DESY offers various working time models which adequately integrate the operational requirements and the desire of the individual employee to arrange as far as possible working hours according to personal needs.

The core working hours are as follows: Mon. – Thu. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (incl. 30 minutes lunch break) and Fr. from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (incl. 30 minutes lunch break). A full-time employment has 39 working hours.

In addition, DESY offers the following working time models:
The model of flexible working time is not agreed individually but with a whole group or subgroup. The participating employees may start daily work between 6:30 and 9 a.m. and end work between 3 and 7 p.m., on Fridays between 1:30 and 7 p.m. 

  • Telework is increasingly in demand. Alternating telework is agreed on a temporary basis (maximum two years). However, a substantial amount of working time should be spent at the research institute.
  • Trust-based working is also possible outside standard and flexitime working hours. Normally, trust-based working is done in the scientific and leadership functions sector.
  • Rotating shifts: in the accelerator sector, more than a quarter of the employees (> 100) work in rotating shifts for many years (or even decades). This means that they do rotating shifts 11 weeks a year (i.e. 77 shifts, shift model D), with a flat-fee remuneration. In addition, there are many employees doing shift work to a limited extent.
  • Part-time employment or reduction of working-time. At DESY, this model is practised in many different variations. 14 per cent of the 2120 employees (as of July 2013, without doctoral students) make use of this model; 32 per cent women and 7.4 per cent men. The part-time employment also includes employed doctoral students and student assistants: Doctoral students are generally employed on a 50 per cent basis; their quota is 7 per cent of all staff. DESY employs 62 student assistants (2.7 percent of all staff). Most of them work considerably less time than the allowed maximum of 20 hours per week.


Other working time models are:

  • Parental leave: up to three years per child – complete time off from work or part time work possible.
  • Partial retirement: reduction of the previous working time to 50 per cent for a period of up to five years before reaching retirement age.
  • Family care leave: time off from work or part time work possible for a period of up to six month, to care for dependent close relatives.
  • Short-term exemptions when needed / extension of flexitime and telework: e.g. when, in a case of emergency, it is necessary to care for ill family members (e.g. start work in the early afternoon, thus being able to share the care for an ill child with the partner, or short-term working at home (in case telework is possible in terms of work organization). In some cases, and in accordance with the group leader, these exemptions are already being realised today.
  • Meeting free hours / days: The meeting organisers should take into consideration aspects like compulsory participation, location-bound factors (video or telephone conference) (free) periods of time and frequency.


For a better compatibility of work and family, additional possibilities regarding flexibility on working hours are currently being explored.

Additional links
application/pdf Flexible working time models at DESY with explanatory notes (337KB)
Flexible working time models at DESY with explanatory notes (in German)