Sideline employment

Guidelines for information on sideline employment 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' academic 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 it does not cause

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

Employees who are unsure whether a specific form of sideline employment is compatible with their main occupation should discuss the matter with their head of department/head of school/centre director/deputy director.

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 other independent organisations, board memberships in other companies and honorary offices undertaken concurrently with full-time employment 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 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.

Sideline employment must be reported annually

All employees at AU, including members of the senior management team, must provide information about their sideline employment annually. Only sideline employment that is academically linked to a staff member’s employment at AU has to be reported. 

Examples of academic sideline employment:

  • Membership of committees, councils, associations and boards, appointed and/or nominated by AU
  • Membership of executive boards/boards of scientific associations and societies
  • Membership of editorial committees of national and international scientific journals
  • Visiting lectureships at other national or international institutions
  • Refereeing responsibilities for applications submitted to research councils abroad
  • Membership of boards of scholarships and foundations
  • 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

Sideline employment must be reported on an ongoing basis and registered by 1 March for the entire previous calendar year – in the Pure system. This information will be included in the ongoing dialogue between the manager and the employee, and it may also be included in the annual SDD dialogue.

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.

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 not incompatible 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 his/her employment. See the rules on dismissal of employees at Aarhus University.

Entry into force

The new information rules will enter into force when the system support and necessary adjustments are ready in PURE. This is expected to be in autumn 2022.