Staff policy at AU


The staff policy sets out the fundamental principles guiding Aarhus University as a workplace. The objective of the staff policy is to contribute to employee well-being and to give all employees influence on, as well as the best possible conditions for, the professional and efficient performance of the university’s tasks.

The staff policy consists of eight norms and nine sub-policies. The norms constitute the overall framework for daily working life and are explored in greater detail in the sub-policies. The sub-policies are accompanied by supplementary staff administrative guidelines.

The staff policy applies to all employees at Aarhus University. Local agreements may be reached within the framework of the staff policy.

Compliance with and development of the staff policy must be reviewed in the liaison committees and may be discussed in the university’s other forums.

The staff policy was adopted by the Main Liaison Committee and the Main Occupational Health and Safety Committee on 12 May 2016.


The norms for daily working life at Aarhus University are that the university and all its employees:

  • Respect and support freedom of speech and freedom of research
  • Contribute to creating openness, trust and timely communication at all levels
  • Experience good management and good relations with colleagues in their daily work
  • Respect the balance between work and private life

  • Contribute to a cohesive, collaborative university
  • Demonstrate mutual respect and decency
  • Value diversity among colleagues
  • Prioritise personal and professional development



Aarhus University’s goal is:

  • to recruit skilled individuals who are professional and productive and who can participate in a constructive working relationship with their colleagues.

Workplace profile

It must be made clear to applicants that Aarhus University is a workplace that sets high standards with regard to academic and administrative excellence and professionalism. At the same time, Aarhus University is a workplace that emphasises flexibility and cooperation, and that gives employees good opportunities for development. 

The university wishes to attract and recruit a diverse staff population. For this reason, Aarhus University’s job advertisements describe the formal, professional and personal qualifications required for individual positions in a way that encourages a wide applicant pool.

Introducing new employees 

Aarhus University emphasises the importance of getting all new employees off to a good start in their new positions, whether recruited internationally, nationally or internally.

Welcoming new colleagues is a shared responsibility. However, managers have a special responsibility to inform all new employees about the contents, objectives and framework of their position and to provide a general introduction to the formal and informal rules, traditions and routines that characterise the university.

Colleagues must contribute by helping new employees familiarise themselves quickly with Aarhus University as an organisation and perform well in their position.

At regular intervals, orientation events about the university as an organisation and the Danish labour market are held for new employees.

Read more about:


Aarhus University’s goals are:

  • to ensure each employee’s pay reflects his or her function, level of responsibility, efforts and relevant competencies.
  • to ensure that pay negotiations at AU take place in a fair and transparent manner.

Use of payroll funds 

Employees are paid in accordance with the collective agreements and contracts that apply to the Danish state sector.

Aarhus University’s goal is to offer attractive terms of employment and to support a good work environment through a fair allocation of payroll funds. The university wishes to promote employees’ motivation and well-being by ensuring that the employee’s pay, function, level of responsibility and effort are commensurate. A special emphasis is placed on equal treatment. As a general rule, employees with comparable functions and qualifications, etc. must be able to attain the same pay level, regardless of organisational placement and the source of the payroll funds.

Payroll funds may be used in order to attract and retain particularly qualified employees.

Pay negotiations

Pay negotiations normally take place at the local level on an annual basis. Pay negotiation also takes place in connection with new hires or if there are significant changes in an employee’s job responsibilities.

The negotiating parties work together to organise the annual pay negotiations, which are based on dialogue. After pay negotiations have ended, managers give clear, constructive feedback regarding the results of the negotiations, both in general and to each applicant.    

Read more about:


Aarhus University’s goals are:

  • for all employees to continually develop their own competencies in order to perform their job responsibilities at the university.
  • for the university to work in a systematic, targeted manner to ensure that all employees have relevant competency and career development opportunities.

Competency development at Aarhus University

It is important that all employees have the necessary and relevant competencies to perform the university’s tasks, present and future. Ensuring that these competencies are present is the responsibility of managers. However, responsibility for ensuring competency development that answers to AU’s needs as well as employees’ individual and professional development is shared by managers and employees.

Competency development can take many forms and have very different contents and perspectives, both in relation to daily work tasks and through organised activities and courses. The clarification and planning of the university’s and the individual units’ competency development strategy and efforts must be discussed with the relevant liaison committee. On this background, the individual employee and his/her immediate superior must discuss which competencies might be necessary for the individual to develop, typically in the context of a staff development dialogue (SDD).

Career development at Aarhus University

Systematic and strategic competency development is also important in relation to the employees’ career development. In addition to the mutual responsibility of both manager and employee to participate in annual staff development dialogues (SDDs), regular development-oriented dialogues that include feedback and alignment of expectations are essential for competency and career development. 

Under "Organisational Learning and Development" you can read more about courses and education for employees, staff development dialogues (SDD), competency development funds etc.


Aarhus University’s goal is:

  • to strengthen the relationships and cooperation with society which are established through employees’ sideline employment and to derive advantage from the experiences and competencies employees attain through sideline employment.

The employees’ knowledge is a resource for society, just as the knowledge and experience gained through sideline employment may benefit Aarhus University.

Aarhus University takes a positive view of sideline employment on the condition that such employment does not: 

  • distort competition in relation to other businesses and organisations,
  • conflicts of interest in relation to the university, problems related to employee impartiality or conflicts between the employees and the university.

If the employee is in doubt with regard to whether a specific form of sideline employment is compatible with his or her main occupation, this should be discussed with the head of department (Aarhus BSS, HE and ST)/head of school (Arts)/centre director/deputy director.


Aarhus University’s goals are:

  • to develop and maintain a good physical and psychological work environment for all employees.
  • to focus on trust, well-being, health and safety in relation to developing the work environment.
  • to integrate promotion of well-being and a good, safe work environment into daily work routines at all levels of the organisation.

The work environment at Aarhus University

Aarhus University desires open dialogue about the work environment employees experience on a daily basis, including issues related to workload, stress and well-being. It is the university’s goal to maintain a high degree of focus on the balance between tasks and resources, so that all employees have the possibility of achieving work-life balance.

Aarhus University wishes to promote preventative measures in relation to work-related injuries, absence and stress etc.

Aarhus University has a zero-tolerance policy in relation to bullying, harassment, threats and violence.

Ensuring a good work environment

In collaboration with the occupational health and safety and liaison committee organisation, management is responsible for ensuring and developing a good work environment. At the same time, all employees are expected to contribute to and participate actively in promoting well-being and ensuring a good work environment.

The work of ensuring a good work environment must take place in the closest possible proximity to the employees. With due regard for the employees’ well-being and differences in the work performed, the local work environment must be addressed effectively and constructively.

Aarhus University applies the results of the mandatory workplace assessments (WPAs) to systematically and regularly follow up on and initiate dialogue about concrete, prioritised work environment initiatives.

Read more about: 


Aarhus University’s goal is:

  • to be a diverse, inclusive workplace where all employees – regardless of gender, age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or handicap – have equal rights and opportunities in their work and career paths.

Aarhus University's work to promote equal opportunities and rights

Aarhus University desires a workplace culture that allows all employees to express and develop their talents in their working lives. For this reason, the university’s goal is to actively identify structural, cultural and linguistic barriers that may prevent groups of employees from developing their full potential. The university will maintain constant focus on its efforts to identify and to the greatest extent remove the barriers referred to above.

Aarhus University places a high priority on making all central documents and other important information available in Danish and English.

Read more about:


Aarhus University’s goal is:

  • to ensure that employees with reduced work ability are able to continue to exercise their competencies and participate in the working life of the university.


Aarhus University will seek to ensure relevant employment for employees who risk losing their attachment to the labour market because of illness or reduced work ability, however on the condition that continued employment is realistic in relation to the employee’s work ability and possible work tasks.


Aarhus University assumes responsibility for employing and recruiting persons eligible for jobs on special terms. Employment of this type is organised in close collaboration with the public sector.

Read more about:


Aarhus University’s goals are:

  • to grant leaves of absence to permanent members of staff when there are significant professional or personal reasons for doing so, on condition that the leave of absence does not conflict with the university’s interests.
  • to increase employees’ mobility internally at the university by taking advantage of possibilities for job rotation and job swaps.


Aarhus University wishes to accomodate and support employees’ possibilities for taking leave in situations in which there are significant professional or personal reasons for doing so, including for example the stationing of a spouse or significant other abroad. The university recognises that it may be an important phase in the employee’s working life that a leave of absence is granted to enable competency development. 

Agreements on leave are concluded by the employee and his or her immediate superior. Such an agreement requires a consideration of the university’s and the employee’s interests.

Job mobility at Aarhus University

Internal job rotation and job swaps at Aarhus University lead to greater insight, understanding and cohesion across the university’s units and functions, while also contributing to the competency and career development of the individual.

Agreements on job rotation or job swaps are concluded by the employee and his or her immediate superior. Such agreements must be made with due consideration for the unit’s planning with regard to other tasks and resources.

Read more about: 


Redundancy on the grounds of structural or financial conditions

Through managerial focus on long-term strategic planning and continual adjustment of the organisation, the goal of Aarhus University is to

  • provide job security to its employees in order to avoid involuntary redundancy on the grounds of structural or financial conditions.

If such redundancies nonetheless become relevant, attempts to avoid them through appropriate measures must be sought, including the possibility of reassigning employees within the university. The liaison committee organisation must be involved in this process as early as possible. If redundancies cannot be avoided, they must be carried out on a reasoned and transparent background.

Dismissed employees must be offered an outplacement package and the possibility of relevant competency development during their notice period. 

The employee is encouraged to involve the relevant union representative or another observer in the process. The university will inform the union representative of the names of the employees whom the university intends to dismiss. The union representative will be notified at the same time as the employees in question or immediately thereafter.

Redundancy for reasons related to the employee personally

Aarhus University’s goal is:

  • to take appropriate managerial action if an employee fails to fulfil the requirements and expectations related to his/her position either professionally or behaviourally.

It is the manager’s responsibility to issue a warning regarding the failure to fulfil requirements and expectations, so that the employee has an opportunity to modify his/her work effort and behaviour within a reasonable period of time.

Before a planned dismissal, the manager must explore alternative solutions. If a dismissal cannot be avoided, it must be carried out on a reasoned and transparent background.

The employee is encouraged to involve the relevant union representative or another observer in the process. The university will inform the union representative of the names of the employees whom the university intends to dismiss. The union representative will be notified at the same time as the employees in question or immediately thereafter.

This policy has been changed November 21, 2018 in accordance with decision made by the main Liaison Committe October 26, 2018.

Click to print Aarhus University Staff Policy

Staff Service at AU

Tools, guidelines and services for all staff members

Search the index: