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WEATHER

Easter holiday weather: What can Germany expect?

After a blast of warm weather, spring weather has taken a turn for the worst in recent days. But there’s good news as we move into Easter week.

Easter holiday weather: What can Germany expect?
Photo: DPA

This is a German language-learner article. Vocabulary words have been italicized.

With many states in Germany starting their school holidays on Monday, the weather outlook at first appears to be a bit disappointing.

On Friday and Saturday forecasters from the German Weather Service (DWD) said that very cool air had come into the country leading to low digits across Deutschland.

With highs of around 8C in Berlin (and lows of 2C), while in western Germany the temperature will struggle to get above 4C, it's not the best start to spring.

It's all the more disappointing after last weekend's flurry of sunshine that pushed temperatures over 20C in some places.

SEE ALSO: Seven signs that spring has arrived in Germany

Forecasters said there could even be some sleet and frost in the early hours of Saturday, particularly in mountain regions.

“In regions with dense cloud cover at night, however, the risk of frost and therefore also the risk of icy conditions is low,” added DWD expert Sebastian Schappert on Friday.

Good news ahead

However, over the course of next week the cool air shifts its focus to western Russia, which means milder air will gradually spread over Germany, allowing spring to make its comeback.

Forecasters predict that on Good Friday temperatures could reach above 20C in some parts of the country.

The highest temperatures are expected in the Rhineland area (forecasters predict 22C). In other areas it will be between 17 and 19C.

However, at the North Sea and Baltic Sea it will probably feel a little fresher, with highs of about 14C.

Over the long Easter weekend, which lasts through Monday, April 22nd, the best weather is expected to be in the northern half of the country, which will have dry and sunny spells.

Over the course of next weekend, it could be changeable in the west and southwest of Germany so keep an eye out for weather forecasts nearer the time to get a better picture of the scenario.

Best to bring your Übergangsjacke (in-between-seasons-jacket) if you're talking part in an outdoor Easter egg hunt, just in case.

SEE ALSO: German word of the day: Übergangsjacke

Vocabulary

Very cool air – sehr kühle Luft

Changeable – Wechselhaft

Easter – Ostern

Good Friday – Karfreitag

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Do you have any suggestions? Let us know.

 

 

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READER QUESTIONS

Reader question: Is it ever too hot to work from home in Germany?

Germany has regulations on working during a heatwave - but does that also apply to people who work remotely? We take a look.

Reader question: Is it ever too hot to work from home in Germany?

The number of people working from home shot up during the Covid pandemic, and though employees no longer have the right to work remotely by law, many have chosen to stick with more flexible arrangements and set up a home office at least part of the week.

This is great news for people who enjoy a lie-in more than a long commute, but there are some downsides. One major issue is that it’s not always clear how Germany’s strict employee protection rules actually apply in a home setting. The rules for working during a heatwave are a good example of this.

How does Germany regulate working in extreme heat? 

By law in Germany, employers are responsible for creating a safe environment for their workers. This means that they should try and keep the temperature below 26C at all times and are legally obliged to take action if the temperature goes above 30C. 

That could include putting blinds on the windows to prevent the glare of the sun, installing air conditioning systems or purchasing fans. In some cases – such as outdoor manual labour – it could also involve starting and finishing earlier in the day. 

And in really high temperatures, employers may simply decide to call the whole thing off and give their employees a ‘hitzefrei’ day – basically a heat-induced day off – to go and cool down in a lake. However, business owners are generally given free rein to decide how hot is too hot in this instance (except in the case of vulnerable workers). 

READ ALSO: Hitzefrei: Is it ever legally too hot to go to work or school in Germany?

Do the heat rules apply to ‘home office?’

Unfortunately not. In most cases in Germany, the company isn’t directly involved in setting up the workspace for an employee that works from home, aside from possibly providing a laptop or phone for remote use. 

“The occupational health and safety regulations regarding room temperature do not apply in this case,” labour law expert Meike Brecklinghaus told German business publication T3N. “This is because the employer does not have direct access to the employee’s workplace and in this respect cannot take remedial action.”

That means that on hot days, it’s the employee’s own responsibility to make sure the environment is suitable for working in. 

woman works from home in Germany

A woman works in her living room at home. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Naupold

One duty employers do have, however, is to instruct their workers about the best way to set up a healthy work environment at home, for example by giving guidance on how to regulate the temperature. 

“In the end, it is the employee’s responsibility to maintain his or her workplace in a condition in which he or she can perform his or her work without the threat of health impairments,” Brecklinghaus explained.

What can home office workers do in hot weather?

There are plenty of ways to keep flats cooler in the summer months, including purchasing your own fan, keeping curtains or blinds drawn and ventilating the rooms in the evening or early morning when the weather is cooler.

However, if heat is really becoming a problem, it’s a good idea to communicate this to your employer. This is especially important if you have a health condition that makes it more dangerous to work in hot weather. 

In some cases, you might be able to negotiate for the employer to pay for the purchase of a fan or mobile air conditioner as goodwill gesture. If possible, you could also arrange to travel to the office where the temperature should be better regulated.

Another option for early birds or night owls is to arrange more flexible working hours so you can avoid sweltering at your desk in the midday sun, although this of course depends on operational factors. 

READ ASO: Jobs in Germany: Should foreign workers join a union?

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