Sideline employment

As described in Aarhus University’s staff policy, Aarhus University’s goal is, among other things, to strengthen cooperation and relations with society which are established through employees’ sideline employment and to derive advantage from the experiences and competencies employees attain through their sideline employment.

Aarhus University thus believes that sideline employment is both positive and desirable from the point of view of employees engaging with developments in society. Sideline employment is seen as a recognition of the expertise possessed by the university’s employees, while at the same time raising the profile of Aarhus University in the public debate. 

It is, however, crucial that any sideline employment is compatible with the employees’ main occupation at Aarhus University so as to ensure that Aarhus University’s activities do not suffer.

Rules on sideline employment

Sideline employment is, for example, employment with another independent enterprise, directorships in other companies, honorary offices etc. undertaken concurrently with full-time employment at Aarhus University.

As a general rule, all employees at Aarhus University may engage in sideline employment, provided always 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, the sideline employment must not lead to any doubt as to the employee’s impartiality and loyalty to Aarhus University, or result in conflicts of interest. The sideline employment must therefore never be distortive to competition with regard to Aarhus University’s activities and core services.

Employees who are in doubt as to whether a conflict of interest may exist between their employment with Aarhus University and their sideline employment must as soon as possible discuss their doubts with their manager.

When must Aarhus University be notified of sideline employment?

Employees must notify Aarhus University of sideline employment which is professionally linked with their employment with Aarhus University.

Examples of such sideline employment is:

  • Employment with another public or private-sector undertaking
  • Own business
  • Membership of the executive board and/or board of directors of commercial undertakings, NGOs or foundations
  • Work on committees, commissions or in expert groups
  • Long-term teaching obligations at other institutions
  • Advisory and consultancy work

Employees are not required to notify Aarhus University of sideline employment of limited scope or duties which are considered to be leisure activities.

How must the notification be given?

A system solution is being developed for the online reporting of sideline employment. The advantages of such a system are that paper-based systems and forms may be done away with, while employees will be able to get a complete overview of their current and previous sideline employment. Also, reports can be generated to provide managers with an overview of the sideline employment of employees, which may be used in connection with their staff development dialogues (SDD).

It must be possible to register sideline employment with reading rights for everybody – or subject to limitations. 

Sideline employment is thus generally permitted. The approval of sideline employment must be sought only if the employee is uncertain as to whether the nature of the employment falls within the scope of the permitted types of sideline employment.

Disclosure of information on sideline employment

Upon receipt of a request for access to information about the sideline employment of employees pursuant to Section 21(3) of the Access to Public Administration Files Act (Offentlighedsloven), Aarhus University may disclose information about sideline employment in the public sector, for example membership of councils, boards, committees and commissions. No information is disclosed about sideline employment in the private sector.

Employment-related sanctions

It is the responsibility of management to ensure that any sideline employment is not of a scope or nature which is incompatible with the employees’ main occupation at Aarhus University.

Employees who have taken up sideline employment which is found to be incompatible with their main occupation at Aarhus University are notified in writing and ordered to terminate the sideline employment in question.

If an employee fails to comply with such a written order, employment-related sanctions may be imposed, see rules concerning the dismissal of employees at Aarhus University.