
Campus Benjamin Franklin
Haus II (ground level - right-hand side)
Contact (for making an appointment)
+49 (0) 30 450 570 971
Freie Universität`s Social Counseling Service is a voluntary, free counseling service for all university staff and forms part of the Occupational Health Management.
The counseling takes place confidentially, and they take data protection extremely seriously. Counseling is tailored to the specific needs of the employee, which are discussed and identified during an initial meeting. The goal is to support any member of staff who needs help for personal or work-related reasons. The Social Counseling service offers individual, employee-oriented support to find solutions for problematic situations, to help with decision-making, and to take action to change their situation where necessary.
You can find more information on the University Social Counseling website.
+ 49 (0)30 838 66913
Any employee at the university who has been absent due to sickness or injury for more than six consecutive weeks in any one year, or who has been repeatedly absent from work due to sickness on at least 42 calendar days, can seek help under the university’s Phased Return to Work program.
You can choose to attend a counseling session to talk about possible reasons for your incapacity, which may be work-related and/or have to do with personal circumstances. The aim is to find solutions and put measures in place to support you in your planned return to work and reintegration into the workplace, alongside helping you make changes in your life to support your wellbeing. You can find more information about the Phased Return to Work program and FAQs on the BEM website.
The BEM office will also be happy to help you with any further questions you may have.
BEM (Betriebliches Eingliederungsmanagement)
+49 (0)30 838 66913
(0)30 838 55505
- Phased Return to Work Program
- More information on the phased return to work programm in the staff circular Personalblatt 01/2017 (in German)
A peer counseling service (SozAP) is available for any member of staff seeking advice on problems and conflict situations. The counselors at SozAP are volunteers who work independently of other services and departments in the university. Any information passed to them in the course of the counseling sessions is treated confidentially.
The peer counseling sessions offer a safe space where you can discuss possible solutions tailored to your specific situation.
The SozAP counselors are trained in communication and conflict resolution strategies and in recognizing common mental health issues and psychological disorders.
Their training covers a wide range of topics including problems that can arise at the workplace such as bullying, burn-out, or sexual harassment; family problems; depression; psychological problems, such as eating disorders, anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders; addiction; suicide; death and bereavement.
Please note: Although they are trained in counseling, the SozAP counselors are not psychotherapists and do not offer therapy. Their role is that of active listeners. If, in their view, the person seeking help requires more expert support (e.g., referral to medical experts or psychiatric help), their role is also to assist in accessing this support.
+49 (0)30 838 54808
+49 (0)30 838 53351
You can find further information here.
There are many different types of dependency, but no matter what form an addiction takes, it’s always extremely difficult to break. Not only the addicted person suffers, but often also their family, friends, and colleagues. Employees at Freie Universität who are directly or indirectly affected by addiction can get help from trained colleagues. This peer support is offered in the form of individual sessions where the advisor works together with the affected person to find a way out of their difficulties. Advisors can also signpost the way to other organizations if required. All staff at Freie Universität can access the service, whether they are dealing with their own addiction or with addiction in a family member, colleague, or friend.
c/o IIC Zentraler Einkauf
030 838 - 56888
c/o Technische Abteilung
Rüdesheimer Str. 54-56
030 838 -66888
More information is available on the Occupational Health Managent website.
Every semester, the University Sports Center offers an extensive program of activities. Employees of Freie Universität can register for activities at a reduced price. UniSport currently offers over 120 different sports and as many as 800 sessions each semester.
It’s easy to sign up – just complete the online form. Please note that for some courses early booking is recommended as participant numbers are limited.
“Pausenexpress” – The Active Break at Work
“Pausenexpress” is a special program designed for employees at Freie Universität Berlin. Small groups (4–8 people) can book their session for a specific time each week. The instructor will come directly to your workplace with a 15-minute program to help staff get moving, strengthen and tone muscles, stretch out any tension, and relax. The exercises specifically target the shoulder, neck, and back, thus combating typical forms of physical stress associated with office work. The 15-week course, which is intended to help employees stay healthy at work, runs twice a year and is offered by UniSport. You don’t need to change your outfit or buy any special equipment. Just turn up, get active, and forget about work for 15 minutes so that you can return to your desk refreshed and energized.
“Pausenexpress” is supported by Freie Universität’s management and is free of charge when booked through the University Sports Center.
Health for All
As part of its mission to promote health for all, the University Sports Center works in partnership with Freie Universität’s Occupational Health Management to provide courses for gentle physical exercise and relaxation.
These courses are suitable for everyone, but especially staff who are new to exercise or haven’t exercised for a long time, and want to become more active and/or learn new strategies for staying healthy.
You will have to pay a fee to take part in the courses. Legally, however, partial funding may be available for employees of Freie Universität through health insurance companies or employers. If your health insurance company does not reimburse the course fees or only partially reimburses them in spite of proven regular attendance, Freie Universität can cover the costs of up to two courses per year in full or in part upon application.
VBL Pension Scheme
All university employees who are liable to pay statutory insurance contributions will also be enrolled by Freie Universität Berlin in an additional occupational pension scheme. This supplementary pension scheme is provided by the public sector insurer VBL. Eligible employees are initially automatically enrolled in the “VBLklassik” scheme. You can find details of the scheme and its benefits on the VBL website (www.vbl.de).
The website also tells you where to get advice on what scheme is right for you, and provides information on how you can add to your occupational pension through fully funded pension contributions on a voluntary basis.
Note for researchers and academic staff:
As of January 1, 2003, academic employees at universities or research institutes who are on a fixed-term contract lasting five years or less, and who have not yet accrued any benefits under a supplementary pension scheme for periods in which they were liable for mandatory insurance contributions, can apply for exemption from automatic enrollment in the VBLklassik scheme.
The exemption application must be submitted within two months of the beginning of the employment contract (cf. Section 28 of the VBL Articles of Association). On timely receipt of the application, and given that the employee is eligible for exemption, they will be enrolled in a voluntary insurance scheme with VBL that operates on a points system. Under this scheme, only the employer pays contributions for the duration of the employment contract.