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FAQs for managers, corona

Below is a list of questions and answers for managers about Lund University’s management of the coronavirus outbreak. The page is continuously updated.

Please note that there are no special rules relating to coronavirus/Covid-19 – the usual labour law and work environment rules apply.  

Update (June 2020)

Lund University, through the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions, is currently trying to influence the legislation concerning the possibility for new employees from a third country to retain their work permit, which due to the prevailing ban on travel to Sweden will be invalid if travel to Sweden does not take place within four months of the work permit’s commencement date. 

Read more about the ban on travel to Sweden on the Swedish government website.


Content on this page


Questions regarding working from home

As an LU manager, you assess whether or not workling from home is possible. The assessment is to be based on the current decisions by the vice-chancellor, which can be found on the dedicated page for LU’s coronavirus management at lunduniversity.lu.se/corona

Current decision by the vice-chancellor (3 September 2020); staff should work from home to the extent that the line manager deems is possible when taking activities and the work environment into account. 

Update to the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden (October 2020)

The recommendation from the Public Health Agency of Sweden entails that even household contacts with an infected person are to be regulated. The physician decides what rules of conduct apply. These rules could include a prohibition on going to work. Household contacts mean those who have shared a home with the infected person at any time during the infectious period.
•    Employees who are healthy but are prohibited from going in to their workplace due to rules of conduct from their physician are to contact their line manager to discuss the possibility of working from home.
•    If the manager considers it impossible for the employee to work from home, the employee can apply for quarantine allowance from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). 

Read more on the website of the Public Health Agency of Sweden
Read more about quarantine allowance on the FAQ page about compensation and on the website of the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan)

How is the phrase “working from home” to be understood?

Working from home means working at your home address. Any other location must be approved in advance by your line manager. This is due to several considerations including work environment and insurance.

Who agrees/decides on working from home? 

The employee’s line manager.

Do we need to reach an agreement on working from home?

As an LU manager, you are to decide whether an employee is to work from home based on the Swedish Public Health Agency’s recommendations. Working from home does not require an agreement. 

What is the different between remote work and working from home?

Remote work, in contrast to working from home (see question above), is voluntary and requires an agreement with the employee. 

Why has LU changed its advice from remote work to working from home?

LU’s employers association has updated its advice on the matter and we always comply with their current stance. However, the agreements already entered into remain valid and may continue for the period of the agreement.  

How long is an employee to work from home? 

As an LU manager, you are to assess for how long an employee is to work from home, taking into consideration the Swedish Public Health Agency’s recommendations and other relevant circumstances in the individual case.

What can I as an LU manager do if an employee, due to the nature of their duties, cannot work from home? 

If as an LU manager, you deem that, for work environment reasons, an employee is not to come to the workplace and order that the employee is to stay at home, salary is to be paid even though the employee, due to the nature of their duties, cannot work from home.  

What applies if an employee does not want to come to the work place due to the risk of infection? 

The employee cannot make their own decision to be absent from work. As an LU manager, you are responsible for the work environment and assess whether distance work is justified. To be absent from work without having prior approval from you as an LU manager is considered to be absence without leave. Consult your local HR officer concerning how absence without leave should be handled.

How should we manage employees who are not feeling well and who feel isolated when working from home? 

The manager is responsible for the work environment regardless of whether the employee is present in the workplace or working from home. Regular status updates with each employee is necessary to ensure a good psychosocial work environment. For employees who are not feeling well, there is a possibility of being present in the workplace to maintain daily routines. In this case, the employer is to ensure that the work environment follows the general advice for workplaces in the Swedish Public Health Agency’s regulations regarding the public’s responsibility to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

What is the procedure for employees who are in risk groups? 

Any employees who are in a risk group are to observe the recommendations issued by the Swedish Public Health Agency. Distance work is an appropriate measure in these cases, and as an LU manager, you make the assessment.  

A completely healthy employee has a relative in their household who is ill at home with confirmed Covid-19. As the manager, how should I deal with the situation? 

When one person in a household is ill and has tested positive for Covid-19, everyone in the household, both ill and healthy, is to be contacted by public healthcare and given rules of conduct, except for children who have not yet started pre-school. Those who have received rules of conduct from public healthcare are to follow them, stay at home, avoid contact with others and in general behave as though they had tested positive for Covid-19.

Healthy household members are to be on the lookout for symptoms of Covid-19 and if such symptoms arise, they are to consult the public healthcare website 1177.se to find out about Covid-19 testing in Region Skåne.

An employee who is healthy but has been given rules of conduct about staying at home is to contact their line manager to discuss the possibility of working from home. If the manager deems it impossible for the employee to work from home, the employee is to apply for quarantine allowance from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). 

Read more about applicable regulationson on the the website of the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.
Read more about Covid-19 testing on the healthcare website 1177

What applies regarding the work environment when working at home? 

As an LU manager, you are responsible for the work environment and this also applies to employees working from home. You must carry out a risk and impact assessment of the specific work environment.

Read more on the page below: 

Systematic work environment management regarding distance work

Good tips for working from home can be fount on the page: 

Working from home – tools and tips

Does the risk and impact assessment need to be updated while working from home? 

The risk and impact assessment is to be updated when needed. 

What applies if an employee is injured while working from home? 

Occupational injuries and incidents that occur in connection with working from home are to be reported in accordance with current rules and procedures. Insurance-related matters are assessed in due course.  

What applies if an employee becomes ill while working from home? 

An employee who becomes ill is to submit a notification of illness in accordance with current rules and procedures.

Read more about LU’s procedures for notification of illness:

Go to the page about sick leave

As an LU manager, you are responsible for rehabilitation. 

Can an employee work from home if the employee lives in another country? 

LU advises against work carried out abroad that is not business travel or regulated by an overseas contract (URA contract.)  

What applies regarding flexitime while working from home?

The flexitime agreement applies as usual for technical and administrative staff who are working from home. 


Working  hours

Decision regarding the option to change flexitime frameworks for technical and administrative staff with the aim of avoiding peak hours on public transport. 

Reduce the spread of infection on public transport

The Swedish Public Health Agency recommends that employers, if possible, ensure that employees who travel to and from work on public transport can adapt their working hours in order to avoid peak hours on public transport during the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.

In view of this, Lund University and the union organisations have therefore agreed to give technical and administrative staff the option, in consultation with the line manager, to agree on working hours frameworks other than those stated in the flexitime agreement.

Who does the decision apply to? 

Employees who are covered by the flexitime agreement and who have a need to change working hours in order to avoid peak hours on public transport. Working from home is not covered by the decision.

Does this mean that work can be done at any time? 

The intention of the agreement between the University and the union organisations is that, when required, employees are to be able to avoid peak hours on public transport in order to reduce the risk of spreading infection. However, work is not to be carried out before 06:00 or after 20:00, unless otherwise stated in the schedule. The daily rest period of 11 hours is to be respected.

What is the procedure? 

Employees who have a need to change their working hours are to contact their line manager. Differing times for work are to be documented and confirmed by both manager and employee via email or similar. The working hours are to be registered by the employee on the flexitime form as usual. The manager sends the documentation to their local HR officer for future follow-up.

Can an employee’s request to change their working hours be declined? 

As far as possible, LU as an employer does what can be done to reduce the spread of infection. However, as an LU manager you may decline the request if the organisation’s needs mean that the employee’s changed working hours would entail substantial disruption for the organisation. 


Questions regarding sick leave and doctor’s certificates 

One of our employees is or is believed to be infected with the coronavirus. How should we handle/communicate this information internally?

Information about employees’ health status can be classified as confidential (in accordance with Chapter 39, paragraph 2 of the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act) if the individual or someone related to them will presumably suffer if the information is disclosed. Information on the health status of employees may therefore only be disclosed following an assessment in each individual case. As an LU manager, you must always check with the employee about which information may be communicated in the workplace concerning their health status. The employee may consent to the dissemination of information.
 
However, employees with confirmed Covid-19, which is classified as a public health hazard and covered by the Swedish Communicable Diseases Act, have a so-called duty to protect and must follow instructions from doctors in order to prevent the spread of infection.
 
Read more about the Communicable Diseases Act (in Swedish Smittskyddslagen) at 1177.se.

Read more in the memorandum PDF iconRegarding the duty to protect in accordance with the Swedish Communicable Diseases Act in diagnosed cases of covid-19 (Occupational Health Service).

Is it true that the requirement for a doctor’s certificate as of the eighth day of illness has been abolished?  

Yes, on 2 April the Swedish parliament decided that the requirement for a doctor’s certificate in the Sick Pay Act was to be temporarily abolished. The stipulation went into effect on 7 April and applies retroactively from 13 March. On 7 May, the Government announced that it proposes to extend the abolished requirement for a doctor’s certificate until 30 September in order to reduce the workload of the healthcare service. 

A corresponding adjustment has been made in the central collective agreements (chapter 7, section 3 Collective agreements on salaries and benefits.) The change in the collective agreements applies during the period that the changes in the Sick Pay Act apply. Thus, due to the Swedish parliament’s decision, the usual rules and regulations do not apply as of 13 March.  

A doctor’s certificate for care of a sick child (VAB) is not a matter for the employer, it is matter between the parents and the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.

Read more in the Swedish Social Insurance Agency FAQs

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency will not require doctor’s certificates for the first 21 days of illness. As an LU manager, should I still request a doctor’s certificate as of the fifteenth day of illness?  

Normally, the right to sick leave as of the fifteenth day of illness requires you, as an LU manager, to request a doctor’s certificate from the fifteenth day. In the prevailing circumstances, the employer does not need to request this doctor’s certificate. When there is doubt as to whether an employee actually has an illness that impairs their ability to work, to support this assessment, as an LU manager, you can request that the employee provide evidence that sickness benefit is being paid by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.  

What do I do if an employee comes to the workplace even though they are ill?  

As an LU manager, you can request that the employee submits a notification of illness according to the current rules and procedures. You can order the employee to work from home, see above.


Questions regarding compensation 

Are employees entitled to reimbursement for Covid-19 testing (in case of symptoms or testing for antibodies)? 

The agreement on terms and conditions for government employees includes rules on reimbursement of healthcare costs. Covid tests and antibody tests are not covered by public healthcare and are therefore not reimbursed.

No testing is available at Lund University; all testing in Skåne is organised and administrated via the public healthcare guide 1177. Employees who have symptoms and wish to be tested for Covid-19 or for antibodies are to turn to the 1177 public healthcare guide.

Read more on the 1177 website.  

Preventive sickness benefit for at-risk groups

The Swedish Government has decided that people belonging to an at-risk group for Covid-19 may receive a benefit. It applies to those who have to entirely or partially refrain from working in order to avoid infection. The decision applies to employees who do not have the possibility of working from home. The employer must also be unable to offer other work duties or that it is otherwise not possible to adapt the work situation so that the risk of infection may be avoided. The benefit also applies to casual employees (hourly-paid/intermittent employees) who have had to refrain from working booked shifts due to the risk of infection.
 
Applications for the benefit from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency open on 24 August 2020. It is possible to apply for the benefit retroactively for time from 1 July. 
 
Read more on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency website

Procedures at Lund University

Affected employees are to submit a medical certificate to you as their manager that shows that they belong to an at-risk group. In discussion with the employee, as manager, you are to make a risk assessment of the situation. If it is deemed that the employee is unable, entirely or partially, to work from home, the employee must work onsite, or stay at home as the absence must be registered in Primula and salary will not be paid. For more information, please contact your organisation’s HR officer.  

What compensation is paid during work from home? 

Salary is paid while working from home. 

What compensation is paid in the case of illness? 

Sick pay and sickness benefits are paid according to the current rules.  

What applies if an employee has mild respiratory problems and therefore stays at home? 

If the ability to work is impaired, the employee is to submit a notification of illness according to the existing procedures and sick pay/sickness benefit is paid. The employee may also be entitled to so-called salary to disease carriers. See the specific section on this.  

If the employee is able to work, distance work can be agreed/ordered, see above. Salary is paid for working from home. If distance work is not an option, according to your assessment, the employee is to be present at the workplace, otherwise the absence is unauthorised and a salary deduction is to be made. 

What are the implications now that the Government has abolished the qualifying deduction? 

The employee is to submit a notification of illness according to the current rules. LU deducts the qualifying deduction as usual, but the employee may afterwards apply for compensation for the qualifying deduction in question via the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. No changes will be made in the salary system or in salary processing.

On 7 May, the Government announced that it proposes to extend compensation for the qualifying deduction for four months until 30 September. The Government also proposes that compensation is to be raised to SEK 804 from 1 June.

Read more on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency’s website

In what situation is salary to disease carriers paid? 

If an employee is to stay away from the workplace due to a contagious disease, without the ability to work being impaired, the employee may be entitled to so-called salary to disease carriers. This requires a doctor’s certificate or a decision by a physician, infectious disease physician or equivalent.  

Will the requirement for a doctor’s certificate/decision regarding salary to diseases carriers be abolished due to the Government’s proposal to abolish the requirement for a doctor’s certificate as of the eighth day of illness? 

No.  


Questions regarding business travel

Is an employee allowed to undertake a business trip? 

See the current decision by the vice-chancellor. Current decisions by the vice-chancellor can be found on the dedicated page for LU’s coronavirus management on lunduniversity.lu.se/corona

Current vice-chancellor’s decision regarding business travel (11 June 2020): 
Until further notice, permission is only granted for domestic business trips which in consultation with the line manager are deemed to be necessary. The Swedish Public Health Agency’s recommendations are to be observed for such trips. 

The Swedish Public Health Agency has changed its rules and general guidance about travel within Sweden. As of 13 June, symptom-free individuals are permitted to travel freely within the country. Those who need to travel on public transport should first and foremost choose an option for which it is possible to book a seat, such as travelling by train. 

Read more on the Public Health Agency of Sweden´s website 

Permission is only granted for business trips abroad which in consultation with the line manager are deemed to be necessary and able to be conducted in a safe way taking into consideration any travel restrictions. This applies for as long as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) advises against non-essential travel to other countries.

Read more on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) website

Please note that certain countries have introduced quarantine regulations for Swedish travellers. If you are planning a business trip abroad, you are responsible for finding out what applies for the country in question. 

What applies if an employee cannot get home from a business trip due to prevailing circumstances? 

This is counted as work and the employee receives salary and subsistence allowance. 


Questions regarding insurance

Kammarkollegiet has issued information regarding insurance matters due to the prevailing situation.

See all relevant information from Kammarkollegiet on the page about Insurance (see right column)


Questions regarding employment

Reallocation of employees

As an LU manager, can I direct employees to other temporary duties with reference to the prevailing situation? 

Within the framework of the employee’s obligation to work, you can as an LU manager make such reallocations. Consult your local HR officer.   

Salary is also to be paid in this case.  

Intermittent employees

Should salaries for intermittent employees be paid, even though they cannot carry out work? 

If work cannot be carried out due to a Government measure (e.g. cancellation of invigilated exams) salary is to be paid nonetheless. Decisions on employment cannot be revoked.

Is there a time limit in the future regarding when an intermittent position can be revoked? 

Decisions on employment cannot be revoked.  

What applies if a decision is not in writing, but a verbal agreement has been made? 

Salary is also to be paid in this case.  
 

New employees

What happens if a new employee cannot take up their position? 

  • Working from home is excluded, as the person has not yet taken up their position. 
  • If the person is ill or infected, the applicable rules and regulations are to be followed, see relevant sections. This means, therefore, that the person begins their employment being ill or infected and LU pays sick pay etc. 
  • If the employee is prevented from travelling, a salary deduction is made, or annual leave can be applied for and be granted. The absence is not considered as negligent or unauthorised. One option is to grant unpaid leave of absence in accordance with section10b of the Leave of Absence Ordinance. This requires that the person applies for the leave of absence.  
  • If the employee cannot take up their position due to an internal decision by LU, the employee is entitled to salary. Unpaid leave of absence according to the above is also an option in this case. 

Which first day of employment should be set for new employees? 

LU has no general recommendation regarding this. The organisation’s needs are the determining factor, but consideration should be given to what happens if an employee cannot take up their position, see section above.  
How are practical issues to be solved for new employees who have just arrived in Sweden? 

How are practical issues to be solved for new employees who have just arrived in Sweden? 

The University’s procured relocation company can assist in most practical issues that are not specific to the University. 

Read more about relocation services on the HR-webb (in Swedish) and consult the HR officer within your organisation.

Matters concerning migration, residence permits and work permits are handled by External Relations.

Contact: migration [at] er [dot] lu [dot] se 

How are new employees affected by the entry ban to the EU via Sweden, due to COVID-19?

The Government is constantly updating the temporary rules regarding entry to Sweden. Stay up-to-date on the current entry rules to assess how they may affect planning for the autumn semester. 

Current information on the entry rules can be found on the Government’s website

Support regarding international recruitment can be found on the HR website (in Swedish. For support, contact your local HR officer) 

Questions regarding new employees/third-country nationals, with new residence and/or work permits, can be submitted via migration [at] er [dot] lu [dot] se

Current employees 

What applies for employee who have so-called combined positions?  

If as an LU manager, you have any questions relating to combined positions at the Faculty of Medicine, contact your local HR officer.  

We have an employee who has reported secondary employment in the healthcare sector. What is our position on the risk of infection? 

The usual rules for secondary employment apply, even in this situation, i.e. as an LU manager, you are to take a decision on whether the secondary employment damages credibility, interferes with work duties or represents competition. When it comes to the risk of infection, in itself, it is not a reason to refuse secondary employment.  

Will LU as a public authority be affected by the proposal on short-term lay-offs? 

No. 

Employees with overseas contracts

As an employer, what responsibility do we have for employees who are abroad on URA* contracts? 

The employer’s responsibility for employees with URA contracts is unchanged. For more detailed information, contact your HR officer.

*URA – agreement on overseas contracts and guidelines on terms of employment in service abroad

Postdoc

In accordance with section 2 of the Agreement on fixed-term employment as a postdoc, a postdoc may be employed for an indefinite term, but for no more than two years. Their employment may be extended if there are special reasons such as leave due to illness, parental leave, clinical service, elected office within union organisations or other similar circumstances. Due to the ongoing spread of Covid-19, can we apply “other similar circumstances” in order to extend this employment?  

An extension could be considered if the person’s own research has been adversely affected due to the spread of the coronavirus. It could, for example, be the case that the work requires certain field studies that have not been possible due to society’s restrictions. Thus, an extension will not be considered for example regarding an employee who cannot travel home at the end of the period of employment. Furthermore, it is important that the objective circumstances, in combination with how they affect the individual case, are documented in writing.

Doctoral students

According to chapter 5, section 7 of the Higher Education Ordinance, the total employment period for doctoral students is permitted to be longer than that stated in the third paragraph of the same section, if special grounds exist. Such grounds may comprise leave of absence because of illness, leave of absence for service in the defence forces or an elected position in a trade union or student organisation, or parental leave. Can we, due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, apply this as a special ground for extending this employment? 

The Swedish Agency for Government Employers deems that if a doctoral student has been unable to carry out the duties for which the doctoral student is responsible due to circumstances that can be linked to Covid-19, it should be possible to extend the total employment period.


Questions regarding annual leave

What applies if an employee cannot travel home from a holiday because they are held in quarantine at a hotel?

As the employee cannot carry out any work, a salary deduction is made. However, as an LU manager, you can grant annual leave if the employee applies for it.  

If the employee can show a decision approving salary to a disease carrier by the treating physician, infectious disease physician or equivalent, such compensation is to be paid.

What happens if an employee goes on holiday contrary to UD’s advice against this and then wants to come back to the workplace on arriving home? 

  • As an LU manager, you can order that the employee works from home.
  • If the employee cannot work from home and it is justified for work environment reasons, the head of department/head of division/equivalent after consultation with the dean/equivalent may decide that the employee is to stay at home without pay. Information is to be submitted to the employee organisation involved before you make such a decision.
  • If the employee is sick or confirmed as a disease carrier, the rules and regulations concerning these situations apply, see the relevant sections.

Questions related to annual leave for technical and administrative staff (T/A) 

Annual leave for technical and administrative staff is regulated in the general agreement on pay and benefits for government employees and the Annual Leave Act. This means that the usual rules also apply in the prevailing coronavirus-related situation.

As an LU manager, you are, as a rule, to inform your employees about your decision on how the main annual leave is to be scheduled at the latest two months before the start of the annual leave. If this is not possible, what applies then?

If there are special reasons in accordance with chapter 11, section 2 of the Annual Leave Act, the information (decision) can be issued later, if possible at least one month before the start of the annual leave. Special reasons may apply if the spring semester of 2020 is extended and the reason that the information cannot be issued in time is due to how the coronavirus pandemic affects possibilities to plan activities. As an LU manager, you are to decide this.

Can we in this special situation make exceptions to the employee’s right to main annual leave, i.e. a four-week consecutive holiday period in June, July and August?

As a rule, an employee has the right to four consecutive weeks of annual leave in the period June, July and August. The employer is to do their utmost to ensure as far as possible that the employee gets this annual leave. It is only in exceptional cases and if it is because of the extension of the spring semester of 2020 and this is due to the coronavirus that as an LU Manager you may deviate from the main rule. As an LU Manager, you are to consult with the employee concerned before a deviation is made. Regarding deviations, it must be taken into consideration that the purpose of the annual leave rules is that the employee is to have time for recovery and that any changes in scheduled annual leave are to achieve this purpose.

Is it possible for me as an LU manager to decline an employee’s request, for example to take annual leave in July, and instead schedule it in June?

Yes. According to the annual leave rules, as an LU manager, you decide on the scheduling of annual leave if you cannot reach an agreement. Contact your local HR officer to discuss this.

Does an employee have the right to take six weeks of annual leave in the period June, July and August?

No. An employee has the right to four consecutive weeks of annual leave in the period June, July and August. However, as an LU manager, you can grant longer annual leave if you find it appropriate in view of the organisation’s needs and the employee’s compensatory days of annual leave.

Please note that an employee can apply for another type of leave in connection with  the annual leave, for example parental leave. In this case, the rules in the Parental Leave Act also apply. Contact your local HR officer to discuss this.

One of my employees does not want to be on annual leave in the summer, because the employee cannot travel abroad on holiday due to the prevailing circumstances. What applies?

Annual leave is to be scheduled according to the organisation’s needs and taking into consideration the employee’s wishes if this is possible. The entire annual leave is to be scheduled during 2020. This means that as an LU manager, you can reach an agreement with the employee that the annual leave is scheduled in a period other than the summer months, provided that all annual leave is taken during 2020 or saved (however, the maximum number of permitted saved days of annual leave is 30 days per person). Remember it is only the number of days of annual leave that exceed 20 that can be saved. Please note that whether or not the employee can travel while on leave has no bearing on the assessment.  

If, as an LU manager, you cannot reach an agreement with the employee regarding the scheduling of annual leave, you can unilaterally decide to schedule the annual leave during the summer months. See question above.

If there is a risk that I will not be able to schedule all of an employee’s annual leave in the current year due to the pandemic – what happens then?

As an LU manager, in the first instance, you should try to schedule the annual leave in 2020. If this is not possible, any annual leave not taken will be added to the individual employee’s saved days of annual leave. 

The usual rules on saved annual leave apply, i.e. the maximum number of permitted saved days of annual leave is 30 days per person. Furthermore, it is only the number of days of annual leave that exceed 20 that can be saved.

Can I as an LU manager revoke already granted annual leave if it transpires that my organisation needs that employee to carry out particularly important functions?

A decision on granted annual leave is binding. If you unilaterally revoke granted annual leave it is grounds for a damages claim.  

There is reason to revoke already granted annual leave in a situation where a large number of employees suddenly become ill and the organisation cannot continue without the employee interrupting their annual leave. However, the issue should be solved on a voluntary basis as far as possible. Contact your local HR officer to discuss this before you consider revoking an employee’s granted annual leave.

Can an employee unilaterally change or withdraw already approved annual leave? 

No, an employee cannot unilaterally change or interrupt their approved annual leave. However, the manager and the employee can come to an agreement about changing or revoking previously scheduled or approved annual leave.  

Questions related to annual leave for teaching staff

Annual leave for teaching staff is regulated in the general agreement on pay and benefits for government employees, the Annual Leave Act, and the local agreement on working hours for teaching staff and others at Lund University. This means that the usual rules also apply in the prevailing coronavirus-related situation.

Can we in this special situation make exceptions to the employee’s right to a main annual leave, i.e. a four-week consecutive holiday period in June, July and August?

As a rule, an employee has the right to four consecutive weeks of annual leave in the period June, July and August. The employer is to do their utmost to ensure as far as possible that the employee gets this annual leave. It is only in exceptional cases, when the usual annual leave rules (see annual working hours agreement for teaching staff) cannot be applied, and if it is because of the extension of the spring semester of 2020 and this is due to the coronavirus pandemic that as an LU manager you can deviate from the main rule. As an LU Manager, you are to consult with the employee concerned before a deviation is made. Regarding deviations, it must be taken into consideration that the purpose of the annual leave rules is that the employee is to have time for recovery and that any changes in scheduled annual leave are to achieve this purpose.

Can we in this special situation make exceptions to the usual scheduling of annual leave for teaching staff? 

The basic point is that the usual rules on annual leave and scheduling of annual leave are to be observed, i.e. the entire annual leave for teaching staff is to be scheduled for a consecutive period during the summer starting on the Monday after Midsummer. If this is not possible, as an LU Manager you and the employee concerned in the specific case are to try to reach an agreement on alternative scheduling of the employee’s annual leave. An agreement on this is to be made in the form of a granted annual leave application in Primula. If you cannot agree on a solution, the rules regarding special reasons in the Annual Leave Act may come into play. It is only in exceptional cases and if it is because of the extension of the spring semester of 2020 and this is due to the coronavirus pandemic that you as an LU manager can apply special reasons for alternative scheduling of annual leave. As an LU Manager, you are to consult with the employee concerned before a deviation is made. 

When is annual leave for teaching staff to be planned?  

The entire annual leave for teaching staff is scheduled for a consecutive period during the summer starting on the Monday after Midsummer, unless otherwise agreed in writing between the head of department and individual employee. If an employee wishes it to be scheduled in another way, such a request is to have reached you as an LU manager by 30 April. If there is deviation from the standard arrangement, any remaining annual leave is also to be planned at the same time. An agreement on this is to be made in the form of a granted annual leave application in Primula before 31 May.

If there are special reasons in accordance with chapter 11, section 2 of the Annual Leave Act, the information (decision) can be issued later than 31 May, if possible at least one month before the start of the annual leave. Special reasons may apply if the spring semester of 2020 is extended and the reason that the information cannot be issued in time is due to how the coronavirus pandemic affects possibilities to plan activities. As an LU manager, you are to decide this.

The usual rules on saved annual leave also apply to teaching staff, i.e. the maximum number of saved days of annual leave is 30 days per person. Furthermore, only the number of days of annual leave that exceed 20 can be saved. Please note that annual hours are to be increased and the duties plan updated if the employee chooses to save days of annual leave.

One of my employees does not want to be on annual leave in the summer, because the employee cannot travel abroad on holiday due to the prevailing circumstances. What applies?

See the question above concerning when annual leave for teaching staff is to be planned.

The entire annual leave is to be scheduled during 2020. This means that as an LU manager, you can reach an agreement with the employee that the annual leave is to be scheduled in a period other than the summer months, provided that all annual leave is taken during 2020 or saved (however, the maximum number of permitted saved days of annual leave is 30 days per person). Remember it is only the number of days of annual leave that exceed 20 that can be saved. Please note that whether or not the employee can travel while on leave has no bearing on the assessment.  

If there is a risk that I will not be able to schedule all of an employee’s annual leave in the current year due to the pandemic – what happens then?

As an LU manager, in the first instance, you should try to schedule the annual leave in 2020. If this is not possible, any annual leave not taken will be added to the individual employee’s saved days of annual leave. 

Can I as an LU manager revoke already granted annual leave if it transpires that my organisation needs that employee to carry out particularly important functions?

A decision on granted annual leave is binding. If you unilaterally revoke granted annual leave it is grounds for a damages claim.  

There is reason to revoke already granted annual leave in a situation where a large number of employees suddenly become ill and the organisation cannot continue without the employee interrupting their annual leave. However, the issue should be solved on a voluntary basis as far as possible. Contact your local HR officer to discuss this before you consider revoking an employee’s granted annual leave.

Can an employee unilaterally change or withdraw already approved annual leave? 

No, an employee cannot unilaterally change or interrupt their approved annual leave. However, the manager and the employee can come to an agreement about changing or revoking previously scheduled or approved annual leave.  


Questions relating to childcare

What applies if the Swedish government decides to close schools/preschools to reduce the spread of infection of Covid-19 and employees need to be at home to take care of their children?

The government has adopted a new ordinance on temporary parental benefit due to Covid-19 (2020:244), which applies as of 25 April. The ordinance entails that temporary parental benefit may be disbursed even if the child is not ill or contagious in the event that the government decides to close schools due to Covid-19 resulting in parents and guardians needing to forgo gainful employment to take care of children. The rules also apply if the responsible authority (e.g. the local municipal authority) decides that preschools, schools and before and after school care centres are to close: 

- in accordance with recommendations from infectious disease physicians or the Swedish Public Health Agency, or
- because the school or preschool is in a risk area that the Swedish Public Health Agency has blocked off, or
- because the school or preschool cannot operate due to a large number of staff being ill with Covid-19. 

The same age limits that ordinarily apply for temporary parental benefit will also apply to this form of expanded temporary parental benefit. Upon application, the expanded temporary parental benefit will be disbursed by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency for the entire period during which the school or preschool is closed. As usual, the employee will need to report their intention to take parental leave with temporary parental benefit to the employer. The report should be made as soon as possible. As usual, the employee is entitled to leave from the employer during the period in which they receive temporary parental benefit in accordance with Section 8 of the Parental Leave Act.  

This is a temporary rule change that will apply until 30 September 2020 at the latest. 

When it comes to working from home, it is the employee's line manager who assesses if this is justified. The assessment is to be based on the current decision by the vice-chancellor, please see lunduniversity.lu.se/corona 


Questions related to vital societal functions 

Does Lund University have a vital societal function? 

In normal circumstances, Lund University is not considered to perform a vital societal function. However, in the prevailing Covid-19 situation, certain vital societal functions may need the help and support of Lund University and its staff. This could, for example, involve staff within healthcare, staff for the analysis of samples, medical expertise and assistance with access to laboratories and analysis equipment relating to Covid-19.

How do you know if an employee may be included in a vital societal function? 

As an LU manager, you may be contacted by the head of a vital societal function, in the event of your employees working in some way or another in one of the above-named areas/functions. Your task in this case is to facilitate contact with the staff members involved. 


Management of situations in which one person or more in a work or student group has fallen ill with Covid-19

The information below has been produced by the Occupational Health Service and Human Resources.

As an LU manager, what do I do if an employee informs me that they are infected and have mild symptoms?

  • Refer the person to Region Skåne for Covid-19 testing.  
  • Inform the person that they are to stay at home for 7 days, two of which are to be symptom-free before returning to work, in accordance with the recommendations of the Swedish Public Health Agency

As a course director or head of unit, what do I do if a student informs me that they are infected and have mild symptoms?

As an LU manager, what do I do if it has been confirmed that one employee or more at the workplace has a confirmed case of Covid-19?

  • Provide the following information: the person/persons who are infected are to stay at home for at least 7 days, two of which are to be symptom-free before returning to work, in accordance with the recommendations of the Swedish Public Health Agency.
  • The person/persons with confirmed Covid-19 receive instructions from healthcare concerning how the situation is to be managed. See the Occupational Health Service’s memorandum Regarding the duty to protect in accordance with the Swedish Communicable Diseases Act in diagnosed cases of Covid-19. Results from the test and information about where the person/persons work are sent to Region Skåne’s Central Contact Tracing Unit, which initiates contact tracing as well as a discussion about any other measures that may be appropriate.
  • If as an LU manager, you are not contacted by the Central Contact Tracing Unit, you are to contact the Occupational  Health Service, fhv_foretagshalsov [at] fhv [dot] lu [dot] se.
  • If the person/persons with confirmed Covid-19 have mild symptoms, consider working from home. Read more about working from home. If required, obtain support from your immediate HR officer to make an assessment.
  • Check and update the continuity plan/risk and impact assessment that each faculty has carried out in connection with the Covid-19 outbreak. The plan takes into consideration various scenarios for how the organisation is to continue in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak among the employees.

As a course director or head of unit, what do I do if it has been confirmed that one student or more on the same course or in the same student group has a confirmed case of Covid-19?

  • Provide the following information: the person/persons with confirmed Covid-19 are to stay at home for at least 7 days, and that returning to a classroom is to be after two symptom-free days, in accordance with the recommendations of the Swedish Public Health Agency.
  • Results from the test and information about where the person/persons study are sent to Region Skåne’s Central Contact Tracing Unit, which initiates contact tracing as well as a discussion about any other measures that may be appropriate.
  • Consider with the dean/equivalent whether online teaching is to be offered, wholly or in part, and for how long online teaching is to be offered. 

As an LU manager, how do I find out if an employee is infected with Covid-19?

  • The person who has fallen ill is responsible, in accordance with the so-called duty to protect, to follow the physician’s recommendations and instructions, and to inform those people which the person has come in contact with, and who have been identified at the doctor’s appointment, that the person is infected. The obligation to protect people against infection pursuant to the Communicable Diseases Act does not automatically cover managers/course directors etc. Employees or students who have been in the workplace/campus during the period in which they were contagious are advised to inform their line manager/course director. In cases where the ill person gives their consent, the manager/course director can pass on the information to those who may have been exposed to the infection. Read more in The Occupational Health Service’s memorandum Regarding the duty to protect in accordance with the Swedish Communicable Diseases Act in diagnosed cases of Covid-19 (PDF).
  • If several people from the same unit have been infected, the unit’s manager may be contacted by Region Skåne’s Central Contact Tracing Unit. 

As a head of unit, how do I find out if a student is infected with Covid-19?

  • The person who has fallen ill is responsible, in accordance with the so-called duty to protect, to follow the physician’s recommendations and instructions, and to inform those people which the person has come in contact with, and who have been identified at the doctor’s appointment, that the person is infected. The obligation to protect people against infection pursuant to the Communicable Diseases Act does not automatically cover managers/course directors etc. Employees or students who have been in the workplace/campus during the period in which they were contagious are advised to inform their line manager/course director. In cases where the ill person gives their consent, the manager/course director can pass on the information to those who may have been exposed to the infection. Read more in the Occupational Health Service’s memorandum Regarding the duty to protect in accordance with the Swedish Communicable Diseases Act in diagnosed cases of Covid-19 (PDF). 
  • If several people from the same unit have been infected, the head of unit may be contacted by Region Skåne’s Central Contact Tracing Unit. 

As an LU manager, can I demand that an employee with suspected Covid-19 takes a test? 

  • No, the employer cannot demand this type of physical violation (in accordance with the Swedish Constitution chapter 2, section 6).

As an LU manager/head of unit, may I inform my employees that one of their colleagues has, or is suspected of having, Covid-19?

When may a person who has been at home with suspected Covid-19 come back to the workplace/physical teaching?

When may a person who has been at home with confirmed Covid-19 come back to the workplace/physical teaching?

Am I expected as an LU manager to be in contact with Region Skåne’s infection protection unit, Smittskydd Skåne?

  • If several people from the same unit have been infected, the unit’s manager may be contacted by Region Skåne’s Central Contact Tracing Unit. 

Do employees have the right to compensation for Covid-19 testing (in the case of symptoms or antibody tests)? 

  • Collective agreements on salaries and benefits regulate, among other things, compensation relating to healthcare. The Covid-19 test and antibody test are not regarded as healthcare and therefore no compensation is available.
  • There is no provision of testing at Lund University.
  • All testing in Skåne is organised and administered via 1177 Healthcare Guide. Employees who have symptoms and want a Covid-19 test or an antibody test are to contact 1177 Healthcare Guide: 1177 Healthcare Guide, information about Region Skåne’s Covid-19 testing

Relevant links

Page Manager:

Contact

If you have questions about the corona crisis, you as a manager should first and foremost contact the human resources officer within your department/faculty or equivalent.

If necessary, you can also send questions to: corona [at] lu [dot] se

Related information

Extension of temporary entry ban to the EU via Sweden due to COVID-19 (Ministry of Justice, Government Offices of Sweden)

Travel abroad – advice against travel from Sweden to all countries extended (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government Offices of Sweden)

FAQ about COVID-19 (The Public Health Agency of Sweden)

Tips for managers

As a manager you can turn to the Occupational Health Service for work-related medical, psychological and ergonomic advice, for your workplace; foretagshalsovarden [at] fhv [dot] lu [dot] se

Tips on managing remotely PDF)

Tips on managing in times of crisis (PDF)

Tips on managing staff who are anxious (PDF)

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