On this page, you can find answers to a number of questions about your employment conditions in relation to coronavirus. If you have any further questions, please contact your immediate supervisor. 

Physical shutdown of the university

What does it mean that public sector employees have been directed to work from home?

This means that all AU employees are to perform as many of their normal work duties as possible from home. The university’s activities have not been suspended – only in-person activities are affected. Because employees will still receive their salary, they are still on duty. Only employees whose job functions have been defined as critical by management may spend time on campus/at their normal workplace.

While employees’ working hours have not been adjusted, hours can be scheduled flexibly. What is important is that the work gets done. Employees should discuss the prioritisation and performance of their work tasks with their immediate supervisor to agree on a plan for working under these special conditions.

All of the normal rules on the organisation of work, calling in sick, absence registration, holiday, and so on will remain in force during this period.

Working from home

Will I still get paid?

Yes, you will receive your pay – even if it’s not possible for you to perform your work. Because you are still at work, your employer has the right to decide what tasks you should perform during working hours and assign you to tasks as needed. This also applies to hourly-paid technical/administrative staff.

Part-time teaching staff including student teachers (DVIP) will receive payment for planned lessons (even though these lessons are cancelled). However, the immediate manager should consider the possibilities for distance learning and/or for working from home during this time.

Who decides whether I should go to work or stay home?

Your boss decides whether you should go to work or work from home.

What if I can’t do as much work as usual because I have to mind my children?

If you are finding difficult to work at home, for example because you are minding children, who have been sent home from school/preschool, you should discuss your situation with your boss to work out how to organise your tasks in a flexible way that allows you to balance your responsibilities. 

Can I make an agreement with my boss to take time off in lieu, holiday time or other forms of leave?

Yes, you can. Talk to your boss about it. Time off in lieu, holiday or other forms of leave that are already planned should be taken as usual. 

Can I be asked to perform work I was not hired to do?

In principle, you must do the work you were hired to do. However, in this extraordinary situation, you may be asked to perform other tasks.

Gradual reopening

What should I do if I belong to a high-risk group (e.g. chronic illness or pregnant)?

According to the health authorities, you should pay special attention to the general advice for reducing the risk of infection, including strict hygiene and distancing. You do not have to work from home. This is because the authorities do not assess the risk of infection in the workplace as higher than in society in general. 

In exceptional cases, the manager and the employee may agree relocation to other assignments or working at home on the basis of a specific individual assessment from the employee's doctor.  

Can I be asked to change my normal working hours?

In connection with the gradual reopening of AU’s campuses, the senior management team has decided that work in the research labs may be scheduled between 7:00 and 23:00 seven days a week during this period. In this extraordinary situation, there is a need for mutual flexibility and willingness to find solutions to how work is to be organised quickly and pragmatically, within the framework of applicable collective agreements and working hours regulations, in order for the few functions that now have access to campus to succeed.

This means that you can make a voluntary agreement to reschedule your working hours in dialogue with your manager and your union representative, if this is possible for you.


Can I change my holiday plans if I don’t want to take my holiday due to the coronavirus?

In principle, agreed/scheduled holiday must be taken as planned (among other reasons, because holiday must be taken during the current leave year).

The general rules on taking holiday still apply. Read more about the general rules here.

Sick leave

What should I do if I get sick?

You should follow instructions from the health authorities. Do not go to work if you have any symptoms or are ill. Stay at home until you have completely recovered and have been without symptoms for 48 hours.

Please inform your manager if you have been in close contact with colleagues, so the manager can inform them about the risk of infection. When a citizen is infected with COVID-19, preventive measures must be taken quickly and effectively in collaboration with government agencies and institutions in order to prevent infection. This includes identification of the people an infected person has been in close contact with. In general, this will be the people the infected person is living with, individual colleagues at work and possibly friends and family.

As usual, you should notify your manager of illness and absence in accordance with your unit’s guidelines. You are not obliged to provide information about the nature of your illness, but in this special situation, you are encouraged to inform your manager if your illness is likely to be a result of coronavirus. This will make it possible for the university to apply for sick leave benefit reimbursement in connection with your absence.

Absence due to illness will be registered in AUHRA as usual when you notify your manager.

What rules apply to people who have been out on sick leave and who are supposed to begin working again part-time during this period?

In these case, people should begin working again for the agreed number of hours, in dialogue with their immediate supervisor. Alternatively, the period of sick leave can be extended.

Recruitment & employment

How will job advertisements and job interviews be handled?

After the application deadline, interviews can either be postponed or conducted by telephone or Skype for Business, by agreement with the applicants. Individual cases should be handled by agreement between the manager responsible for the hire, applicants and HR. Advice for online job interviews can be found here.

New job advertisements can be posted as usual where this is considered appropriate. Longer application deadlines should be considered.

What will be done about new employees who were set to start a new job at AU during this period?

All new employees will take up their positions as agreed – however without being able to physically come to work on campus while the university’s buildings are closed. All will receive the agreed salary as usual. An agreement can be made to postpone starting a new position if this is considered appropriate and the immediate supervisor and the new employee agree on this.

On the website ’Onboarding – the final step in a successful recruitment’, you can find advice on how to onboard new employees when working from home.

Note: Information on conditions that apply to international employees, PhD students and guests

If you are an international employee, a PhD student or a guests, go to

Miscellaneous questions

Should meetings of the local liaison committees (LSUs) be postponed or held online?

In principle, meetings should be held as scheduled, only in virtual meeting rooms. In practice, the chair and deputy chair of each LSU will decide whether and how the meetings will be held, in accordance with the LSU rules of procedure.

How will the ongoing annual salary negotiation process be handled?

The chair of the main liaison committee (HSU) has decided that the process will proceed as planned. Negotiations can be held by telephone or Skype for Business. The parties jointly decide how the meetings are to be held during the time to come. As an alternative, the parties may decide to postpone the meetings to a later point in time within the negotiation period (February to June 2020).

How will disciplinary meetings be handled during this period?

Meetings in the context of an ongoing process should be held by telephone or Skype for Business. New consultation procedures on warnings and dismissals should only take place during this period in absolutely exceptional cases and out of consideration for ongoing processes.