Sideline employment

Every year, all employees at AU – including senior management – must declare any sideline employment with a professional connection to their employment at AU.

Information about sideline employment must be registered in Pure.

Relevant sideline employment must be registered on an ongoing basis as far as possible – and by 1 March at the latest for the preceding calendar year. This applies from the 2023 calendar year.

Sideline employment undertaken in 2023 must be registered by 1 March 2024.

Registration of sideline employment is a way of showcasing the many ways in which the university’s staff engage with society and exchange research-based knowledge with external partners. At the same time, registration of sidelines employment can also be understood as a way for researchers to declare their interests. Transparency about interests helps AU minimise and deal with potential conflicts of interest. Being open about sideline employment also serves to create trust in the impartiality of both staff and the university.

Information about sideline employment will be included in the ongoing dialogue between the manager and the employee, and may also be included in the annual SDD dialogue.

For managers

If you are a manager and need information about the sideline employment undertaken by an employee in your unit, please write to pure@au.dk

For PhD students

As a rule, the PhD programme is a full-time degree programme that does not leave time for sideline employment. However, at some faculties, it is possible to apply for dispensation to undertake a limited amount of sideline employment. Read more about the rules at the individual faculties:  

Professional or commercial sideline employment?

Sideline employment can be professional or commercial. Professional sideline employment is undertaken as an extension of an employee’s position at AU, and commercial sideline employment is carried out alongside an employee’s position at the university.

Examples of professional sideline employment:

  • Membership of committees, councils or boards appointed by AU or nominated by AU
  • Membership of executive boards/boards in academic associations or societies
  • Membership of editorial committees of national and international scientific journals
  • Visiting lectureships at other national or international institutions
  • Referee work for applications submitted to research councils abroad
  • Membership of funding organisation committees
  • Survey and valuation work for the courts

 

Examples of commercial sideline employment:

  • Employment in other public or private companies, including the employee’s own company
  • Ownership of shares in a company that is an AU supplier/collaboration partner (except for listed companies)
  • Membership of executive boards and/or boards of commercial companies, including spin out companies from AU
  • Duties for commissions and committees
  • Long-term teaching obligations at other institutions

Rules for sideline employment

The staff policy guidelines only cover sideline employment that is relevant for a member of staff’s employment at AU. Sideline jobs related to an employee's hobbies or similar, including civic duties, are not covered by the guidelines. However, this presupposes that the scope of such jobs is compatible with the member of staff’s employment at AU and does not affect the performance of his/her tasks or attendance.

Examples of sideline employment covered by the staff policy guidelines include employment in another independent organisation, board memberships in other companies, honorary offices, etc., undertaken concurrently with an emplolyee’s main occupation at Aarhus University. As a general rule, all employees at Aarhus University may engage in sideline employment, provided that such employment is compatible with their main occupation at Aarhus University, see section 17 of the Danish Civil Servants Act (Tjenestemandsloven) and section 15 of the Danish Salaried Employees Act (Funktionærloven).

However, sideline employment must not bring an employee’s competence or loyalty to AU into question or cause conflicts of interest. Sideline employment must therefore not distort competition in relation to AU's activities and core services. Employees who are unsure whether there is a conflict of interest between their employment at AU and their sideline employment should discuss the matter with their immediate supervisor as soon as possible.

By agreement with their immediate supervisor, employees can transition to part-time employment as a result of other employment – for example because they have started their own business or they work at another institution/company – provided that such employment is compatible with their position at AU.

Sideline employment must be compatible with your main occupation at AU

As described in the AU staff policy, Aarhus University wants to strengthen relations and collaboration with the rest of society through employees' sideline employment so that their experience and competencies are utilised to benefit society as a whole. 

AU therefore considers it positive and desirable that employees engage in the development of society through sideline employment. This engagement is considered recognition of employees' professional expertise, and it helps profile Aarhus University in the public debate. However, it is crucial that sideline employment is compatible with an employee’s main occupation at AU and does not impede AU's activities.

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 cause

  • distortion of 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.

Disclosure of information about sideline employment

If AU receives a request for right of access to information about sideline employment of an employee in accordance with section 21(3) of the Access to Public Administration Files Act, AU may disclose information about public-sector sideline employment, e.g. membership of a council, board, committee or commission. No right of access to information about sideline employment in the private sector will be granted.

Consequences with regard to employment

Managers are responsible for ensuring that the scope and nature of sideline employment is compatible with an employee's main occupation at AU.

Employees who have taken on sideline employment that is not considered compatible with their main occupation at AU will be informed in writing with a notice ordering the sideline employment in question to be terminated.

If the employee fails to comply with the written notice, there may be consequences for the member of staff’s employment. See the rules on dismissal of employees at Aarhus University

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